Day 13 – Saturday October 7, 2017
As Yogi Berra, wise sage of the New York Yankees, once said:
“It’s deja vu all over again”.
Just like last year in Rocky Mountain National Park, I went to sleep in the car with the wind howling and woke up to white!! It was mostly hoar frost, so this time there’s only a coating on the road, but all the cars in the parking lot are frosted over. It’s just beginning to get light out, but I’ve been up for quite a while formulating a plan of action all from the snugly comfort of my sleeping bag. First, I needed heavier clothing to wear than the thin pants I was wearing and summer weight shirt. And if you’ve ever gotten into ice cold clothing in the morning, you know you’d like to avoid that if at all possible. So the first thing was to get out some clothes and put them in the sleeping bag to warm up well before it was time to get them on. That was the easy part, the hard part was to get off the other pants and put on the jeans while still in the bag. Then get out the heavier jackets so they would be in position to put them on before getting out of the car. Put on my sneakers and contort my body all the while fighting calf cramps to crawl from the back into the driver’s seat so I can place my foot on the brake and start the car. Second was to get the heat and defrosters going to clear all the windows (since I neglected to pack my ice scraper), all so I could drive the car to go to the bathroom before I even think about dragging out the camera. Meanwhile, as the windshield began to reveal the outside world, I realized that clouds were covering The Watchman Overlook, and that staying right where I was would provide good side-lighting on the cliffs across the lake with those clouds lighting as the sun rose while the cliffs and Wizard Island looked great with the light dusting.
I did eventually get the camera out into the howling wind and finally managed the lighting with split filters because of the difference between the bright sky and clouds and the dark evergreens. I tried to keep either snow or later, some bleached logs on the bottom to bring a bright continuity to that part of the frame so it wouldn’t look like two separate pictures. The problem occurred when the filters began to get a slight coating of frost that may have dulled the images. I hope not, but I also hope that if it is the case, I got enough correctly exposed files to work with before the frost. I did a lot of bracketing just in case i needed to blend different exposures. Luckily, by the time of the frosted filters, I was just about frosted as well and happily retreated to the car to get the heat going again.
Went into the lodge and had a huge breakfast to make up for no dinner last night and sat next to a window overlooking the lake. Who would have thought. Then went out shooting some more because the clouds were still racing all around with some places being blasted with the wind while other spots were pretty calm. But it was probably better to wait a while before attempting the drive down as there were an awful lot of icy patches. I headed toward Mt. Shasta and figured there would be no snow at the top, but surprisingly, there was a little. So I thought if I could get there in time for the hike to the overlook, I would make the hike; it was supposed to be short and easy. Luckily, I met with a guy and three boys who were trying to find it as well, so we hiked up together. Let me tell you, this was a steep hike almost the whole way, and very difficult to stay on the right path because there were do many!! But we finally did make it and it is a superb location, but without any clouds, it’s like a cake without icing. So I didn’t even stay to “best light” which happened on the way back down…so I took a shot or two with the iPhone since everything was already packed up for the trek back to the car. Then on to Motel 6 where I checked into my first hotel of the trip, and only because where I wanted to be tomorrow morning was about 95-miles away. McDonald’s for dinner and back to the Motel that had about thirty truck cabs parked in the lot and loads of trailers in the street. Must be a drivers convention.