June 20, 2016
Point Imperial would be the place with a grand eastern view for the Solstice moon rise, except for a heavy haze of smoke from fires south of Grand Canyon plus the low clouds.
Sunset at 7:48 wouldn’t really be visible from my chosen moon rise location at 7:56.
Walked down the upper Ken Patrick trail a wee bit with compass in hand looking for a view with Mount Hayden and a little foreground, yet I held no hope for a horizon line moon rise.
Set up the tripod, a very rare occurrence for me, and focused on where I thought the moon might rise.
Thirty minutes later as it got darker I was ready to give up. Packed the camera and headed back to the parking lot. Two other Rangers were there so we chatted and finally the moon made a slight appearance between the clouds. We all hurriedly set up tripods and started experimenting with camera settings. The moon wasn’t giving us much light.
Then the clouds slid back over the moon and we could barely see any glow at all.
Yet we still stood in awe and talked about the beginning of summer. Then more glow appeared on the edge of the clouds.
And soon we could see the moon itself trying to break through as it climbed higher in the sky.
But this was like a dance with the clouds also continuing to rise in an effort to obscure the moon.
And when the moon finally won we all scrambled to change camera settings to reduce the brilliance but lost sight of the clouds. Then I changed to my 55-300mm lens and enjoyed the late strawberry moon as big as I could make it.
But the clouds returned.
By 9:30 the clouds were drifting in again and I call it quits. So much for a huge Solstice moon rise over Grand Canyon’s North Rim.
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