I got the urge to go camping on Tuesday, and decided on Royce Lakes. Hadn't been out there in over 7 years, and never before in the summer.
After such a low snow year, I figured all of the lakes would be melted out by now. So I was hoping for calm winds to catch reflections in the lake. I arrived to find the lake still frozen over, with just a bit of open water showing around the shore.
As I was making dinner, I had a visitor:
The wind picked up around sunset, so the snow/ice worked in my favor, creating protected spots for reflections. Finding a good spot was a bit of a challenge, though. As was trying to set up my tripod on the uneven boulders along the shore. And fiddling with cameras, lenses, and filters over open water is a little unsettling. But I managed to get a series of shots on both cameras as the last light of the day hit Merriam Peak.
A short stroll back to camp, and after a few quick night shots it was time for sleep.
I knew I had a bit of ground to cover before sunrise the following day. My plan was to catch the sunrise on Feather Peak, and that meant attaining the ridge directly across from it.
2:30am came quickly, and I was up and moving without feeling like I had slept at all. After a little coffee, I set off stumbling in the dark. The terrain around the upper lakes is mostly big, blocky rocks, which complicates things. Above that, the travel got easier and I found myself atop the ridge at 4:45. The rest of the ridge looked steep and uninviting for a tripod, so I opted to stop here and wait for the sun to come up.
The sun began to creep its way towards the horizon behind me:
And finally hit the peaks:
After that, I made my way back to camp, and on the trail, where the cactus flowers are starting to bloom: