Day 1. Snow Lake
Fill the bottles with water. Put up backpack on. Drink as much water as possible. First step on the trail. What an exciting moment. Next step. And next. Just keep moving.
The first day of trip it was walking most of the day. We had occasional stops for water refill from a creek, sometimes for a photo opportunity (so to speak, more likely just to catch some breath). For breakfast, lunch and whenever hungry we were we only had energy bars.
Here is a creek we took water from and one of the photo opportunities we stopped for:
This way we got to Upper Snow Lake. It was not Enchantment Lakes yet. It was at the base or a steep part of the trail to Enchantment Lakes. I still had some energy to go but my friend decided to camp. Next day I learned that it was a very wise decision.
There was a lot of shrubbery turning yellow around our camp. Once the camp was settled I grabbed my camera and started working around searching for photographs. Here is one I consider most interesting out of those:
Just like good wine I want to give photos from a good trip to settle in, give my mind time to relax and reflect, almost forget about them to have a fresh look before starting post-processing.
My story begins way before we actually stepped on the trail. It starts with learning that a group of photographer was planning an five day backpacking trip to Enchantment Lakes. I thought of going to that place for a while. The name itself – Enchantment Lakes – sounded so captivating waking up imagination. I even thought to do it as a day trip… well, I did not quite knew what I was up against.
I got on that group that had eight photographers in it including me. Since I knew it will be physically challenging trip I started running every day. That certainly helped me a lot of the trip.
I also started gathering all the right equipment and none of it was photography related: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, warm clothing, waterproof clothing and boots, backpack, and so on. One of the photographers – John Song – helped me a lot with selecting the right equipment since he has gone on backpacking trip to Enchantment Lakes before. Two days before the trip he inspected the content of my backpack and gave some final suggestions. (Thanks, John!)
As we were getting closer to the trip people started dropping off. Many were concerned about smoke due to wildfires raging in close vicinity of Enchantment Lakes. (Luckily it was not a problem at all. The wind was blowing smoke in direction opposite to Enchantment Lakes.) Only three people stepped on the trail. And I was one of them.
My trip to Enchantment Lakes was the most impressive experience of my life in many different ways: first time backpacking, first time hiking so high, first time visiting Enchantment Lakes, first time overcoming fear of heights.
All those stories are coming. For now I’ll leave you with this image I took at Lake Viviane in Lower Enchantments.
I’m back home from my week long trip to Enchantment Lakes! It has been a life changing experience on many different levels.
Enchantment Lakes is a magical place – one of a kind. Lots of stories to tell. Lots of photos to share. But that’s later. Today my two most important tasks is to kiss my son good night and spend time with my wife.
On this Monday I’m off to adventure of my lifetime. With 3 other people I’m going on a 5 day backpacking trip to Enchantment Lakes. 18 miles, 6000 ft. elevation gain, 7800 ft. above sea level at the highest point with a large backpack on my back will put to test my body and mind.
I’ve been preparing to it for the last month with hiking longish hikes and running every day but still the longest I went was 9 miles with less of elevation gain and lighter backpack. I’m very curious what 18 miles and 6000 ft. elevation gain feels like. And I’ve never been backpacking before. But the place have been intriguing me for a long time. I’ve heard it is magical. And finally I have a good company to go there.
It is going to be peak of larches golden fall foliage that Enchantment Lakes are famous for. So, I hope to come back with great photos. Ok. Maybe it should have been two sentences. I hope to come back. And with great photos. 🙂
Traveling in a company of other photographer is both fun and educational. We can pick up ideas from each other, extend each other’s knowledge and creativity. On one of such trips I picked up an idea from other photographer to photograph waterfalls thru leave or include leaves and branches as a framing element in the photos.
Here are two photos from that trip that gives the idea of what I mean. The first one uses branch as framing element and the graphic of another branch being moved by air forced down by the waterfall. In the other the branch is the main compositional element. I liked the graphic lines of the branch.
Looking thru archives is like fishing. And sometimes you get a worthy catch. Like this image coincidentally about night fishing. 🙂
The Night of Fishing
Couple weeks ago I went to Rainier again. You know I’m falling in love with it. (See my post New Eyes.) While there I met a couple of photographers. We got talking a little bit, all three excited about nice sunset.
On the way back we were passing a view of Paradise Lodge with a nice backdrop of after sunset sky with nice hues of orange, red and blue. Their reaction was “It is not worth taking.” Mine was “I’ll take anything that excites me.” I think it turned out pretty nice.