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Robert Ballard | all galleries >> Galleries >> Washington 2014 Blog > Walk into Oblivion
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07-AUG-2014

Walk into Oblivion

Maybe not. But this picture makes me think that Iím going to walk right off the edge. Thatís strange since I can think of at least one other place that was actually on the edge of a cliff. Iím sure that in the pictured scene the trail simply turned around a bend. But how would I know since I was busy looking at views that went on for days?

Oh man, were the views ever good. Peaks everywhere. Many flowers. One spot up above Rainy Lake had so many flowers that I felt it was only behind Mount Rainierís Paradise and Glacierís Logan Pass in spectacular wildflower glory.

Iíve been wanting to start a trip blog without needing to mention that my knees or back are a problem. And so far I can say thatís true. For several years Iíve done my best to avoid hikes with any significant amount of elevation gain. To be more specific, I avoided them like the plague. There has been an outbreak of good health this spring. Iíve been hiking trails that involve elevation gain, and have been doing quite well. Iíll need for that to continue considering that the majority of the North Cascades trails climb (and even worse is descending).

Even though most people seem to think that hiking the Maple Pass loop in a counter-clockwise direction is best, I chose to be a contrarian. So we ascended the more steep side of the loop. In my opinion this is the way to go because steep descents are very hard on old knees.

Washington has been experiencing some very bad wildfires. I didnít notice any smoke when we were at the Washington Pass. I had been expecting that I would. A column of smoke was definitely noticeable from Maple Pass.

I previously mentioned that while I was planning this trip I was eagerly anticipating expansive views of mountains and valleys. Maple Pass was one of the hikes I was most looking forward to. Now that Iíve been there, I have to say that it certainly did not disappoint.

Canon EOS Rebel T2i
1/200s f/9.0 at 15.0mm iso200 full exif

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Jim Coffman08-Aug-2014 14:00
This is nature at its finest! Very nice work,Robert...