September 11, 2009 – Mt. Shuksan from Yellow Aster Butte

Mt. Shuksan from Yellow Aster Butte

Mt. Shuksan from Yellow Aster Butte

Friday, September 11, 2009

I’ve been going back and forth about whether I should ask you guys to do this, but I decided that I truly have no shame, and so I’m going to do it.  There’s this website, see, that gives away these awards for blogs.  But, it’s kind of a skeezy website, and it’s only quasi-legit.   Basically, you nominate yourself, and then tell all your friends to go there… and that’s how they get their traffic.  Regardless though, I’m in it to win it, so I need you all to vote for me to be the Best Photography Blog.  They’ll make you create an account, and they’ll verify your email address and all that.  Pure skeeze, right?  Regardless, here’s the link.  Please go there and vote for, and then never go back there again.

There, now that I’ve taken care of that little bit of tastelessness…  This is a view of Mt. Shuksan from the summit of Yellow Aster Butte, which is this weird stubby hill across the valley.  I was there last fall, right around the end of September, and the colors were fantastic.  Lots of scrubby little bushes and such that glowed red, orange, yellow and green.   And of course, none of that color is in this picture.     The views on the way up, particularly once you get above treeline, are amazing.  Both Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker are right there in front of you, as well as whole ridgelines you wouldn’t otherwise see to the north.   Unfortunately, it’s quite a drive to get there (3 hours plus from Seattle), and the views are almost as good if you just drive up to Heather Meadows (to put it another way, up to the parking lot for the Mt. Baker ski area), so whether or not it’s really worth it is a judgement call.   As I mentioned though, it’s a great spot to catch high-country fall color, before everything else starts changing at lower elevations.

As I’ve mentioned a few times, I often try to time my hikes for later in the afternoon, because those few hours before sunset are when the really golden sunlight starts appearing, which is especially striking with fall color.   That was the plan on this hike, and it worked out pretty well, although then the hike back got a bit dicey.  We get really spoiled up here in the Pacific Northwest at the height of the summer, since it doesn’t get dark until just about 10pm, it’s really hard to get caught in the dark, so it’s easy to take the daylight for granted.  But when it starts getting later in the season, sunset comes a lot quicker, and can really catch you off guard.  I had a flashlight with me by chance on this trail, and that definitely helped out on the last quarter mile or so.

I’m totally rambling.  I’m going to go ahead and cut myself off now.  But don’t forget to sell your soul and vote!


Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm VC lens. 1/100s, f/8.0, ISO 200. Focal length: 39mm.

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