Night Sky Location Search

I drove east over Stevens Pass to Douglas and Lincoln Counties in search of an abandoned building for night sky images.

Several years ago, I went with several other people to visit the Govan Schoolhouse, near Wilbur. I managed to capture a few decent shots.

This visit however was not to capture night images, but rather find new locations to return to when the next New Moon comes along, with clear skies and no wildfire smoke.

I visited towns such as Withrow and Lamoine. The last several weeks have been without rain. The wheat is about 18 inches high, what hasn’t already been harvested. There may not be any more rain out here until the fall.

The endless dry, dusty landscape in punctuated sporadically with random large stones, glacial erratics left over from the last ice age. There are many wondrous things to see out there in the middle of no where.

Smoke from the Cedar Creek fire lay over top like a blanket. It was 101F late on the afternoon. At sunset the sun glowed orange on the horizon.

Here are a few finds from the travels.

My travels took me back to the Govan Schoolhouse where I managed a few images, both inside and out of this magnificent beauty.

The Palouse

The Palouse is a section of SE Washington state where they grow a lot of wheat. The terrain is smooth rolling hills and almost all of it is covered with endless green.

The Palouse is the most popular spot in Washington for Photography Tours. There are endless viewpoints and all sorts of photo opportunities over there.

I found a map that shows where all the cool stuff is. Its like a treasure hunt! 

Barns, old farm equipment, abandoned houses and vistas are marked, but its still tricky finding some of the stuff…

Most people drive up atop Steptoe Butte for images, like the one above.

But there are wonderful vistas all over, and exploring is a blast.

The wheat is about a foot tall now, (late May) and will stay green as it grows a while, then late summer it all turns golden brown…

Then I will need to go back for another visit.

Here are a few more pics from 2 days of rambling…


Palouse Falls State Park

Palouse Falls and the Milky Way
Palouse Falls State park is in the south-eastern part of Washington State. I had seen many stunning pictures of it and decided to drive there last Saturday to try my luck. The skies were predicted to be mostly clear and the moon was just starting it’s new cycle, and I was hoping to get some decent images of the Milky Way over the falls. Palouse Falls reflected light
I camped there at the Park and awoke at 1am, peeked out of the tent, saw stars and excitedly hurried over to the edge for a look.
Palouse Falls Panorama
Much to my surprise someone was down in the basin, near the base of the falls, and had started a camp fire! The red fire illuminated the falls with an ethereal glow. Palouse Falls and camp fire The entire canyon was lit up perfectly.
As for camera specs: I used a Canon 6D (full size sensor), a Rokinon 14mm lens, 30 sec. exposure, f/2.8 and had the ISO set at 4000.

Amphitheater Mountain: Spring and Fall

Amphitheater Mountain is in the eastern part of the Pasayten Wilderness, in Washington State. The mountain is about 2 or 3 miles south of the Canadian border. I visited there twice this year, on July l5th and 16th and then returned on October 1st and 2nd. The two images below are composites of several images stitched together.