100 Days of National Parks: Day 25 – Emerald Pools Waterfall, Zion

Emerald Pools Waterfall

I took this photo of the waterfall pouring from the Middle Emerald Pools in Zion National Park during my second trip there in 2012, in the midst of my first thunderstorm in the park. In what became a lasting memory, I walked the trails in the mist and rain, sheltering my camera from the wet as best I could, marveling at the way the entire park seemed to burst into a dozen spectacular waterfalls, all pouring forth from seemingly dry fissures in the sandstone walls.

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Emerald Pools Waterfall

Emerald Pools Waterfall
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I took this photo of the waterfall pouring from the Middle Emerald Pools in Zion National Park during my second trip there in 2012, in the midst of my first thunderstorm in the park.  In what became a lasting memory, I walked the trails in the mist and rain, sheltering my camera from the wet as best I could, marveling at the way the entire park seemed to burst into a dozen spectacular waterfalls, all pouring forth from seemingly dry fissures in the sandstone walls.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 25 – Emerald Pools Waterfall, Zion”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 18 – Night at Reflection Lakes, Mt. Rainier

Night at Reflection Lakes

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is staying up overnight to shoot the stars, or simply wandering through the park while everyone else sleeps. There’s a peaceful solitude to nocturnal explorations, and also an odd rush of adrenaline that courses through your veins, not knowing what lies beyond the shadowy outlines of trees just beyond the range of your headlamp.

In the summer of 2015, during my recovery from my Pacific Crest Trail injury, I took a wander up to Mt. Rainier. I’d often driven through the park, taken walks around the Paradise Lodge and seen the iconic mountain from various angles, but I’d never really allowed myself the opportunity to truly explore it.

I took this photo along the main road cutting through the park, along Reflection Lakes, a common viewpoint and oft-photographed collection of small lakes in front of the mountain. At night, the sound of frogs chirping and the rush of wind through the trees were the only sound, and I sat along the edge of the lake, waiting for my long exposure shots to capture, my car just of camera illuminating the lake with its headlights. The smoke from the new Mt. Adams Complex fires, which I’d been hiking through during the preceding day, obscured the vast majority of stars from view, spoiling my plans to get a shot of the Milky Way, but creating a hazy, moody effect to the sky, as the cool light of stars and moon on the eastern side of the mountain completed with the red-orange glow of towns further to the west.

Next time you’re out, I hope you take the opportunity to get out and wander in the midnight hours, and find a new perspective on places you’ve only seen by light of day. It can be a truly magical experience.

 

Night at Reflection Lakes

Night at Reflection Lakes
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One of my favorite things to do when traveling is staying up overnight to shoot the stars, or simply wandering through the park while everyone else sleeps.  There’s a peaceful solitude to nocturnal explorations, and also an odd rush of adrenaline that courses through your veins, not knowing what lies beyond the shadowy outlines of trees just beyond the range of your headlamp.

In the summer of 2015, during my recovery from my Pacific Crest Trail injury, I took a wander up to Mt. Rainier.  I’d often driven through the park, taken walks around the Paradise Lodge and seen the iconic mountain from various angles, but I’d never really allowed myself the opportunity to truly explore it.

I took this photo along the main road cutting through the park, along Reflection Lakes, a common viewpoint and oft-photographed collection of small lakes in front of the mountain.  At night, the sound of frogs chirping and the rush of wind through the trees were the only sound, and I sat along the edge of the lake, waiting for my long exposure shots to capture, my car just of camera illuminating the lake with its headlights.  The smoke from the new Mt. Adams Complex fires, which I’d been hiking through during the preceding day, obscured the vast majority of stars from view, spoiling my plans to get a shot of the Milky Way, but creating a hazy, moody effect to the sky, as the cool light of stars and moon on the eastern side of the mountain completed with the red-orange glow of towns further to the west.

Next time you’re out, I hope you take the opportunity to get out and wander in the midnight hours, and find a new perspective on places you’ve only seen by light of day.  It can be a truly magical experience.

100/100/100: Day 4 – Thunderstorm Over Arches, Arches National Park

In October of 2013, I was fortunate enough to be in Arches National Park during a massive thunderstorm that swept through the Moab area. I stayed up all night taking photos of the storm as it rolled over the park, capturing many exciting lightning shots, though this one is probably my favorite. There’s something about lightning that makes me feel calm, at peace, and I long for those summer days and nights growing up in the midwest when I’d watch dark clouds rumble across the cornfields from the west. I don’t get enough thunder and lightning on the west coast, but I hope to get out and chase some more storms this year.

This photo, taken from the aptly named Panorama Point utilizing long exposure techniques, just north of the Windows Section of the park, was able to expose several large lightning strikes along the southern edge of the park, likely striking somewhere in the La Sal Mountain foothills or along the Colorado River. The strikes brilliantly illuminated the sky, and silhouetted the sandstone outcroppings of the the Windows perfectly.

Thunderstorm Over Arches

 

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In October of 2013, I was fortunate enough to be in Arches National Park during a massive thunderstorm that swept through the Moab area.  I stayed up all night taking photos of the storm as it rolled over the park, capturing many exciting lightning shots, though this one is probably my favorite.  There’s something about lightning that makes me feel calm, at peace, and I long for those summer days and nights growing up in the midwest when I’d watch dark clouds rumble across the cornfields from the west.  I don’t get enough thunder and lightning on the west coast, but I hope to get out and chase some more storms this year.

This photo, taken from the aptly named Panorama Point utilizing long exposure techniques, just north of the Windows Section of the park, was able to expose several large lightning strikes along the southern edge of the park, likely striking somewhere in the La Sal Mountain foothills or along the Colorado River.  The strikes brilliantly illuminated the sky, and silhouetted the sandstone outcroppings of the the Windows perfectly.

 

100/100/100: Day 2 – Murhut Falls, Olympic National Park

Murhut Falls

One of my favorite aspects of Olympic National Park in western Washington is the mystery of it, the inaccessibility of its treasures when compared to many National Parks. There are only a few short access roads into the park, and most of the area is only visible via overnight backpacking trip. It calls for exploration and encourages wandering more than any other park I know.

I came across Murhut Falls while wandering along old fire roads, picking up trails as I come across them. It’s a highlight of the Eastern Olympics, a towering 200′ waterfall hidden away in the old growth forest, and is just one of many examples of the secrets this enchanting wilderness has to offer.

Murhut Falls

Murhut Falls
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One of my favorite aspects of Olympic National Park in western Washington is the mystery of it, the inaccessibility of its treasures when compared to many National Parks.  There are only a few short access roads into the park, and most of the area is only visible via overnight backpacking trip.  It calls for exploration and encourages wandering more than any other park I know.

I came across Murhut Falls while wandering along old fire roads, picking up trails as I come across them.  It’s a highlight of the Eastern Olympics, a towering 200′ waterfall hidden away in the old growth forest, and is just one of many examples of the secrets this enchanting wilderness has to offer.