Simple ideas always run wild when nature, or photography, or just a thirst for adventure are involved.
I wanted to take new photo for the living room wall.. with an alpine lake, mountains, wildflowers etc. Scouting around online, and on Google Earth (one of the single greatest inventions ever) I found a spot about 45 minutes away – Lake Isabelle, in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The thing that really added an extra wrinkle is that I decided the best time for photos at the lake would be at sunrise. And.. it’s a 2 mile hike from the trail head, which would have to be accomplished in the dark.
I enlisted the help of one of my buddies from work, Nate, to join me on a scouting trip the night before. We drove up to area, scouted some camping spots, then hit the trailhead while it was still light out. We planned to check out the trail, stay at the lake for sunset, then hike back in the dark as a test for the following morning. Survival knives strapped to the hip, and we were off.
One of the many mountain streams along the trail.
The lake, at dusk. Eerily still.
The hike back was without event, although I was surprised just how quickly darkness fell as the sun ducked below the peaks. Not a place you’d like to find yourself unprepared.. I was pumped for the next morning, and hoping that Manda would also be also, haha. To be at lakeshore, ready for the sunrise I figured we’d have to wake up about 3:45am. Yeah, seriously.
Diggs for the night.
The chef, cooking up some grub.
She’s a trooper though, and we enjoyed the whole adventure together – waking up waaay too early, hurriedly breaking down camp and throwing everything in the car, driving to the trail head, and hiking into the black abyss. With headlamps burning we completed the hike at a good pace.
I nearly wet myself however, upon turning the last corner towards the lake and freezing to a halt. The beam from my headlamp was illuminating two shining eyes, directly ahead, looking right back at us. Mentally, I envisioned how I’d fight off this wild predetor, or what courses of action were possibilities. Physically, my heart went anaerobic, and the rest of my body did….nothing. This all took about 1/2 second, and as I scanned with the headlamp a bit, our attacker proved to be nothing more than an equally as frightened mule deer. Little punk. It took off, I checked my drawers, and we continued on.
Haha.. so much for the food chain.
The edge of the lake, towards the rising fireball.
The sunrise in all it’s splendor.
Leaving Lake Isabelle, headed downhill
A great time together, enjoying the beauty of the Rockies. Thanks for coming along, wife.