This summer I was going to try and finally get a decent Milky Way shot. But in the SF bay area you have a lot to contend with. I mean, the moon of course. I love that my Apple Watch shows me the phases of the moon. Then there is light pollution, and when you get out to a place where it's darker (usually nearer the coast), you have the fog to deal with as it floats in at night to obscure that faint bruise of stars and rocks and gas.
Don't get me wrong. I love the fog. I mean, really love it. Not sure if it's my northern european skin longing to be where it belongs, or if it's just that I run very hot, but that natural air conditioning spilling over the coastal hills in the afternoon is one of my favorite things.
Not only is it beautiful and ominous as it stacks up like snow drifts along Skyline Blvd., it's also what keeps the bay area from turning into a desert.
But I digress. And to shorten what would turn into an even longer story, suffice it to say that I got lucky a couple nights, the moon was new, the light pollution slightly muted out on Alpine Road, and the fog... I just got incredibly lucky one night.