Head to a ghost town near Death Valley with the Skyglow Project….

Head to a ghost town near Death Valley with the Skyglow Project. Original caption:

SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM presents MOJAVE FORSAKEN – a timelapse journey through ghost towns of the Mojave Desert and the magnificent night skies there.

Flanking the infamous Death Valley to the north, west and east, once-booming mining towns of Bodie, Cerro Gordo and Rhyolite now sit in decay at mercy of the elements. In the late 19th century, as gold-hungry settlers overran the West, thousands of mining towns, some as numerous as 50,000 inhabitants, each with own Chinatown, numerous brothels and casinos, sprung up across the continent. However, as the gold and silver mines were exhausted, mining boom collapsed by the early 20th century, leaving these towns abandoned virtually overnight.

Today, Bodie, managed by National Park Service, Rhyolite, managed by Bureau of Land Management, and Cerro Gordo, managed by private owners, exist in a state of “controlled decay,” as the authorities protect the structures there from vandalism, but leave them exposed to scorching sun, vicious winds and freezing winter storms. At night, due to high elevation, clarity of the skies, and lack of sources of light pollution, these town give us a glimpse of the night sky as it would have been seen by inhabitants of these towns a century ago.

Note: The orange skies seen in the Bodie footage came from the August 2015 Walker Fire in Yosemite National Park.

MOJAVE FORSAKEN Photo Stills: http://bit.ly/2ySR0DU SKYGLOW Book Stills: http://bit.ly/2vXO7Ag Other Photos from SKYGLOWPROJECT.COM: http://bit.ly/2whWSaQ

Hiking trip in the mountains of California. Original…

Hiking trip in the mountains of California. Original caption:

Join me on a five day solo backpacking trip into the magical Sierra Nevada mountains of California. My destination was the splendid lake-filled Pioneer Basin at 11,000 feet, my third trip there. It took a two-day hike to get there. A layover day in Pioneer Basin gave me time for wandering and shooting video, and then two days to get back out. To save weight, I limited camera equipment and took few shots on the backpacking days, so most images were captured in Pioneer Basin.

You may wonder what the opening four clips are showing. It was freezing on this trip (my water bottles froze every night), and in some places water ran right down the trail and froze over on the surface. In these opening clips you are seeing water flowing underneath the still frozen surface.

It was extremely windy on the layover day in Pioneer Basin, the same wind, as it turns out, that was whipping flames in the terrible northern California fires to the west. In some clips you can actually see white caps on the lakes.