September 14, 2014

A blue sky forecast, need for fresh air, and a finished kitchen combined for a late decision to go camping for the weekend. Looking for a combination of mountain hikes, lots of campground options (for those lacking reservations), and some water to fish, we settled on the Mountain Loop Highway between Granite Falls and Darrington. New to us, the Mountain Loop Highway delivered this weekend.

The happy hiker, always shouting “more, more” in my ear while climbing.

Reflections on Independence Lake before the sufferfest began.

This is why my calves feel sore today. 35+ pounds of kiddo and stuff, with 1200′ of climbing straight up the mountainside.

Fall light catching some trailside webs.

Rest-stop overlooking North Lake. Thea discovers the huckleberry motherload!

Getting to be a pretty good hiker on her own now.

Step 1: Harvest huckleberries.

Step 2: Squeal with delight.

Step 3: Eat all of the huckleberries.

Lounging around this morning at camp.

Helping dad with some fishing.

Sunday hike to Big Four Mountain’s Ice Caves. A pretty short hike, but perfect for the day. The caves are sculpted out by water falling from up high on the rock cirque.

Enjoying the cool breezes at the mouth of the caves.

Very cold and wet inside, so this was as far as Thea got, while Lulu and I traded off to explore and take photos.

Closeup of a thin wall between two sections.

Not bad for a quick weekend adventure and first exploration of a new zone!

  • Open says:

    Very cool night shot. Before I read the text beneath the photo, I was tnyrig to figure out how in the heck you were able to get a long enough exposure in broad daylight to blur the clouds that much! I was initially thinking f/32 at ISO 50 with about a dozen ND filters stacked on top of each other. I’m glad to see that I wasn’t totally crazy. There must have been zero wind because the trees appear so sharp. Very nice job.

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