I really hadn’t thought much past the Grand Canyon stop as far as photo opportunities. The weather along the North Rim was disappointingly overcast. Our next hotel was Flanigans, located right outside of Zion and I figured I could scout around and find some compositions. Driving through the park, however, to get there was an absolute revelation and the sights would become the highlight of our trip. Definitely going back as we only scratched the surface. #zion http://www.mikereidphotography.com
No bugs! Tons of berries. The sky seemed to be coming together for a nice sunset so I headed up to the trailhead around 4pm. Lots of hikers in the meadow picking berries. Lots of lupine around the area past the junction to Railroad Grade. I climbed up to my favorite tarn and watched the sky evolve. Around 830, I headed back to the trailhead with headlamp on. Met one party climbing up to camp including Scruffy the Trail Shizhu 🙂 Visions of that little dog scampering up the trail powered me back to my car.
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Finally visited the Chain Lakes trail near Mount Baker. Baker itself was hidden in the clouds but there were tons of wildflowers to be seen along the trail.
I should add that this trip was an experiment using permethrin spray from Sawyer. Trying to avoid DEET if possible. I coated my shirt, zip off pants, hat, pack and shoes with the stuff the day before, as directed. I found it really helps ward off the bugs. I used nothing else and they seemed to stay away. I think I should also spray my tripod, and I wish I could dip my camera in it too. The bugs seemed to swarm around it. I would wave them away, take the shot and they would swarm back.
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Facing a really busy July, it was time to get out a bit for a challenging overnight. My friend and I chose Colchuck for a nice outing. We had some new ultralight gear to try out. The trail is in great shape and snow free but not bug free. We found a great campsite near the boulder field and set up for the night. Encountered many other hikers and climbers. Impressed with the massive packs and loads others were carrying. A few borrowed our water filter system and others stopped to chat about conditions. Rained all night but sunny and 80s the next day. An amazing adventure. Sony a7r was a dream with the two lenses I brought: Zeiss 18mm and 50mm. My tent was a Tarptents Contrail and my sleeping bag was a Mountain Hardwear Speed 32. The Contrail was especially impressive after a night of rain and winds. It was still standing and dried quickly. My Granite Gear Vapor Trail also did very well with its 25lb load and most of the time I was unaware of it on my back.
Visited Baker Lake again this morning to look for Mount Baker reflections. Left at 445am. Found many bear tracks, a few geese and a couple of nice reflections. Really mean to go back again earlier for sunrise reflections but the whole leaving at 3am thing seems to conspire against me.
The water level is a lot higher now with snow meltoff which is a plus for reflections. Now If I can just throw myself out of bed earlier…