once in a while, you find out about a hidden pocket of wonder in our massive world and it suddenly becomes absolutely mandatory that you find and witness it for yourself.

and sometimes, you’re lucky enough to find out that this magical place ย is just a 5.5 hour car trip away from you.

such is the case of a “little” place called: cherry springs state park in pennsylvania.

upon skimming one of my many random magazine subscriptions, i found a brief description of a park i had never heard of. the article spoke of this magical place having the darkest night skies on the east coast and boasted of a dreamy, clear night sky full of stars and all sorts of astronomical wonders. three words came to mind: sign me up. {ok – in reality, it was probably more like 5 words; exciting things tend to warrant an expletive or two. ;)}

and so, after some online research, a reliable dog sitter {thanks mom!} and a good reason to finally go – perseids meteor shower, we set track this past weekend on a 5.5 hour voyage to see, well, the universe.

the 5.5 hour trip there wasn’t as excruciating as i thought it would be – at least not as the passenger. ๐Ÿ™‚ the last hour or so was, hands down, the most interesting of our voyage. in this hour, we lost all cell phone coverage, were on a very isolated, tree-lined road with little sign of civilization and were greeted by a pretty awesome black bear crossing the road. we finally arrived at our destination around 7pm-ish and were excited to see that we weren’t the only ones there after a lonely hour on the road. at this point, we were unsure what to expect of our adventure, but were super excited nonetheless. after watching a short and long film about astronomy in the pitch dark of the park, we heard the last thing we wanted to hear: the clouds were being relentless and we wouldn’t be able to see much of anything that night. i would be lying if i didn’t say that i was slightly disappointed; i was looking for a clear glimpse of universe magic, and all i got was a sky full of clouds.

after a little pouting, nap in the warm car, and a glimpse of the moon, i realized that: despite there not being a sky full of stars and visions of meteor showers, i had done something on my bucket list, which is pretty damn magical and astronomical in and of itself. ๐Ÿ™‚

so, next time, because there will be a next time {aurora borealis: i’m coming for you!}, i will check the weather and make sure the forecast is: clear skies all damn day. and until then, i will just make the most of the random partly cloudy skies that the universe throws our way.

and here are some pics for your viewing pleasure:

this is what i expected to see –

ย picture from the cherry springs state park dark sky fund website, which can be found here.

what i actually got to see –

picture courtesy al’s picture-taking of the moon, while i napped. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

finally here!

one of two fields.

one of three astronomy domes on the other field.

and, on that note, hope your weekend was out of this world. ๐Ÿ˜‰

<3 always,

ana patricia

ย have you recently done something on your bucket list?


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