Week 25: Portrait Silhouette

June 20, 2016 – Summer solstice holds a special place in my heart. Brian and I got married on the solstice, a date Brian picked. He isn’t an overtly romantic guy, but man, when he lets romance fly, he does it right. He said he chose that date because he wanted our happiest day to fall on the longest day of the year (the 21st in 1998). Dreamy, right?

WeddingFor our eighteenth solstice as husband and wife, we set out on an adventure. The long summer days were perfect for this week’s Dogwood assignment of Portrait in Silhouette.


WEEK 25: Portrait/Silhouette

Expose for the background and let your subject fall into shadow.
Shape is important this week!

This wasn’t my planned shot. My original vision involved Brian and a dirt bike, but sometimes you have to go with the flow. The heat wave would have made gearing up for a ride pretty miserable. And hey! We were out in this amazing place for a stellar sunset.

Not since 1948 has there been a full moon on summer solstice. We wanted a wide open space to view the spectacle. Brian and I packed up a bunch of food, loaded ten gallons of water in the truck (no exaggeration), along with our sleeping bags, and headed into The Heart of the Mojave for an overnight adventure. Things didn’t quite go as planned.


Driving along this dirt road the temperature reached 122. YES. 122 degrees!! Insane. I grabbed my camera to shoot the temp, but by the time I got it set, it dropped a degree.


Incidentally, this road turned out to be the WRONG road, even though Siri and Google maps both tried to steer us this way. I should have listened to Brian, who insisted we needed Cadiz Road instead. Silly me thought the computer would know better. Nope! We whipped a u-turn at the dead-end, headed back to 62, and continued east.


A while later, we approached the correct turn and Brian mentioned being hungry, so I reached into the backseat to pull something from the food bag. This was where the adventure went further awry.

The food bag wasn’t there.

NOOOOO!!! We were out in the middle of nowhere for an overnighter, hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and had no food. We puzzled about what happened to the bag. Did we leave it in a parking lot while rearranging?

And then I remembered.

The cooler bag had been staged by the door with our other stuff, but a delay inspired me to stick the bag back in the fridge to keep cold. As we were leaving, I saw the food bag was gone from the table and figured Brian packed it, TOTALLY forgetting I’d put it in the fridge.


Sadly, I’m not the kind of person who can fast for 24 hours. But we couldn’t miss this amazing event! The full moon hadn’t happened on this day in 70 years!!

Change of plans. We headed back into 29 Palms, grabbed some snacks from a grocery store, and high-tailed it back to the Mojave, racing the impending sunset. We didn’t have enough time to get to our original destination, so instead ended up in the Sheephole Wilderness Valley.


The sun began to set.


I grabbed several dancer silhouette shots. This was my second choice photo. Much better dancer form, but I like the sharper profile and seeing the boot on the ground in the first choice photo.

Dancer2Then the “Honey Moon” began to rise, and yes, it truly was honey colored. So spectacular.

The HoneyMoon


Pretty great way to welcome in Summer. After the moonrise we headed back to our weekend place in Yucca Valley, got a good night’s sleep, packed up the FOOD this time!! And headed to the dunes to celebrate our anniversary. More on that and our cool ruins camp spot in a post to follow.


Brian and Lori


Later gators!

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