Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a Week long adventure to Idaho to go fishing with a co-worker. It was a great opportunity to take some photos camping under extremely dark skies. Our first stop was in Wyoming at the Curt Gowdy State Park. We pulled up to our campsite and it was darker than I've experienced in recent memory. It was so dark that I could see the Milky Way in the sky! I set up the camera and took a shot. The trees were lit by the campfire. I knew then that I would be able to not only enjoy my experience but also capture it to share.
The next day we traveled through Idaho trying to find a good place to set up and get to the fishing. Alas, we could not find a great place that would afford us both a place to set camp and be able to fish. We'll know for next time that during summer weekends all of the state parks in the area fill up and are reserved. So, we didn't get to fish, but we still had a nice place to stay with a fantastic view at the Massacre Rocks State Park and of the greatest facilities that I would sorely miss later in the week was there as well, a shower! At first I thought that I wouldn't be able to get a good view of the sky because of the cloud cover and light pollution, but after a few hours those problems went away.
The next day, we were routed through some dirt roads for a few hours and found our way to the Blackfoot Reservoir. We set up our camp right next to the water and settled in with our new family for the week, free ranging cattle. The area was pretty remote. When we pulled into the area there were only a few other people camping mostly with their RVs and generators. We however made due with a bivee, a canopy, and a deep cycle battery to keep a few small electronics charged. We were in a paradise. The lake was quiet and teeming with our quarry the mirror carp. I've seen carp before in Texas, but they were always an ugly fish that although large was never something I wanted to bring in. This trip changed that perspective. They can be quite beautiful with a myriad of different scale patterns that glimmer in the sun and look a lot like "apple slices".
Our time at Blackfoot was not completely without incident. On the third day, thunderstorms rolled through. We thought that they may pass us right by, but with the mountain winds they were swirled right back to us and we had to take shelter from the hail inside the bivee. Of course once inside we were oblivious to how bad the storm was getting until for a brief moment my phone had data access and we got a Google weather alert for the tornado warning that was issued for the storm that was right on top of us. There was nowhere to hide. Luckily the storm moved on without too much happening to us. The winds picked up enough that we had to reel in a couple hundred yards of line, but that really isn't that big of a task with the gear we were using.
We continued on after the storm and caught more fish, relaxed in the beautiful Idaho summer weather, and enjoyed the sights. It was a wonderful respite from the summer heat that is starting to pick up in Texas, but I'm definitely glad to be home where showers, electricity, water, and cold beer are abundant!