It’s that time of the year when the skies are clear and the stars beckon us to view ourselves as part of a larger galaxy.

Helen Pelster, a parent from the Truckee Robotics team, invited me out for a few nights of shooting around Donner Pass. Our first trek to Sardine Peak was a long drive for a not great shot, but our second hike up Donner Pass to Castle Peak was spectacular.

We ascended the peak at sunset, and we were high up on the ridge as the sky got dark, the bats came out, and the stars appeared. After 10pm it was dark enough to shoot, and we did until about midnight, when it was time for the climb down.

The next weekend I returned the favor with some younger friends, who were so excited to see the Milky Way with their naked eyes, and try to capture it with their iPhones.