about the site:
After spending the night at the legendary Little A'le Inn in Rachel, Nevada, I drove north hoping to find some dark skies. I had noticed in my research there was an old abandoned mine further up the Extraterrestrial Highway and headed there. Along the way, I noticed a beautiful old 1880's-style wood cabin to the east, turned off the highway and took a few nice shots (I think I have a "thing" for old windmills). Sadly, looking at Google Maps I think the cabin has been demolished and removed in the last couple of years. ;,-(
After satiating my windmill addiction, I headed back towards Gila Mill but found it was down in a valley - not very conducive for Milky Way shots. So I found a nice spot on the top of the hill and settled in for the night. As the sun was setting, I spent time calibrating my telescope and learned once again, "Charles, either do telescope shots, or camera shots... not both!. But I did catch a nice shot of a plane passing between Venus and Mercury.
As it was late May, "Milky Way Season" was in full swing, and I was able to catch a pretty nice galactic arch over Railroad Valley from the Reveille Range.
According to www.LightPollutionMap.info, this is a Bortle Class 1 location, meaning the sky is as free of light pollution as you can possibly get!
From Las Vegas, Take US-93 N to NV-375 N/State Hwy 375 in Nye County. Just after you pass over Apex Summit (there's a gypsum mine on your left), you will see exit 64 for US-93 N toward Ely/Great Basin National Monument. Take that and keep going North. When you reach Alamo or Ash Springs, that's a good time to fill up with gas. There aren't many gas stations from here on out.
Take the left towards Crystal Springs, and you'll see the famous "Extraterrestrial Highway" (Highway 375) sign. Hang to the left and drive up past Rachel. Actually, stop in there at the Little A'le Inn! They've got a great little restaurant and Alien-themed gift store. After that, keep going north on 375 for about 35 miles. You'll see a small sign on the left pointing to "Gila Mine". The road up into the valley is unpaved and somewhat undefined until you actually reach the