That’s what my wife said when I told her we were heading back out to Leslie Gulch again. She was teasing, I know, but she was also serious, not believing I’d be going back out there again so soon, and on what turned out to be the coldest day of the summer so far. When we came back out of Leslie Gulch, we stopped on the top of the ridge for a few more photos and with the wind chill, the temperature had to be around the upper 30s.
This time, we went in and set up at the Leslie Gulch campground. It’s actually a perfect alignment for what I wanted, some outcroppings called hoodoos and the Milky Way in the same photograph. I managed to get that photo and others, and the Dutch Oven cooking of my photo-buddy, Jerry, was superb. Food is always better cooked outdoors in the back country, and this was up at the top of the list.
Sadly, not everyone out there has any sense of decorum. A large group was there taking over 3 of the campsites. In itself, that’s not so bad, but they were playing music so loud that the other campers, who’d come to enjoy the quiet and night skies with their new telescope, decided to leave. That was really a shame, and some other campers that came stayed a bit then also left. The only reason we didn’t stay the night is we’d already planned on leaving for town when we were done.
Looking towards the south, the Milky way against the silhouette of the hoodoos up the gulch and the walls of the gulch to west and east of us provided an awesome view. I spent as much time just admiring the sky and my surroundings as I did taking photos. This is truly a place to return to time and again with a camera. Next time, perhaps also a telescope.
To go with the photo above, here’s the view to the north of where we were. You can see the Big Dipper, Polaris, Cassiopeia, and the Milky Way. Here, too, you can see the firelight reflecting off the eastern gulch walls from the large group mentioned earlier in the post.
It just didn’t matter which direction you looked. The sky was sharp and clear, the stars bright and numerous, the rocky formations bold and silhouetted, the gulch walls dark and protective. The wind would come and go, more gently than we would discover up on the ridge on the way out.
All in all, a wonderful night.