A starry night: The Milky Way Comes Back!


Last year I discovered a new obsession. Well it isn't so new to me, as the stars and the night sky always have fascinated me, but photographing the Milky Way was new to me last year and I completely fell in love with it. As winter began and the Milky Way fell out of a good spot to photograph I was forced to stop chasing it. But here we are another year and another Milky Way season coming up. Soon the Milky Way will grace the night sky for most of the night, but for now if you wake up at 3:00 a.m. and drive to where you can see the Milky Way, you will see it rise just a little after 4 a.m. However, with the sun rising at 7:30 you only have a few hours before the sky starts to brighten up and you can no longer photograph the Milky Way.Even with the Milky Way only in the sky for a short time my new obsession wouldn't quit. So with clear skies above, I awoke at 3 a.m. got in my Jeep and drove up HWY 550 into the mountains for some Milky Way shots. Now HWY 550, also called the Million Dollar HWY, has been ranked as one of the most dangerous roads in Colorado, but thankfully I was going that far. About halfway between Durango and Silverton is Molas Pass, the highest point en route to Silverton, and a great place where I would feel safe and could get some nice Milky Way shots. After the short 45 min drive, I arrived to a very dark but very beautiful scene.Milky Way at Molas PassAfter some time I decided to head back down HWY 550 and stop along the way for some more. I had a couple of places in mind that would work really well with the where the Milky Way was positioned in the sky. My first stop was right along the road at a pull off where I had plenty of room to roam around and not worry about late night truckers flying by. I really liked how the Milky Way appeared in line with the road, almost like you could drive to it.Milky Way along HWY 550The last spot I wanted to go is one of my favorite mountain peaks on HWY 550, I have photographed it before and the Milky Way seemed to have been in a spot where it would be going right up the spine of the mountain. But I was running out of time as the sun's light was starting to lighten up my sky even though I was still an hour and half away from sunrise. So I stopped at a different spot and was able to capture my last image of the night.Blue Hour Milky WayI'm very happy to see the Milky Way back in a good spot in the night sky and I look forward to the adventures of shooting the Milky Way this summer. I hope you like the photos and if you want to see more of my Milky Way photographs, check out the Milky Way Gallery Here! If you would like to read future stories about my adventures shooting the Milky Way and many other places on this planet be sure to subscribe!