Showing posts with the label photos

Photo Friday: Dayhiking the Wallowa Mountains

Since some of you may be wondering where the Wallowas are: they are a small range in the far NE corner of Oregon, in part at least renowned for having a bit of a feel of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains--without so much altitude! Back in September I did a road trip with my brother- and sister-in-law, beginning with several days around the Wallowa Mountains and three scenic dayhikes, mostly within the Eagle Cap Wilderness. Hike #1 was a 7 1/2-mile round trip to Bonney Lake. The road to the trailhead was a little rough, but passable with my Prius. YMMV. After a short stretch of pleasant valley bottom and a stream crossing, a big chunk of the middle of the hike to the lake was through an area that had burned in a fire within the last year or two--very fresh still. Nothing like finding your trail signs well-blackened. We eventually climbed above the burn and into the sub-alpine meadows. This part felt more like the Rockies than the Sierra. Pretty sure that was volcanic, though, so

Photo Friday: Alpine Lakes Part 4--ending strong in the rain

I started last month with t he first two days of this 8-day, 65-mile excursion. Two weeks ago we covered three more days , into the heart of the wilderness--and the thick of the smoke. And last week we saw the end of the smoke at last. Today, we'll finish strong with some great scenery and a last, rainy day to make me happy to be going home. Day 7 After three days of smoke, the promise of the previous afternoon's wind was fulfilled, and I awoke to largely clear skies (see last week's post). I enjoyed the early morning light, but didn't linger over the photography, aware that I had a long day ahead of me. Looking across an inlet to the camping peninsula and Chikamin Peak. It's perhaps only slightly discouraging that one has to start by climbing the 200' back up to the PCT before the day's climb really begins. Views from the trail encourage rest breaks. Spectacle Lake. The Four Brothers to the left, Chikamin Peak flirting with a cloud on the right. The climb

Photo Friday: Alpine Lakes Part 3

A couple of weeks ago I started with t he first two days of this 8-day, 65-mile excursion. Last week we covered three more days , into the heart of the wilderness--and the thick of the smoke.  Today we pick up with Day 6 .  Naturally, I had hoped to wake up to clear skies. Alas, that was not to be my fate. I began my 3400' descent in smoke as thick or thicker than ever.   As with rainy weather, the smoke forced me to shift my attention to the closer details. I spent some time studying and photographing the texture of this long-dead snag. I was more excited about what I heard and saw a moment later. Ptarmigan. There were several trotting around (don't break your brain hunting; there's only one in the photo). The day's hike spent a lot of time in old burn areas. They can be a little bleak, but were also the only places that there were wildflowers. Fireweed and (I think) yarrow. Eventually I dropped down out of the burn and into Lemah Meadow, or as close as the trail come

Photo Friday: Alpine Lakes Part 2

Last week I shared photos from the first two days of this 8-day, 65-mile excursion. Today we're going to enjoy one last clear day, then head into the smoke that wreathed the middle three days of the trip. Day 3: Dayhike After my killer long second day, I was happy to be in place for a layover day, with plans to either hike up Mt. Daniel (pretty ambitious) or visit Circle Lake. But first I had to enjoy the fantastic morning light. Light filters between cloud layers to illuminate The Citadel. The waters of Peggys Pond were calm, a condition that didn't last. Despite taking my time over photos and breakfast, I was headed out shortly after 8. By then even in our sheltered nook the breeze had picked up considerably. Clouds blowing over the top of Cathedral Peak Out of curiosity, I began by following the signs that pointed to a backcountry toilet. It took me a ways off my route, and I calculated later that the loo was more than 1/3 mile from the pond. Well clear of any risk of conta