Another Great Hike and Another Sleepless Night

The 3.5-mile Yellow Aster Butte trail is one of the best in the Mt. Baker area, at least for photography, because there are a few tarns at the designated camping area which give a nice reflection of the rugged Border Peaks in the north. The peaks themselves can serve as nice foreground for star trail photography. I had these things in mind when I and two friends hiked up there on a sunny early fall afternoon last week.


There were still patches of snow on the trails.

The blueberry bushes were turning red on higher altitude, although it was still early to come for fall colors.


One of the tarns up there was still hard frozen.

We chose to pitch our tents at the edge of a tarn for reflection effect. As expected, the sunset painted the Border Peaks golden and the tarn gave a picture perfect reflection of the peaks, and our tents, and my friend.


In twilight, a couple of glowing tents by the tarn and the silhouette of a family of three provided picturesque human touches to an otherwise wild wilderness.

It was a moonless night, very dark. Actually it was too dark for night photography. My star trail photos are less than successful.

I tried to shoot the opposite direction, the south, for the brighter Galaxy. That means, of course, I had to drag my tent to the other side of the tarn.

I took to this hike specifically for taking photos, so I didn’t even pack my sleeping bag in my backpack. When my friends fell asleep in their tent, I was trying hard to get my camera stabilized on ground level without tripod and take long exposure from inside my tent. I got a couple of good ones.

The morning sun light did not shine on the Border Peaks, but the pinkish sky was another beauty.

Some people were more romantic than the colors.


After some exploration of the surroundings, we packed up and started hiking down. By noon, we returned to the trail head, ending another great hike. And a fruitful one.


This is my last blog post before my long trip to Asia. I may not have the resource to post anything before mid November. In the meantime, I thank everyone who comes by to read my posts.


10 thoughts on “Another Great Hike and Another Sleepless Night

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