Guadalupe Mountains National Park – Day 1

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 21mm, f/1, 25 sec, ISO3200
“Nightlife” Salt Flat, 2021

Today my friend and I drove out to Guadalupe Mountains National Park to begin a long weekend of camping and hiking. It was the first time to the park for both of us so we were excited to explore the new park, and the ~8-hour journey seemed to go by quickly.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 20.5mm, f/7.1, 1/1500 sec, ISO640
“Park Sign” Salt Flat, 2021

We reserved a campsite at the Pine Springs Campground online and when we arrived we immediately set up our tents and got the site in order with our camp kitchen, lanterns, and food. The sun goes down quickly these days! By the way, I highly recommend site #18. It’s set back a ways from the road and has some nice views of the mountains and is great for watching the sunrise.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/4.5, 1/220 sec, ISO640
“Campsite 18” Salt Flat, 2021

For dinner we splurged with some Japanese Miyazaki steaks which were amazing on the grill, and cold beer and refreshing whiskey sodas made for some tasty beverages!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/90 sec, ISO3200
“Steak Dinner” Salt Flat, 2021

After cleaning up, we set up our tripods and camera gear to capture the amazing night skies. We got lucky with the weather as the skies were clear and our timing was nice because of the new moon and as a bonus, the Geminid Meteor Shower was just beginning. The coolest thing I saw was a line of light moving across the sky. While it was dark on the ground, a plane’s contrail up at 30,000 feet was lit up, but disappeared only a short distance behind it. The effect looked like a train moving across the sky, or even like a white dragon. One of the neatest things I have ever seen! I don’t have video of it, but in the photo below, just imagine that line moving slowly across the sky from left to right, with the line not changing size. Incredible!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 21mm, f/1, 20 sec, ISO3200
“Dragon’s Flight” Salt Flat, 2021

Tomorrow we have a long hike to Guadalupe Peak, which is the highest peak in Texas… it’s going to be fun!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 21mm, f/1, 25 sec, ISO3200
“Star Trails” Salt Flat, 2021

2 thoughts on “Guadalupe Mountains National Park – Day 1

  1. Wow, incredible photos! I’ve never seen the Milky Way at night, as I live right smack dab in the city, but it’d be the dream to capture such wonders in the sky someday. Enjoy your trip out there (and stay safe)!

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