The week of Dec. 13th I had been daydreaming about shooting stars, astrology and much more. The 13th came and I had an aching to go somewhere new and explore something I’ve never seen before. On a whim I googled meteor showers and stumbled across the 2014 Geminid meteor shower that was going to occur that night. I finally knew exactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday evening, staring up at a dark sky watching screaming hot balls of fire light it up.
I did one more quick search for the darkest spot in or just outside of the city. Templin Highway, Angeles National Forest was number one on the list and sounded perfect. It was close, 45 minutes outside of Downtown LA and a popular spot among amateur astronomers meant there would be at least some others around too.
I picked up a friend and her nephew and we headed out to Castaic. We exited “the 5” and tentatively drove the .7 miles east until we spotted the dark, wide gravel lot around 9 p.m. We bundled up in extra layers and stepped out of the car. The show had already started and we were the only ones there to watch it for a good hour.
Other spectators slowly arrived as the night progressed. Some were in trucks, others in convertibles, and even some in campers that brought out small tents. But no matter how they chose to share the experience everyone was there for the same common purpose. To watch the amazing sky.
It was absolutely gorgeous. Stars were flying across the sky every minute and it didn’t matter which way you looked. Some were soft streaks that you would barely see while others were so bright you swore they were going the strike the earth before they burned up. We were in constant awe, shouting out each time we saw one. We were so excited we would forget to make wishes. It didn’t matter much though. We must have seen over 100 or 200 shooting stars that night. There were plenty of wishes to be had.
Eventually, much later than every website had predicted, the half moon rose above the mountains. It was a beautiful sight and was the cap of our night. We watched the stars a little longer and then headed back to our bright city. An amazing evening and an amazing experience.