Monday, September 08, 2008

A Sunday Drive

After the hike last Thursday up Mt. Si in the middle of the night, I was still exhausted by Saturday. I knew I had a weekend at home so I decided to take advantage and do some moving. I hadn't fully moved into my apartment yet and I figured this weekend was a good time to start.

I took a trip to Ikea in the morning and then headed over to storage to grab my boxes. They were a lot heavier than I remembered and as I was still so tired from Thursday, my body just wasn't having it. Still, I had gotten them to my car so I had to make it up to my apartment.

Five trips up the stairs later my arms finally gave out. I dropped one box while going up the stairs and had to push it the rest of the way to my place. This was a big blow to my ego. I pride myself on my strength and I was very much girl this weekend. I managed to get everything unpacked with many rests, and by the time evening came around I couldn't move. My friend called asking if I wanted to go have drinks and I could barely muster a "No...must....sleep".

Needless to say the next day I was still tired, but I've had this massive craving to go to Mt. Rainer and the weather was supposed to be beautiful. Who knows how long this will last, so I decided to take the opportunity to head up there. There was no way in heck I was hiking, so I asked Casey if he would like to take a drive.

We headed out early and took the road up through Enumclaw, past the dreaded White River Amphitheater, to highway 410 and continued up to Sunrise. It was interesting taking city Casey through the farms of where I grew up. I consider myself city Stacy now, and I was feeling a little Sweet Home Alabama'ish going back through these old haunts.

We finally reached the look out at Sunrise, but the parking lot was expectedly very full. I knew the road continued up, so we passed the massive amounts of out of state tourists and continued up. Finally the mountain opened up before us along with gigantic meadows. A good a place as any to pull over.

It's late in the season and most of the flowers are gone or dying. The fall colors are in abundance and I was able to grab some of them in the above shot. It seemed as though these purple daisies are either really resilient or late bloomers because all the white ones were pretty much gone but I saw these purple ones everywhere. I did some research and found out these are fall blooming asters.

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Mt. Rainer was for the bear grass. I have been wanting to get a picture of it all season, but we haven't really hiked high enough to be able to see some. Of course, by now it's dying but I was still able to find a nice little clump.

We did end up walking a little bit down a trail through a meadow to where we came across a group of people who had just finished a yoga session. I was a little disappointed that we hadn't stumbled upon them while they were still in practice, and they offered to pose for me but I was a little shy I guess and declined. We walked a little further on and up on a ridge to where the entire mountain opened up to us. I struggled not to say my patented phrase, but it was hard and it still escaped my lips.

I'm adding the above shot only to give you our perspective. When I got home I realized that every single shot I had taken had massive amounts of lens flare. I was shooting into the sun, I really had no choice, and the light had caught the inside of my filters and cast a glow on each of my shots. Most of my pictures I had to crop in pretty tight and seeing as I had tried to compose on site, it didn't leave much room for cropping.

Another shot, more flare. And no, my lens was not dirty. Any shot away from the mountain was fine. Argh.

This view of the mountain is looking at the Inter Glacier flowing into the Inter Fork of the White River. We were given a map of the area when we entered into the park which, for the $15 we had to pay to actually access the park, was a nice little perk. There are quite a few trails listed on the map and also has the entire Wonderland Trail, which I would love to conquer one day.

If there is one thing this little outing taught me it's to take my time, look at my composure in the viewfinder, don't shoot blindly and look at my shots after I've taken them so I know what to look for in subsequent shots. I should have known these things already, but I guess I've been so amazed with the beauty around me that it was hard for me to take my eyes off it, if even to capture it on film.

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