Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Caribou Night

This weekend Shondia and I went backpacking up in Indian Peaks Wilderness and camped at Caribou Lake. It was a fantastic trip and we had a blast getting away from normal life and back to nature.

I was a little extra excited while preparing because I knew the moon would almost be full and rising soon after sunset while we were there. One thing a winter at the South Pole will surely teach is how to be a good night photographer (as well as how to successfully thaw out electrical equipment...)

Soon after we arrived at the saddle of Arapahoe Pass, the wind picked up and a storm cloud built to the Northeast. Foregoing some hopeful dinner fishing at Dorothy Lake, the highest named lake in Indian Peaks, we hurried down the 750' slope of switchbacks to Caribou Lake and set up camp.

At the top of the saddle looking down the valley we would be camping in.

After a few casts of the lure in much-too-shallow water, and the realization I really must take up fly fishing, the cold breeze and drizzle sent us to the comfort of the tent early. A couple games of travel Scrabble later (Shondia whooped me both times,) we snuggled in to our sleeping bags to rest our sore legs and feet. Soon I could see the roof of the tent begin to glow. The sky had cleared and the moon was on the rise. Forcing myself to emerge from my now comfortably-warm sleeping bag, I opened the tent fly and set my camera as far out as possible. Once I saw the picture, I knew I had to get dressed...

The view from under the tent flap.

The moon rising behind the last remaining cloud in the sky.

I love moon light.

As the moon rose above the ridge line, the valley began to glow in orange and yellow.

It wasn't long before I was chilled to the bone from the cold mountain night and crawled back in to the tent.

The weekend was an amazing time and I can't wait to do it again. It would be a lot easier to go hiking if I didn't make myself carry an extra twenty pounds of camera equipment, but I don't think I'll be leaving it behind any time soon.