Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2009 Family Reunion Day Two - August 5th - Sunrise Hike To Unnamed Falls On Pole Creek

I sleep like a log when I'm in my own bed ... but outside of that comfort, I have trouble catching Z's. It was for this reason that I was awake at 5:45AM. I figured since I was up, it would be a good idea to take a hike and see a waterfall that other family members had been to the day before. So, I put on a sweatshirt and braved the cold air outside. I was surprised to find frost on my windshield but considering we were staying at 8600ft at the bottom of a valley surrounded by 11-14,000ft mountains, the cold air wasn't too much of a surprise.

I found the trail head without much problem, although there was signage indicating that the parking area was closed due to some planned logging efforts that morning (the beetle-kill in this area of Colorado is absolutely astonishing). Aside from a young man tending to some horses that I had passed by earlier, I was the only soul up and about however.

I parked a way up the road and hiked back to the trail head. I found that once I hit my stride, I was surprised how thin the mountain air was. I found myself quickly short of breath, which irked me considering that I had been making an effort as of late to go out on runs and keep in shape.

The elevation gain on the hike was only about 400ft over just a bit over a mile, so it wasn't too bad and eventually I came upon the falls as the rising sun began to kiss the tops of the trees in the area. The falls were sheltered in a bit of a hollow, which allowed for a bit more shade, allowing me to do some longer exposures. So, I set in and photographed for twenty minutes or so.

Eventually, it got a bit too bright and I started working my way back down. I took a few shots along the way but none really came out very exceptional. I didn't encounter any wildlife save for squadrons of large hummingbirds, which was a treat.

Near the bottom, I came upon a still beaver pond which had a reflection that was too nice to pass up ...

I made it back to my vehicle as the loggers began to arrive and drove back to the cabin. I had a good view to the southeast and saw some smoke hitting the inverted atmosphere over the Fraser/Winter Park area. In the shot below, the lodge we stayed at is at center.

Later in the day, I visited Rocky Mountain National Park with my parents and sister and that night witnessed one of the best lightning displays in memory. Pictures to come ...



Pat Boomer said...

Fantastic photos Dann, I want to be in the mountains NOW.
What a beautiful spot, sad to hear you got them nasty beetles too, who needs em.

Dann Cianca said...

Thanks Pat! It was nice to escape the city for a few days.