This week I hiked up to Sawtooth Lake and spent the night. It was my first solo backpacking trip since my twenties nearly forty years ago. The Sawtooth region in Idaho has been declared an International Dark Sky site. I wanted to observe the sky around a new moon. On the way up I ran into a few groups of day hikers but nobody was camping. I arrived at the southern end of the lake around two pm. I set up my tent, spent a few hours shooting pictures, ate a small dinner, boiled tea – the best tea is still made on backpacking burners – and watched the sunset. I was entirely alone in the valley. The sky was dark. The mountains blocked the horizon on all sides but I could easily see the Milky Way arching through the Summer Triangle. All the stars of the Little Dipper were visible and the fuzzy patch of the Andromeda Galaxy stood out. The only artificial lights I saw were occasional blinking planes. It was easily the most gloriously dark I spot I have seen in years.