Nighttime in Nevada: Cathedral Gorge State Park


After five days without a shower, the 25 cent hot showers at Nevada’s Cathedral Gorge State Park was what I was most anxious to see upon my arrival. It was the furthest south that I made it during this portion of my nighttime in Nevada photography trip, and I have to say that those showers are the nicest of any state park that I have visited. Most national parks and state parks don’t have showers at all, and it is really nice when they are available in the desert, where it is typically over 1oo degrees. Okay, that’s enough about the showers. I just wanted to let my fellow travelers know that they are available at Cathedral Gorge State Park, which is also a very beautiful and unique place to visit. 

I wouldn’t say that I’ve officially quit drinking alcohol, but I haven’t had a drop since the Superbowl, so after the shower I went to a bar in Caliente to watch the NBA Finals and drink iced tea. I’ve always been a California boy at heart, so I was happy to see them win. Once the game ended, I headed back to the park because it was dark enough to start my photography. I walked around for an hour while looking for a place to setup and even came across a couple rattlesnakes. I’m so glad that they have those rattles! Don’t hike in the desert while wearing headphones. Once I found a spot to shoot from, I shot some tests for a while and began my time-lapse. My camera was fairly well-hidden, and the park was relatively empty, so I set my alarm for 3:30 AM and went to sleep while the camera continuously shot 30-second exposures all night long.

Milky Way over Nevada's Cathedral Gorge State Park

Milky Way over Nevada’s Cathedral Gorge State Park

When I returned to my camera at 3:45 AM, I was really upset because a spider had built a web on the hood of my Rokinon 14mm f2.8 lens, my favorite lens for night photography. I hurried back to my laptop to process the images through Lightroom to see how bad was the photographic damage. Thankfully, the spider waited until after the heart of the Milky Way was in the best spot. If you watch the video below, you can see when it shows up. Once I use this for my real time-lapse video project, I will have to edit out the last 20% or so from this segment. You can double click on the video to view it in full-screen.

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