My extended backyard ranges from Silver Creek Preserve to the south and the Redfish Creek Drainage to the north. America affixed rather lofty name designations to these locations – Fisherman’s Paradise and Shangri-la – respectively in the 1930’s. Today the designations remain appropriate. I visit the Silver Creek Preserve and the Redfish Creek Drainage often throughout the year – sometimes both in the same 24-48 hour period.
Considered by many to be the world’s premier Trout fishing location, the Silver Creek Preserve is also a great spot to sit-down, sit-back and observe.
On a Friday morning in July dawn is to commence at 5:30AM followed by sunrise at 6:05AM. My shooting spot on Silver Creek in 40 minutes from the front door of the house. On this day I estimate the best angle for light exposure is going to be at about 7:10 – 7:25AM. Ultimately, I show up at Silver Creek at 5:40AM. I capture the shot above at 7:18AM
For Saturday, the plan is to start the day by reviewing observations of the Michigan State University Basketball practice from Friday (as reported by Joe Rexrode). Next is printing and framing a working prototype of Silver Creek from the day before, visiting with patrons of the MESH Art Gallery and then heading north to the Sawtooth Wilderness for a shoot from atop the Baron Divide.
The shoot requires covering about 20-25 miles and 6,000 vertical feet of gain in the round-trip. I have made the choice of allocating 18 hours for the shoot – between leaving my boat at the end of Redfish Lake and returning to pick up Linda at the dock between 11:30AM to 12 Noon on Sunday. Darn those allocations… With somewhere north of 60+ pounds on my back this could be a real push.
Thanks to my calculations of the angles of the Moon and Sun (and the fortitude/stupidity to be sitting at the top of the Baron Divide before sunrise) I get shots of the full moon setting and the sun rising from the top of the Baron Divide. Sitting just a shade below two miles in the sky, the view is 360 degrees, so I turn around and capture the Redfish Drainage within a few moments as well.
Although it is the middle of July, snow almost always remains on the north-slope of the Baron Divide – and this year is no exception. I meander (albeit) carefully down to the lakes working around the snow – knowing I must regain 1,500 vertical feet back to the divide. The setting is awesome. I grab some shots. I look at my watch and determine I have to regain 1,500 vertical feet and traverse about 9 miles of up-and-down in wilderness back to the boat at the end of Redfish Lake in 3 hours (including making camp fit back into my bag). I can do this – especially if a cup of Joe is purloined into my trusty 1992 National Championship Husky (Washington) Mug and is consumed while wearing my 100th Rose Bowl Football Championship Michigan State T-shirt, under my 2007 MSU Hockey National Championship T-Shirt, which sits under my 2000 MSU Basketball T-Shirt. It is written!
During the return, the heat of the day presents itself quickly. By the time I get back to Redfish Lake the temperature is 92 degrees Fahrenheit. I traverse the length of the lake quickly in my boat and arrive at 12:18PM. Linda is sitting on the dock taking in the sun. She treats my tardiness as a rounding-error. Linda has brought a tasty lunch. She also takes over as captain of the boat and we head back to the other end of the lake for a picnic in the cool shade. Seeing that a sunny cloudless sky at almost 7,000 feet elevation and 92 degree heat can be a rather toasty environment – one, two and even three dips into the lake are warranted.