The Northwest had some interesting weather this past year. Much of the higher elevations of the Cascades will remain inaccessible into July due to snow. However, last winter very little snow fell and most places were melted out long before summer officially began. Since my girlfriend, Victoria, had never been to Mt. Rainier before, I thought that would be a fun place to go for a quick weekend trip. I didn’t necessarily plan to take many photos, but was there more to just show her around.
While hiking in the Naches Peak area soon after arriving in the park, we coincidentally ran into Zhou on the trail. Victoria and I decided to meet up with him later on in the day to scout out some places for sunset and the next morning’s sunrise. After getting together in our pre-determined spot, we were a little disappointed to not find as many wildflowers as we had hoped for. But considering it was still only June and there had been little snow pack, we weren’t too surprised.
For sunset we settled on this overlook of the White River, and while the conditions overall were pretty good, neither of us were completely satisfied so we decided we’d try again in the morning.
Victoria and I woke up before dawn and saw that it looked like we had solid overcast conditions and I wasn’t all that optimistic until I looked to the east and could see a faint glow. Perhaps the horizon was clear enough to let some nice light in? After quickly grabbing my gear and meeting back with Zhou, we hurried to our spot from the previous night.
At this point the sky to the east was beginning to take on an intense glow and I was scrambling to try and find a composition. With how sparse the wildflowers were, this ended up being a little harder than I thought it would. With color quickly spreading across the sky, I had to make a decision. While the log I chose for this image isn’t something I’d normally go with, there were few other options and I hoped the sunrise itself would be good enough to be the main focus of the image so that the foreground wouldn’t hold so much weight. Just after setting up and getting a few shots off, sunlight began to kiss the summit of Rainier and the whole sky was ablaze. The best color was in the complete opposite direction of where I was pointing my camera, but even so, I was able to capture one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen at Mt. Rainier.
Zhou and I were elated and Victoria was impressed with the beauty of what we had witnessed. Overall the trip was a success and I even managed to get a few shots out of it.
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