I had planned on going to Waldo Lake this morning for sunrise, but the cloud cover forecast changed and I didn’t think I would get a colorful sunrise. I figured I wouldn’t go, but then I got an Aurora alert.
The Aurora alert showed a possible 7.0kp level storm at 2:00am. So I hopped in the pick up and drove to Waldo Lake. I got to Shadow Bay around midnight and took a few pictures of the Milky Way. The Milky Way is toward the south this time of year.
Looking North, I kept checking for the red and purple colors that show up with the Northern Lights at this latitude, but no northern lights showed up. I did capture an image with a nice reflection of the Big Dipper in the lake. The Big Dipper is almost lost in all the other stars in the sky, but the reflection is clearly visible. Low hanging smoke from the forest fires added a little bit of an orange glow to the city lights and the forest fire near Sisters looked like it was participating with an orange glow as well.
With no cell service I couldn’t see if the Aurora forecast changed. I looked on the way home, while waiting for a cup of coffee, and it had been revised downward to a level that wouldn’t show any of the Aurora. Some idiots in the campground were screaming and yelling, they sounded like howler monkeys, until about 1:30. Where is the forest patrol when you need them? I crawled into my sleeping bag around 2:00 and got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep. There was just enough smoke and the color of Venus’s Belt to make this a beautiful sunrise.
I walked the trail back to the truck, then over to the Shadow Bay boat launch as the sun was just coming over the tree tops.
Other than the noise from the campground, Sunday morning was a good day to be out. Some sure signs that fall is on the way, 40 degrees in the morning and the huckleberries are getting ripe.