I Have The Heavens All To Myself - Trona Pinnacles
Most of the time, I enjoy hanging out with other travelers, friends, etc. But sometimes, I like to explore alone. Trona PInnacles, near Ridgecrest in the Mojave Desert in California, is such a place. While I was there in the evening taking long exposure night sky photos, such as this one showing the celestial movements of the stars, I was the only one there. Although this place is popular among filmmakers, particularly for science fiction movies, no filmmakers were present. I could wander, explore, and take photos to my heart's content in the day and the evening. Except for the occasional train in the distance, all was quiet.
In the photo, the glow is the tiny town of Trona in the distance. The photo is entitled "Trona Glow Star Trails", and was also won first prize in the LA Times Travel Section in September 2013 for Best Travel Photo.
And if it won best travel photo, chances are this is a pretty good place to go to...even if almost no one knows about it.
But now, YOU do. :D
And yes, it's free. Just show up. You do need to drive on dirt roads for a few miles to get to the Pinnacles from Hwy. 178. Here is a map, and that's very sweet of me. :D No, seriously, this is a more accurate map of where the Pinnacles are actually located than the map above, so follow this one: