Sunday, July 29, 2012

Red Pine, Little Cottonwood Canyon- July 2012

This is a trip that I usually do as a day hike, but this season I have been trying to knock off places that I have been hiking, but have wanted to stay longer than a few hours. I have been to Red Pine so many times, but I had never done it as a backpacking trip, so why not? I hit the trail just after 10 am, and proceeded to make a really fast jaunt to the trail junction for White Pine/Red Pine. Once there I started to get a sense of how explosive the wildflowers were this year. Some of the largest patches of Fireweed that I have seen since I was in Alaska. I crossed the bridge and made my way through the ferny section. Then the fun begins, the trail gets very steep from here. Something I never thought was a big deal with a day pack on. But with gear to stay over night, even though my bag was about 30 lbs with food and beverages, it was a good workout indeed. About two hours later, I found myself standing at the shore of Red Pine Lake. Did I mention the wildflowers? So much color up there this year. I made my way around the lake looking for a good spot to camp and I found one at the inlet. I pitched shop, filtered some water, then it was game on.

I landed a few as I made my way around the lake. After some Indian food and a curry soup, I settled in hoping that these clouds from the afternoon would clear out. They did clear, just not where I wanted to shoot from. Oh well, it is the life of a photographer, sometime you get the shot you want, sometimes you don't. I did manage to get some cool sunset shots, and a star shot with my tent. After that it was lights out. I slept rather well, and when I woke up, and it was coffee and fishing in order. I saw some Fireweed painted by the light rays first breaking the ridge top. I fished for quite some time, landing at least eight fish. After that, I made breakfast, then broke camp and decided to head out. The hike down is brutal for down climbing as it is really steep in some sections, and it is a staircase to climb down for miles before you get to any real flat trail. This was a workout of the best kind. Finally got to the car, exhausted, satisfied, and ready for another adventure. Enjoy the pic set below!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cecret Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon- July 2012

This was a hike we did on Pioneer Day here in Utah. I had gotten an insider tip that the wildflowers in the Albion Basin were on fire. It is rare that the family has a week day off to get out for a hike, so we decided this one would be fun for our daughter since there is a lot to see and play in up there for little ones. The temps were perfect that day. We had a very nice hike up to the lake, seeing lots of wild flowers. Indian Paintbrush, Lupines, and a host of other flowers littered the meadows adding such nice color to the already beautiful basin. We arrived at the lake, and it seems to have had some vegetation cut down, possibly for fire control. I took some photos at the lake, then we decided to hike around the lake. Be careful doing this, there are some drop offs that little ones would surely get hurt on if they took a fall. Our daughter did great, she was smart in approaching obstacles on the path. After some snacks and some more photos, it was time to head down, for the clouds were growing dark, and best to not be up there if a thunderstorm were to make its way in. Enjoy the slideshow!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Butterfly Lake and Fehr Lake Trail- July 2012

Well, we tried to go camping the weekend of my daughters birthday, but the weather was just not cooperating, so we moved it up one weekend. We stopped for fish tacos at Cafe Rio, then pushed on to HWY150. We headed out to Butterfly Lake to camp, and get up, have a pancake breakfast and then go on a hike. Our camp spot was pretty nice. We got shop set and then got a fire going. I had to work pretty hard to get it burning, the camp ground had been soaked from a thunderstorm just hours before we got there. My daughter got to have her first campfire S'more, I'd say she is hooked! After a long day, the ladies turned in. I stayed up for a while, hoping for a break in the clouds to do a star trail, but alas, it was not to be. I finally dozed off and slept pretty soundly all night. Morning came and pancake and bacon breakfast was in order. Som coffee, a quick change of clothes and I was off to give Butterfly Lake a whirl since I had brought my pole. Landed a pretty sweet Tiger, probably 15" range. Then it was back to camp, pack it all up, and head to the Fehr Lake trail for a stroll. My daughter loved this hike, she was naming all the flowers all the way there. I fished Fehr, just to see if I would have any luck, but alas not even a bite. After a while, the girls finished the loop around the lake and it was time to head out since the afternoon thunderstorms were pushing into the area. Great family fun, Milo is hooked on being out there, and we are gonna do another trip soon! Enjoy the slideshow below.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cuberant Basin, Uintas- July 2012

I spent the weekend backpacking Cuberant Basin in the Uintas. I was able to get out with my friends Jeremy, Flor, and Jason. We started in on Friday, and it was raining hard. I was in full rain gear, and everyone else was as well. As we made our way into the meadow and up to the junction, the sun broke and we all had to shed gear. But the skeeters were out, so we all had to deet up too. We continued our climb, making our way through the woods and meadows till we reached the final climb to the pass. The view is awesome from up there. We made our way into Cuberant Basin, with a quick pit stop at Cuberant #2, and then to camp. It was nice weather for the most part, and we all got shop set up, and then I did a little fishing catching a nice brookie right off the bat.

After a while, it started heading for dark, but with the clouds set in, alas, no night photography Friday night. I have to say that was some of the best sleep I have had out there this year. Saturday morning we awoke to partly cloudy skies, and nice mild temps. We made breakfast, coffee, and then geared up to hike the basin. We made it up to the overlook for Cuberant #5, then made our way up to the Spooky Pond. It was at this point, the storms started building in, and the thunder and rain kept getting closer. We made a hastily decent back to camp, and that was a good call. As soon as we got to camp, it came in on us. Lightning, thunder and gropple, which is as close to snow as you would get with the temps being so high as of late. It rained and hailed for nearly 3 hours, at which point I decided to retire to my tent and take a thunderstorm nap. I awoke to cloudy skies, but the wind and weather very calm, and the fish were jumping.

I spent a few hours fishing, then the rest of the crew got up from their slumber, and we made dinner. As evening set in, the clouds pulled all the way out, making it a night photography adventure, complete with a star trail, and some nice camp shots I took with meteors in them. Finally it was time to turn in. Morning came early, and we wanted to get out of the basin before the thunderstorms rolled in. We made a very quick hike back to the car on Sunday, but it was an enjoyable walk in the woods. Once again the Uintas did not disappoint. Nice to be in cooler temps, and being in the mountains with good company. Enjoy the slide show below, more adventures coming soon!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Catherine Pass- Little Cottonwood Canyon- July 2012

I have to think this may be one of the earliest hikes to Catherine Pass I have ever done. I connected with my friend Dave to go up and get a hike in and do some fishing at Lake Catherine. The canyon is so green this year. And everywhere you looked, the wild flowers are starting to show. The hike up was very nice, way cooler than the valley, and just pleasant to be up here again. We climbed, and climbed some more, pushing to the pass. We arrive at the pass and we took a break. After a few snacks and some photos, we dropped into the basin. As we neared the bottom, some micro burst clouds came over the ridge, and had us worried for a minute because we felt a couple of rain drops. But then it just blew out, and the sun was out in full force again. We wandered around the basin, getting a good look at Lake Mary and Lake Martha, then we headed back up to Lake Catherine to fish. Second cast I had one on. Tough little brookies for sure. I did manage to land about a 12" brookie, but most of them were pretty small. After a while fishing, both of us got hungry, and it was time to go. The hike back to the pass was a good cardio workout, and we made good time back to the car. A great day to be in the mountains, can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday, hiking the Wasatch.