Fall colors were beckoning out on Highway 20. Its a bit of a drive to this wonderland from Seattle, but oh so worth it. There are several awesome fall colors hikes along the highway. We arrived at the Blue Lake trailhead in the afternoon to a full parking lot and cars parked out on Highway 20. When we came back after sunset, the lot was empty.
This trail is in great shape. No stairsteps over roots, mostly dry. Came across several people with dogs. I love seeing dogs on the trail. Honestly most dogs treat the wilderness better than many people. Anyway the lake and the larches are spectacular. Incredible views in every direction. A short easy hike with incredible payoff. Warming up for the Enchantments next week and this is a nice introduction. #larches #fallcolors
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.
I’m going to say yes to fall foliage although I may have been imagining it. Bugs were a bit less than the last time I was there and Baker didn’t show (clouds). So I ventured up again last night and hiked in, as everyone was hiking out, intent on finding a nice spot near Iceberg Lake. I got to the lake just as the alpenglow was peaking and got a few shots. Then I scouted about for a camping spot and pitched my tent. I got up around 1am for a few Milky Way shots then back in the sack. Scouting around for photos in the morning, I was struck by the abundance of ripe huge berries 🙂 I slipped at one point and ended up with berries all over my backside. Looked like blood. Maybe that was why no one would pick me up at Austin Pass for a ride to AP. Speaking of which, doing this loop starting at Artists Point is highly recommended. Going the other way coming up from Austin Pass looked like quite the slog.
I recently shipped off my Canon 5D Mark II to move my gear in the direction of the new mirror-less Sony A7R. I had rented the Sony enough times to convince myself it was a worthy swap. I think it was mostly the size of the camera and the dynamic range of the sensor that convinced me. So far I haven’t had any regrets. For those of you who haven’t heard, the big deal is that Sony, the maker of the sensor in the Nikon D800e, widely considered to be the Holy Grail of landscaping cameras, decided to put the same full frame sensor into its own model, the A7R. There are some shortcomings; mainly miserable battery life, lack of native lenses, slowish AF, no optical VF, etc.. You can go read the whines over on FM for more details. For me, since if a person wanders into my photo, I patiently wait for them to move on so as to not ruin the image, AF isn’t a big deal. Once you settle on an adapter for your lenses of choice (mine being Zeiss primes), you find heaven.
Ok so this is the opposite direction of the sun, and any potential sunstars, but it signifies the beginning of my muddy journey to the sunstar catching position. This is the field on Best Road in Skagit. Chances are I will be back there tonight.