I've been planning my big trip for the first week of May to Moab, Utah for the last couple of months. I'm looking forward to photographing the arches of "Arches National Park" and the vastness of "Canyonlands National Park". Using the web to research the area and attractions to optimize the most of my time there to capture the most images.
While researching I found "Dead Horse Point State Park", a dinosaur museum with over 100 life size dinosaur statues scattered thru out the landscape, places to view dinosaur tracks in the stone as well as ancient "Rock Art". And let's not forget the La Sal Mountains & Colorado River Scenic Drives. Moab even has a website(www.discovermoab.com) with links to the different attractions and best time of day to photograph them. This will be a great asset and time saver as I can plan where to be when I need to be at the right time of day to capture the best possible images.
The last couple of weeks I've been checking out my camera equipment and what I might need. I decided on getting a new carbon-fiber tripod made by Manfrotto from B&H Photo (www.B&H.com). It folds down to only 16" which is great for travel. Doing so early enough I was able to purchase extra quick-release plates for my additional cameras & lenses, since the plates I have now are different from the new ones and are not interchangeable. Imagine ordering new equipment at the last minute and not knowing till you get out in the field that you can't use it because you're missing something you didn't know you needed. This is why I always recommend getting everything together two months in advance. It will give you time to review all manuals and equipment and give it a local field test so you are familiar with it. I also took the time to review my camera's manual to learn how to use the "Astrotracer" function so I can try my hand at some Milky Way shots while I'm there as there is virtually no light pollution and there will be a new moon and a meteor shower that week. I found out to use this feature on my Pentax K-3, that I needed a GPS unit that attaches to the hotshoe. I've ordered and received one and have learned how to calibrate it, which is easier than how the instructions look.
I'll be working on some of my images and posting my favorites to the site while I'm in Moab, the rest I will leave till I return back home.