This was another case of a photo that I originally had rejected. It was underexposed by a whole bunch. Working with it in Lightroom I was able to recover the details in the shadow areas while keeping the light areas from getting blown out. Lesson: don’t give up on an image based on first impressions.
A “single stringer” is a bridge across a stream consisting of a single log … usually flattened on the top and often with a railing.
Regardless of the effort, the time spent on backcountry trails is worth it. The trails show the passage of thousands of pairs of boots over the years. It connects you with unknown hikers of the past. The best is hiking trails that you have visited before and have become close friends.
On the Upper Dungeness hiking trip we were pleased to see the flowers in the high country were still in bloom. I am not positive about the “official” name of the Mountain Asters … but that is what we have always called them.
The Upper Dungeness trail in the Olympic Mountains includes a couple of shelters, one at Camp Handy at 3100 feet and Boulder Shelter up the valley at 4900 feet. Back in the early days, the shelters were built so that hikers didn’t have to carry heavy tents. Nowadays, they are maintained and restored in a joint partnership between the Forest Service and private groups. They are recommended for emergency use only … but if you use them, be prepared to share them with the mice, chipmunks and ground squirrels.
When we investigated the interior of Boulder Shelter, we discovered a cache of emergency food. The age of the cans was unclear … and it really would be a survival decision to open one. I found them vaguely frightening. I moved one of them (the large one on the left) only to have it start making noises that sounded like it had come to life. Maybe close to the truth.
Over the last 35 years I have gone on a hike into the Olympic Mountains with my friend Jeff nearly every year. It is getting harder for both of us, though… as time catches up with us. We did a shorter hike this year, both in days and mileage, but enjoyed it immensely. I cut enough weight out of my pack … the white one in the image … that I decided to take a heavier camera than my point and shoot. The image quality was well worth it.
Hiking the Upper Dungeness trail in the Buckhorn Wilderness in the Olympic Mountains, you pass through an area dense with Rhododendrons. Not sure what makes this particular spot so favorable for them, but it is quite spectacular. And a good example of why the Rhody is the official Washington State flower.
Pinesap (Monotropa Hypopitys) is a plant without chlorophyll, living off the roots of nearby plants for food.
This was on the Mt Walker Trail, in the Olympic National Forest, just south of Quilcene. It was overcast and in fairly dense woods. I had to push the ISO up to 2000 in order to get a reasonable f/ stop to get the depth of field needed to keep the plant in focus.