The month of September looked very promising as the new moon allowed back to back weekend trips just like August. However, a lingering storm from Baja Mexico stalled over Northern Mexico and SE California and that changed everything. The first weekend was a rain and cloud fest as predicted by several agencies so I did not even make the trip. The next weekend looked a bit better so I packed up and headed out but I was greeted with rain as I pulled off the highway and on to the dirt road that leads to the site. This happens at times but often the sky clears in the afternoon and stays that way all night. This was not one of those nights. I managed to capture three 15 minute exposures and finally gave up and went to bed.
I woke up at sunrise and it was beautiful, clear, and hot. I was thinking that the front had passed and we were in for a good weekend of imaging. Several hours went by and I decided to make the drive to town for some lunch. There were a few thunderstorm clouds to the East so I decided to cover my equipment and I’m glad I did because here is what I saw driving back to the site after lunch. The road was washed out so I stopped for a bit to let the water recede. During my 15 minute wait I decided to pack up and head home once the rain stopped. When the road cleared I finished the drive to the site and parked next to my equipment. Here is what I saw waiting for the rain to stop. After an hour or so I caught a break in the rain and tore everything down, packed up, and headed home.
There is always a risk of bad weather in the high desert. It doesn’t matter what a weather report or Clear Sky chart says even though they can typically be accurate. This weekend the reports happened to be wrong and I decided to cut my loss after 24 hours. I have done this before and have it clear up after I left but this time it was the right decision as it intermittently rained all weekend and the nights never cleared.