Reno, Nevada, Washoe County, USA by Vanessa Bowser

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My husband and I left Alabama to visit his brother in Reno, Nevada. One of our adventures was a dune buggy ride from his home to an area known as "Moon Rocks." As this was my first ever buggy ride and my first time exploring the desert, I was thankful for the suggestion by my brother-in-law to put my camera bag in a large garbage bag for the bumpy and dusty trip. This Alabama girl was not prepared for the amount of dust riding through the desert creates. The super-fine dust finds its way into every possible spot.

Moon Rocks is an area north of Reno that is only accessible by off-road vehicles and is a popular place with locals to trail ride. It is evident how this place became known as "Moon Rocks" because of the unusual color of the rock formations compared to the rest of the landscape in the area. We had beautiful weather for our September adventure and were there in the middle of the day which made capturing the landscape a challenge with the harsh mid-day light. While the guys rode trails and climbed hills in the buggies, I walked around and captured photos of this uniquely beautiful landscape.

My gear consists of a Canon EOS 6D Mark II and two lenses. I used my Canon EF 24-105 to capture this shot and all the others that day. Early fall and late spring are the best times to visit this area and an off-road vehicle is required. The desert can be miserably hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Don't forget your sunscreen regardless of the time of year. Also, be prepared to protect your gear from fine dust during the journey and clean your camera and lenses promptly after your adventure. We made a few other stops during our off road trip desert trip that day, but the images captured on the "moon" were my favorite.


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