Hike Photography

A Sunset Atop Mindbender

Do you have a favorite place for a stroll, walk, hike, jog or run at sunset?  What is or are yours?

Actually, I have a few and on Friday night I ventured on one of them.  The dogs Shae and Merry joined me after work and took the Mindbender route along the top ridge-line of the the East Fork mountains that starts less than a mile from my house all the way to its endpoint. The endpoint offers is a wonderful view of the Pioneer mountains and on this day it included a setting sun.

Fall Sunset on The Pioneers from Mindbender Ridge
Cambo Wide RS Technical Camera with Schneider 120MM lens and PhaseOne IQ 180 Digital Back F5.6 1/60th of a second @ISO 50

The hike takes 3 to 4.5 hours round-trip from my house depending on pace and intent (e.g., photos, no photos). The hike utilizes a well established elk trail that is not maintained by any formal body.  Access to the route comes off of Ohio Gulch a little less than a mile from the house just passed the Gun Club. With over 3,000+ vertical feet to be gained (5,520 – 8,622) and a less than obvious access point the route is not heavily traveled.

After leaving the house about 4:00 and reaching the trail-head at 4:15 the dogs and I make it to the end point around 5:50PM.  I waited for the sun to set behind the Smoky mountains to the west and took this shot just before 6:00PM.  After about 10 minutes of shooting I headed back home.  I brought my headlamp with me as I knew most of the return would be in darkness. Given all the long distance back country runs and hundred of hikes at night (with Mark Curtis and now Kyle) I am pretty comfortable in this type of environment.

I do miss a three other walks in particular – all in the state of Washington. The three mile stretch north of our weekend place on Northshore Road (a.k.a.  The Burma Road) of the Hood Canal looking upon the rainforest and mountains of the Olympic National Park.  The remote dirt road and salt air was something else.  I had the pleasure of access to this view from my house of almost 14 years.  Then there is Sunset Hill Park in Seattle with a view of the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula that takes your breath away.  My aunt Ruth – one of the greatest treasures in my life has a park bench placed there in her memory as it was “her” spot.  I am honored to have had her introduce and share it with me.  Last but not least was the seven mile loop from my house at 36th and Magnolia Boulevard through Discovery Park and back.  This loop was a 3-5 times a week event for almost seven years.  If you are going to live in a city there was no better place for me.

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