August brings wildflowers to the Deluge Lake Trail near Vail.
Every summer, I always take one hike for which I leave most of my camera gear behind. I take my camera and one lens; no tripod, no other lenses or filters. It’s a liberating exercise that reminds me of why I got into nature photography in the first place. No worries about getting good light or a good composition; just a pleasant day in the mountains.
I traditionally have climbed a 13,000 foot peak for this venture; leaving behind the gear lightens my pack by at least 10 lbs, and makes it easier to take on a challenging route. But this year my fitness level is rock bottom, so I scaled back my ambitions and settled on one of the steep lake trails near Vail Colorado. The Deluge Lake Trail climbs over 3,400 vertical feet in 9 miles round trip, and it feels like more than 9 miles since most of it is above 10000 feet where the air is thin. I got an early start and went slowly, taking nearly three hours to reach the lake. It was a great day to be out in the mountains, and the wildflowers were still peaking in the meadows, along with some wild berries. I was happy to come away with one decent hand held shot, since I really didn’t expect to do much photography at all, just got some good exercise! On the way out I took some photos of Lake Dillon at sunset–I used a tripod this time. 🙂
The moon rises over dwindling thunderstorms and Lake Dillon as sunset approaches