I saw around 50 shooting stars in a single night, yes 50. I might have shallowly seen a meteor before but hadn’t seen in all its glory. This year there were so many articles about Perseid Meteor shower but I hadn’t made any serious plans until 2 days back. A meetup friend asked me and I decided to go to Rattlesnake hike/lake for viewing.
We carpooled and reached Rattlesnake trailhead around 8:30 PM where there were already quite a number of cars parked alongside the road. It was late in the evening and had started to get dark. I had left my headlamp at home and it was quite dramatic to reach the Rattlesnake ledge. When I was near to the ledge when Ying recognized me even in the dark which took me by surprise. I met many meetup friends and it felt nice to having known so many. It was a half moon day and the moon lit the mountains around scantily which was so soothing and beautiful to look at. This made me add hiking in the full moon to my bucket list. The weather was perfect and we couldn’t ask for better: clear sky, not too cold and almost non existent breeze. There were many people on the ledge waiting for the showers. We secured our spot, laid down and started looking at the sky for the showers. Slowly the meteors began to appear and I saw the brightest and the best of the showers there. It felt that the meteor was very close and I could clearly see its tail which lasted for more than a second. It was amazing and every time a meteor appeared in the sky, people would get excited and make noise. The meetup organizer decided to hike down and I descended with the help of others headlamps.
It was around 12 AM and the parking lot was like a downtown with many hundreds of cars and people. I got my Yoga Mat, blanket, bedsheet, snacks and settled down near the lake. It was Ying’s birthday and we all sang the wishes to her. The showers had become more frequent by now but I somehow felt the view from the ledge was better. Gaurav was kind of drunk and everytime he saw an meteor he kept shouting “Nikhil, did you see that?” There were lot of crazy people around the lake and atmosphere was lively. I kept counting the meteors and counted till around 50 before we left for home. It was an amazing night and I might continue doing this in the future.