Our most recent hiking adventure took to Grand Park Backdoor via Lake Eleanor. The temperature on Sunday got up to the mid-70s, but it started out a bit chilly (around 49). We had a time constraint which meant that we would be hiking at a slightly faster clip than usual. Luckily the hardest parts of the trail had significant tree cover, so heat didn’t distract us from our goal.
The trail was over four miles each direction and we had five hours to hike, eat, rest, and of course take photos. The total elevation gain was 1,100 feet…not bad except that 1,100 feet was in two of the eight miles…between miles 0-1 and 2-3. Brief stops for photos along the way helped ease the pain of those two miles.
The first view of Mount Rainier was at about the two mile mark. It was lovely and if was the best view we’d see all day we would have been satisfied. But, it wasn’t. After the second steep section of the trail the first meadow showed us a better glimpse and with the passing of each group of trees, into another meadow, the views got better. I personally had never seen views of any mountain quite like this. I know people train for years to climb Mount Rainier, but the view made me feel so close to the summit that it seemed as if a hop-skip- and jump would do the trick.
For more details, check out my favorite hiking website…Hiking with my Brother.
Mount Rainier with Perspective
I had my friend Kristi walk into the meadow so I could get a photo illustrating the enormity of what we saw.
Mount Rainier with a Tree
I LOVE this photo. Not only does the tree in the foreground give perspective, but the greens and blues of this photo work well together.
Additional Fun with Mount Rainier
Using Photoshop I turned this photo to black and white. I find it striking. I can’t help but think of Ansel Adams when I look at black and white landscapes…and, by no means am I comparing my photo to his.
I took this photo with white balance set to tungsten. I’m still learning photography, so it’s educational to experiment once in awhile (even if the setting is meant for indoor photography). I don’t particularly like the photo, but it does have an interesting look with its blue color cast.
On a side note, it was hard not to edit the photo and remove the color cast (like I’ve done many times with my underwater photography).
Portrait of a Gray Jay
It may not be a traditional portrait, but it’s the kind of portraits I like to take…wildlife. The Gray Jays were friendly. They flew right up to us and sat nicely on the branches while we snapped photos of them.
Nature’s Color Contrast
This particular photo reminded me so much of home (Alaska). Fly Agaric mushrooms can be spotted in Alaska frequently. I didn’t realize they were not as prevalent in Washington, until my friend (who grew up here) said it was the first one she’d seen outside of books. The contrast of the reddish-orange mushroom against the green grass made it really stand out.
I wanted to capture a photo of the meadows that make up Grand Park and lead to the view of Mount Rainier.