Every year for my birthday, we take a trip of some sort.  In 2015 we hopped down to Houston where we visited four Texas State Parks. 2016 was a spur of the moment Texas History trip to Gonzales and Goilad, Texas. While in 2017, we visited the Ouachita National Forest are hitting many Arkansas State Parks.  This year we went on a County Collecting trip and we stayed over night at the Hercules Glades Wilderness Fire Tower within the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri.  It was easy to convince Ren to camp because the weather was going to be beautiful and we would be using the hammocks, she just loves the hammocks. We had built hammock stands so the set up and break down was quick and easy; I think that is why she loves it so much.

This camping area is home to one of the many fire towers within the Mark Twain National Forest.  These fire towers are actually stilled used today to help locate fires in the area.  You are also able to rent some of the unmanned towers to stay in during the summers.  For more information on this, please see https://www.nationalforests.org/blog/nine-questions-about-lookout-towers.  We had no idea this was a possibility so we just camped here.  The camping in this area is free and we had the area all to ourselves until about 2:00 AM and one hiker that was camped somewhere along the hiking trail.

We were extremely lucky to have such a beautiful, clear night so I was able to take some good night sky photos. The camera I use is a mirrorless Sony A6000; it is light and easy to use.  My settings for these photos are ISO 8000, F-stop is 3.5, and I shoot for 15 seconds.  I was extremely happy with the outcome of these photos.

Thanks so much for taking a look,
Scott