I haven’t posted anything for a couple weeks because were traveling! We were exploring Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in Wyoming with my hanai (adopted) parents and had little to no Internet connectivity or phone service. I meant to use the time to write a bunch of blog posts so I could start posting like a crazy person when we came home (I have such a big backlog I want to share with you all!)…but that never actually happened. Oops.

But lest you think I’m a no-account-lazy-good-for-nothing, I’ll just say that we did hike at least a couple miles almost every day, and I also set my alarm to wake up in the middle of the night and go out on the freezing porch (seriously, it was, like, 32˚ out there!) to take photos of the moon setting over Jackson Lake and the Teton mountains.

Moonset over the Tetons at Jackson Lake Lodge. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

The previous night, I had gotten up to use the bathroom and when I came stumbling back to bed, I looked out the enormous picture windows and saw an incredible, huge yellow moon about to set behind the mountains. I fumbled around trying to find hat, gloves, coat, camera, trigger and tripod…and by the time I got outside…the darn moon had already set.

The next day, we calculated about when the moon would be setting—somewhere around 3:30 in the morning—and realized it would be my last and best chance to try to catch a photo. The sun came up so early that the first light started to show a bit after 4:00am and the moon would begin to set at around that time, and later each day, within another day. It had to be that night. Fortunately for us, the timing was just perfect—we were at Jackson Lake just as the moon was at its full stage and had moved into position so that right before it set, it hovered directly over the lake and mountains.

It’s a bit of a wonder that I got this photo—and I took a bunch more—because one of my greatest luxuries in life is sleep. That and hot showers. And chocolate. And coffee. OK, so I like my luxuries. Anyway, the fact that I’d have to wake up in the middle of the night to go outside and shoot and then try to go back to sleep for another few hours’ sleep was not super exciting to me. I woke up a bit too early so the moon wasn’t in the right place, so I waited up for about two hours total, going outside a couple times and then running back in to get warm, before the moon disappeared behind the mountains and I went back to bed.

This is a two-second exposure, taken the day before the true full moon. The only light comes from the moon itself and you can see one or two little stars in the sky, too. (They could be planets…I kind of suck at that sort of thing.)

A spectacular trip, all in all. I hope to get more photos processed and posted soon. (Have to say, though—the food was, on the whole, not very exciting.)