Monday, September 06, 2010

Five days outdoors

Last Thursday I got off work at 3, and by 6 o'clock Bernie and I were packed up and heading up Big Cottonwood Canyon to a campground near Brighton. The weather was clear, with light breezes, sunny in the sunshine and cool in the shade.

A half hour later we were unpacking our tent and gear, building a fire beside a stream with moose tracks on the muddy edges.

The next morning we drove ten minutes down to a lovely lodge for sour dough pancakes before heading out for a hike up the nearby mountains.

First we came to Lake Mary...

Then Lake Martha...
We kept climbing (Lake Martha in the background there)

And finally to Lake Catherine near where Bernie has often begun a ski run in winter.

We hiked up about 2.6 miles with an altitude gain of 1675 feet.

Of course we began at 8,740 feet above sea level to begin with. Huffing and puffing wasn't only due to not being completely in shape.

We saved Dog Lake for the trip back as it was only a bit off the trail and we weren't sure how much energy we would need for the hike up.
Dog tired at Dog Lake...time for a little siesta in the shade.
Meanwhile a marmot was taking a siesta in the sun.
Dog Lake panoramic view.
Back at camp I admired the artistry of long dead insects.

We tried out a slightly bigger tent for this trip. It will be perfect for summer camping, but was not really up to the challenge of below freezing night time temperatures as witnessed by frozen water in a cup left on the camp table.

Sunday we climbed to Lake Solitude, a much shorter one hour hike. Easy!

Around our campsite I spotted the butterflies of the future in colorful display.

While we hiked to Lake Solitude the local moose mommy and baby clomped around our campsite. People dropped by to tell us of our missed visitors; I have to admit each night I wondered if there had been moose right outside our tent as we slept. A daytime visit never occur ed to me.

Just as the sun began to set on our last night, Mother and Jr. dropped by for a peek at us. The sun shone through their huge ears as I fumbled with my camera and caught a single shot with the last of my camera's battery energy.

Look in the upper left corner to see Mom as she lumbered off to the woodland.


At least my brain battery worked. I will always have that memory even if I don't have a picture to prove it.

I tried my hand at doing a bit of painting; I haven't attempted a watercolor in over 16 years. Guess what? It isn't like riding a bike. The painting proved that while my eye for camera composition has improved over time, my ability to do the same via a sketch has not.

I also read the book "Eat, Pray, Love" from start to finish. So many things to think about, and talk about. Anyone else read the book yet? What did you think about some of her answered prayers?


Vee said...

Beautiful photography! You two are amazing hiking around in the mountains...not something I aspire to at all, but I'm terribly impressed that you are. Great job of capturing the moose...they're NOT easy. I would have tossed my camera straight up in my hurry to get outta there. A moose in the wild is pretty dangerous. They're every bit as stupid as they look. (I hope that I am not offending any moose lovers here. I like them, too.)

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh such amazing photos. Your camping experience is inspiring. It is so neat that you can just up and leave when you are in the mood. So often I'm in the mood when we can't get away from the farm and then when we can go .. I'd just as soon stay closer to home.

ellen b. said...

Wow you guys are real troopers! Camping and hiking! Love your photos. The terrain and the views are wonderful. I haven't read that book so I have no input... :0)