Like many urbanites, I see a depressing number of stars a year. I've lived in or around New York my entire life, and my nightly rap sheet has long been limited to (at best) the Big Dipper, North Star, occasional Orion sighting and a smattering of murky freckles. Whenever I do travel somewhere with a full sky of constellations (the Planetarium excluded) and stand with my neck craned up, I think, We should do this more often. Like a couple of old college buddies finally getting that beer.
Perfect for actually getting that plan on the calendar? National Parks at Night.
NPaN (5 images)
National Parks at Night is an adventure group offering guided, noctural photography workshops in and around some of America's (and the world's) most drop-dead resplendent places: mountains, canyons, beaches, volcanoes.
How's it work? Each "class" includes around 10-15 people and two guides, and heads to a park for a little under a week. While you don't have to be a wizard on the point-and-shoot, you should probably be comfortable using it in manual mode, and you should definitely expect lots of hiking, along with nightly camping.
The selection for trips, we might add, is pretty insane. Think Devils Tower. Shi Shi Beach. Bryce Canyon. The service is run by five guys operating out of Catskill, New York, and they're looking to spread the wealth, so at the moment each trip is a one-off. While this makes it tough to book the exact trip you want (there's a waitlist right now to get into Easter Island, Morocco and Glacier National Park), it should give you the gentle kick in the pants you need to commit to a booking and go see some stars.
For more information on booking a workshop, head here.
All images by National Parks at Night