Like most people we have been sheltered at home for many months. For most of this time we have felt relatively safe, Arizona getting less than anticipated number of infections. Then, a few weeks ago, things changed. Businesses opened, people congregated, infections soared. It was time to get out of Dodge.

Our destination is Moab, the gateway to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Our primary photographic purpose is to shoot the night sky, mostly the Milky Way. We are eager to try and feel some normalcy in our lives, camera in hand, away from home, in a national park.

The big question is, can we get there? Would there be Utah state troopers at the border prohibiting our entrance? Certainly New York and New Jersey do not want us. Would Utah? Could we get out of Scottsdale where enforcement has increased their diligence?

Eager to get this journey going I woke prior to the 4:30am alarm. We packed the car and slowly made our way onto the highway, doing everything we could to stay under the radar. With Scottsdale behind us we realized no one cared if we left. They were probably happy to see us go. Hours later we approached the Utah border. This was the moment of truth. Would we be sent back home, tails tucked between our legs. We made sure we were under the speed limit and made our way. We could see the, “Welcome to Utah” sign in the distance. But there were no authorities to be seen. Perhaps they were hiding behind the sign.  I thought of gunning it, pedal to the metal. Cooler head prevailed and I made a cautious approach. All of a sudden, we were in Utah. Again, no one was there. Nobody cared. Even in a pandemic, we were free to roam. I’ve been reading way too many WWII spy novels recently.

Safely in Moab we made our way Arches NP to photograph Balanced Rock, a 128-foot-tall teetering giant rock. We’ve been here a few times before when we were neophytes with the camera. This time we were hoping for a brilliant sunset with clouds lit in a kaleidoscope of colors. As you can see, it did not happen.  

Balanced Rock

A partial sun peeked out right before it set giving a little color on the rocks. It wasn’t perfect. But, it wasn’t bad either.

At least there were some pretty clouds in a different direction. Too bad these weren’t above Balanced Rock.

Clouds Over Arches

Interesting looking clouds, just in the wrong spot.

After sunset we saw lightning in the distance. It was a perfect time to try our new lightning trigger (called MIOPS). It worked flawlessly.


We’ve always been fascinated with lightning. Now capture it.

It wasn’t perfect but it was fun. It was especially great to feel somewhat normal again, even for only a few hours.

Remember, it’s all about the light (ning)!