Posts filed under Photography

Death Canyon

Adventure Tuesday 

Hiking in the Tetons

    We went hiking in Death Canyon in the Tetons during our time there. As with all places you have to get there early, to beat the crowd. I am one of those too, one of those who get up early to try to get some views of the nature. I think many people have bears, bison, wolves or any other mammal on their list to see. I have seen a fair amount of bears and bison, less wolves but many coyotes. I would be very happy if I saw a large mammal, from a great distance, but if I don't I am still really happy. I love being outside, I love being able to see views, views of the mountains, views of the deep forest and views of all the tiny little flowers, or the texture of a rock.

Death Canyon Trail

    The Death Canyon trail is about 10.5 miles. This day we weren't aiming for a far or fast hike, we just wanted to be out and about.  W's mom and our friend's parents were with us too, and we enjoyed walking slowly and talking about ecology and geology as we continued towards phelps lake. Once we got to the lake we had lunch, just some sandwiches we brought, but we enjoyed the downtime in the shadows. It was once again a pretty hot day, and the mosquites were all around us of course. We never ventured into the canyons themselves, but we enjoyed looking at these magnificents mountains and the stories they silently tell. 

Magical Landscape of Christmas Trees

    The Rocky Mountain forest is so beautiful. The trees are a lot different from the typical black spruce you see in Alaska. They are in the same family, but belong to different genera. The Douglas fir stands tall in the forest, tall and green, and beautiful. A typical christmas tree. Depending on what elevation you are hiking at in the Rocky Mountains, you will see different species, Douglas fir in the lower elevation and whitebark pine at the higher elevations. Sometimes you even see an Engelmann spruce or lodgepole pine, but mostly in between (in elevation)  whitebark pine and Engelmann spruce. 

I don't Hike, I Saunter

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"I Don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike!"
- John Muir

Wednesday Thoughts

I Saunter    

    Anyone who has ever gone hiking with me can attest to the fact that I am slow, very slow. I see so many pretty things and I want to document them all. So, I saunter. I Saunter through the mountains but my focus is often times on the forest floor, the stone in the stream or the spider next to the trail. I usually say "How amazing is this" or "Wow! How lucky are we to be right here, right now". I love to be out in nature. 

    What about you? Do you Saunter?

Fall in Colorado

Flashback Friday

Time Passes Faster than Me

    I can't believe it has already been more than a year ago we went to the beautiful (but crowded) state of Colorado. I have a collection of pictures, many many pictures that I want to share. I have been so busy lately and literally have no time left to write a blogpost. I feel like I want to write something about the pictures or memories I share, instead of just posting the pictures. So, here we are, and unfortunately the posts seem to come less and less frequent. I will try to do a better job, because i really want to share my travels and experiences with you guys. 

Colorful Colorado

    We arrived in Colorado at the end of a work week, to attend the wedding of our dear friends that weekend. We had about 3 days in Colorado (if I remember correctly). The day we arrived, the day of the wedding, and lastly the day after the wedding when we also left the state. A very busy schedule for sure. We picked up our rental car at the Denver airport and quickly left the city perimeter to drive north, towards Aspen. The landscape was unreal, these fall colors that reminded us about Alaska, but then out of the blue these crazy rock outcrops that reminded us about Carbon county and parts of Utah. 

Exit 119, No Name

    On the way to the wedding destination we decided to go for a short hike. W found a hike online somewhere, which was by the No Name rest stop...I think if I remember it correctly. It took a while before we actually found the trailhead, but a nice man that lives in that area pointed us to the correct route. It had been raining during our drive there, but miraculously the rain stopped about the time we arrived, and needless to say we were the only people there. We put on our rain pants, which was a great idea, considering all the brush we hiked through during this route. Instead of talking about how many miles we should walk, we usually set a time to turn back. 

Dam and Mining Business

    We followed the trail and the No Name Creek, past some old water dam along with the new water dam. I think this is also an area where part of the residents get their water supply, but I could be wrong of course. We also passed some old mining remnants, I don't know what they used to mine here, but it looks pretty cool now. 

Hiking Through the Fall

    I love the fall. Fall in Alaska is very brief and if you don't watch out, you'll miss it. I don't know how long fall stays in Colorado, but we managed to get there during peak color. I love hiking through the forest and tundra and mountains during fall season. You see such a wide array of fall colors, deep deep red, mixed with orange and yellow, and the endless green from the coniferous trees that are creating this beautiful color range and contrast. 

It is in the Details

    As I have mentioned earlier, I usually fall behind, I tend to see the small details. The spider climbing on the grass, or the bee trying to get the last drops of nectar from the flower, the remnants of cones, who ate that cone? The lichen on the stone, I think about the time it took for that lichen to colonize that rock. That is also the very true beginning of biology, primary succession, step one in the ecosystem. We start from nothing, just a bare rock. The colonization of lichen and fungi on rocks, that then create an ecosystem producing oxygen for other living matter. Lichen can also be seen hanging from old tree branches in an old growth forest. Did you know that many lichen species are indicator species for environmental monitoring. The lichen is the first to break and die when there is an increase in the pollution, just because they are so sensitive. 

The Beauty of Fall  

    How beautiful is fall right after a rainstorm has passed, and left some frost/snow remnants on the top of the mountains? I can never ever get enough of this landscape. Endless walks through the forests, regardless if its 40 below or right after a rainstorm, during a rainstorm, or even when its close to the 90's...although, I take 40 below over of the 90's any day. 

    Do you love the fall as much as I do??

Holly Lake

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The Tetons

    This summer I flew out to Jackson, WY, to help W and his field crew with some ecology work, mainly in Yellowstone. We stayed at a lodge in the Grand Teton National Park, just about an hour or so south of where we were doing most of the fieldwork.

Hiking

    I had just arrived in Jackson a few days earlier when we decided to go on this hike. Originally we wanted to backpack and spend the night at a campsite or alike, somewhere in the mountains, but with all the logistics we figured that a day hike was a lot easier and maybe more doable given the circumstances. I always want to see some grand views during my hikes, and if you can fit in some forest, streams and alpine tundra into that mix I am all for it. A couple of other friends had done this hike the day before and said it was amazing, so we also went on that same hike. 

2900 Feet and 13 Miles

    As I said, we got forest, streams and mountains, right of the bat. We would have to earn the view of the alpine ecosystem of course, some total elevation gain of 2000 feet or so... The deep forest, consisting of spruce and pine does remind me about the Swedish forest to some extent. It reminds me that I have to go back there and get some hiking in. As always we marvel on this landscape, and the ecology behind it. We are both ecologists/biologists, so even the tiniest things matter to us. 

Holly Lake

    The end point of our hike was an alpine lake, Holly Lake. A beautiful lake at an elevation of 9450 feet. Originally W wanted us to continue after the lake, up on the ridge, before heading back, but that did not happen. We were satisfied with the lake being the end point of this hike. I for one was happy about this, because I was pretty beat after that approach. The last few miles before the actual lake we were treading through snowfields that were starting to melt. But what a view once we got there. I am always so blown away by these landscapes. I have to pinch myself in the arm to make sure it's for real. We took a nap at the lake after a quick lunch and then started the descend.

Heading Back

    Most often I am not a fan of out and back trails, with the exception of hikes that includes a view, which seem to be the norm nowadays. Usually when you hike up you keep looking back at the landscape behind you, and you get treated by that landscape all right in front of you when you walk down. Every single view of this hike was absolutely spectacular! Have you done any hiking this year that blew your mind away?