It's been an amazingly busy season of real estate photography and after two 4am morning twilight / sunrise shoots I was ready to sleep in and be lazy. But when my friend Beth messaged me about joining her on a 10 mile hike to Goat Lake, I hesitated for a just moment and then, as I usually do, jumped at the chance.
Here's Washington Trails Association description of this hike:
The trail up through Jordan Basin to Goat Lake makes a wonderful outing for all hikers, but the open meadows and modest climbs are perfect for wildflower lovers and photographers. Why? Well, this route offers nearly everything you could want on an alpine ramble: vast wildflower fields, stunning panoramas that include towering glaciated peaks, high alpine meadows, cold alpine lakes, tons of birds and wildlife, and a good chance at solitude despite the incredible beauty of the route.
And this undersells just how beautiful this hike was. I'm pretty new to this whole hiking, mountain thing, but dang this was a nice hike. And we were graced with perfect weather for both hiking and photography.
For this trip I carried my lightest weight, highest quality digital landscape kit. I won't go into the gory details, just a quick list.
- Hasselblad X1D-50C with Xpan lens adapter
- Hasselblad Xpan 45mm f/4 lens
- Hasselblad Xpan 90mm f/4 lens
- Lightweight tripod
- Filter kit, spare batteries, etc
The theme of this hike could have been stunning flora and fauna and water for they were both in abundance.
One of the things that I like about carrying and using a tripod is that it makes me pre-cull my images. Meaning that in order for me to make the effort of unpacking and setting up my tripod, the composition has to be really, really compelling. So it was a while before inspiration grab me and I started unpacking. The first, was a sweet little waterfall, mostly just fingers of water, with stunning ferns growing out the rocks. This is definitely one of those images where I feel I didn't do the beauty justice.
But Goat Lake Trail was just getting warmed up and it wasn't long before each new scene bested the last.
The Washington Trails Association also mentions:
As you switchback up the hillside, keep your eyes and ears open for a large waterfall on your right. Continuing uphill, arrive at the root-ball of a large fallen tree. The trail switchbacks to the left here, but the adventurous will want to take a quick side trip to the right. There was once an old wood-planked road here and a bridge across the river to an old town site. The bridge is gone, but there is still a rushing waterfall worth visiting.
And "rushing waterfall worth visiting" is also a huge understatement. I so loved this rushing waterfall and could have spent hours experiencing and photographing this amazing location.
But our destination was Goat Lake so we pushed on. And being totally honest I was a bit underwhelmed at first when I first saw Goat Lake. Part of it was because the previous waterfall was so amazing, but also I might have been spoiled a bit due to the utter perfection of Lake Anne from a hike last year.
But over lunch I soaked in the subtle beauty of this lake and it start to grow on my. And by the time we were finished I was inspired and ready to have a go at this little mountian lake.
On our way back we couldn't pass up stopping at the "worth visiting rushing waterfall" one last time. So I took some "rock portraits" which seems to be one of my favorite things lately. I took a dozen or so images but could only narrow it down to my favorite four.
Well that's it for the photo portion of this hike. We had a date with the last ferry back to the islands and were past ready for our traditional Kombucha & Chips post hike reward. So the camera and tripod stayed packed as we upped our pace and headed home.
All in all, a sweet hike and a wonderful day "off-island".