Here’s another photo from my trip this year to Tebay Lakes. We hiked south from the landing strip, at Upper Tebay Lake, and found this ridge on the backside of Tebay Falls, where we camped. I got up early one morning and had a blast shooting the dawn, with an array of wildflowers. Most mornings there would be an ever so slight breeze, which made it difficult to get closeup photos of the wildflowers, but I managed to get a few that were sharp. Fortunately there were flowers everywhere here – way more than probably anywhere else in the park that I’ve seen. This little patch of Dwarf Fireweed (the magenta or pink-ish flower here) and Arctic Daisy made a nice foreground for the distant peaks. I’ve never been very good at identifying flowers, but I’m pretty sure these are right. The yellow ones are either Alpine Arnica or Mountain Arnica.
This shot was taken about 30 yards from where I’d camped. It’s one nice thing about backcountry travel is that you can (usually) camp right near where you want to photograph in the morning, meaning more time in bed asleep and less time out traveling to your destination. I could just jump out of the sleeping bag, throw on my fleece pants and jacket, a pair of crocs, and I’m ready to go. Coffee and oatmeal comes later. That’s pretty much my summer routine – unless, of course, it’s raining. Then I’m completely unafraid to sleep in, listening to the patter of the drizzle and drifting back and forth between consciousness and coma – a glorious state. 🙂
Last summer (2006) I did a trip for these same dates, 10 days in mid-August, and we got TOTALLY nailed by the weather. When it wasn’t raining it was fixing to rain, or snow, or sleet, or all 3. This summer was almost the exact opposite, thank heavens, and we had glorious weather the whole trip, pretty much. Sergei, a professor from Virginia, was on both trips, in 2006 and in 2007, so he was quite relieved we had different weather this summer – he’s signed up for 2 trips in 2008 already, so I’m guessing the weather did its work.
Backpacking in weather like this is awesome – and I mean awesome in the real sense of the word, where awe is invoked, not awesome like a hotdog. I love to be out, to be in the mountains, and soak up the rhythm of a place, to feel it, to listen to it, to see it, and to experience it. There’s simply nothing like it. I must admit, there’s nothing like being out for 10 days in near-freezing conditions with constant precipitation going on either, but in a different way.
For now, that’s enough. I’ll write another post in the next day or so, then it may be a while before I can post again. I’ll try to keep up as I’m able. The Alaskan bush doesn’t always have electricity and/or internet connections. Whilst it may be inconvenient, times like this one pictured above remind me of why I don’t mind such an inconvenient truth.