I hurriedly pulled into Finley Point State Park on Flathead Lake in Montana. I was almost at Glacier but I needed to make this stop first. The Comet Neowise was going to be visible around sunset and I couldn’t think of a better place to get a shot of it before it disappeared for the next 6800 years. I was immediately turned away though. The park was closed to anyone not camping after 9pm.
“You’re just trying to take pictures of the stars though?” the gentleman asked. “You should be able to pull off at any of the pullouts over the next 20 miles and get a good view, and it wont cost you any money.”
I thanked him and went on my way. Locals are always trying to help around here. I really enjoyed that about Montana.
I found a pullout shortly before sunset. I set up my camera and let the oranges and purples meld together in the distance. I’ll never get tired of Montana sunsets. They simply seem so much bigger. Don’t ask me why. I can’t tell you.
Before I knew it, the sun was down and the big dipper was starting to appear in the sky. The comet was supposed to appear just below that so squinted as hard as I could trying to ease it into existence with my mind. To no avail. Sooner than I thought though, I saw it all so faintly. Little by little, it started to get brighter until I was sure of what I was looking at. Neowise was magnificent.
I clicked away for a while, playing with light and angles until I thought I had had enough. Then I turned around to see the Milky Way lite up the sky around me. Just stunning. I spent the next three hours taking pics, late into the early morning. I did eventually have to get going though even if I didn’t want to. I had a National Park to get to.
Closest Supercharger: Missoula MT 65 mi
5280 Grant Creek Rd, Missoula, MT 59808