The Enchantments

Last week I had a great opportunity to camp in Washington’s Enchantments. This a magical area in the cascade mountains with chains of pristine alpine lakes leading up the mountains. Its a popular and challenging hike and it can be difficult to get permits to camp overnight; so when a friend of mine with permits for an overnight trip asked me to join, how could I say no.

This is the first backpacking trip I’ve done since high school, and when base camp is 8 miles from the road and at 5500ft of elevation in the cold mountains, this was going to be a little more challenging then what I’m used to. With an old backpack, some new cold weather gear, and a borrowed tent I was ready to go, counting ounces and trying to make my pack a lean as possible. The 4000ft climb up to our camp at upper Snow Lake was a difficult hike, but not as bad as I was expecting, and the views at camp and hiking further into the enchantments the next day was well worth being sore. I made up to Inspiration Lake, passing Lake Viviane, Leprechaun Lake, Sprite Lake, and Perfection Lake, before turning around to get back to camp before dark. Saving most of the upper Enchantments for next time.

The view from camp while having a cup of coffee on the shores of upper Snow Lake
Taking a break at Lake Viviane
Lake Viviane
Leprechaun Lake
Leprechaun Lake
Perfection Lake
P.S. Here is the best bathroom view you may ever find

Out in the Desert

I’ve just gotten back from two weeks hiking in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. I have a thousand photos to go through and pick the best, but while I process all the pictures here are a few choice pictures which I shared on instagram while on the road.

Fire wave at Valley of Fire State Park, NV
Snow Canyon State Park, UT
Hoodoos at Bryce National Park, UT
Zion National Park, UT
Angel’s Landing’s chain at Zion
Zion Valley from the top of Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park UT

For these pictures I was experimenting with a newer faster photo editing workflow; still taking the pictures in RAW on my mirrorless camera, then transferring them to my phone to be processed with Lightroom mobile for posting to Instagram. The process worked pretty well, letting me post pictures from my camera almost immediately after the hike, and with almost the same level of post processing as if I were editing on my computer. The major missing feature was lack of support for HDR bracketing which I used a lot in the shadowed canyons of Arizona, so those pictures still need to be processed.