2014 Trip Across the US & Canada

Day 294


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Badlands Interior Motel & Campground, Interior, SD - 176.4 miles, 14,291.6 For the Trip

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After putting together yesterday's page, I had an epiphany - since the sun rises in the East (well, I know, it appears to - it is actually the rotation of the Earth) the stars (and the Milky Way) do the same. While I had to wait until 2:00AM to have the Milky Way rotate to a position over Devils Tower, shooting from the west would position it earlier! Very logical, but I didn't think of it until almost too late. At 10:15PM I hopped in the RAV4 & headed back to Joyner Ridge Trail parking lot. There was still one car in the lot - not sure where the owner was, but I was there alone. Very definitely big skies with more stars than I've seen in a long time. Much darker than the campground side, and lots of interesting animal sounds, a few of which I couldn't identify, but they didn't sound big & hungry!

I set up the D700 & tripod & shot away. The first image is a single frame, but the second, while it looks smaller on the web page, is a composite put together with the Panorama tool in Photoshop to form a 4509 X 5029 pixel, 139.1MB file. It is hard to believe it could do it, but it is made up of 8 individual 30 second images that were made from random swivels of the tripod head. No order, but somehow Photoshop put them together. Should be capable of making a pretty good sized print.

I got back to the campground by 11:00, driving with my parking lights to avoid shining up everyone's tent or RV. I sure hope the guy from Quebec didn't take up my suggestion of stopping at the parking lot at 2:00AM; it probably would have been too late. If he did, I'm sorry!

Devils Tower & Milky Way
Leaving Devils Tower
Badlands National Park, SD
Badlands National Park, SD
Badlands National Park, SD
Site ?, Badlands Interior Motel & Campground

After breakfast I headed to the Badlands with a short stop for a trailer photo on the way out of the park. I've been to the Badlands before, but it has been quite awhile. This time I drove SD 44 to the town of Interior, dropped the trailer at the Interior Motel & Campground (water & electric for $25.13, sites unlabled) and entered the park from the south. The internal park road to Wall is being repaved, and made driving messy & slow, with long waits for single lane sections. I probably added a couple of hundred miles to my tires with the oil I picked up, as well as undercoated the RAV4. Glad I wasn't towing the trailer! I didn't drive all the way to Wall, but turned around in time to get a wait free drive back to Interior.

Since I have hookups, dinner will be an Amy's Indian Palak Paneer frozen meal cooked in the toaster oven on the picnic table - it is hot enough that I'm running the AC & don't want to cook inside.

Until tomorrow.

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Last Update: July 31, 2014