4th of July weekend hikes (Western Washington)

This last weekend I took a couple hikes which were about half day trips. Yesterday I drove to the Capital Forest southwest of Olympia. I like waterfalls and knew that there were a couple in the Capital Forest, even though they aren’t very big. I ended up taking a 5 or 6-mile hike in and out, to get to Mima Falls. I’d guess the drop to be about 15 to 18 feet – nothing spectacular, but a nice, peaceful view and sounds at the mid-point of a hike. I found that about a 2 second exposure on a tripod seems to make the water look just silky enough.

Mima Falls, Capital Forest

Mima Falls, Capital Forest

Earlier in the week, I took my family up to Crystal Mountain Resort. I would hardly call what we did a “hike”. We rode the gondola up to the summit and enjoyed the view for awhile. ┬áBut what a view it was!

Mt. Rainier, from Crystal Mtn.

Mt. Rainier, from Crystal Mtn.

It took roughly 2 hours to drive from Olympia. You are basically driving around to another side of Mount Rainier.

Mt. Adams, from Crystal Mtn.

Mt. Adams, from Crystal Mtn.

These pictures could have been better. Digital camera sensors have an exposure latitude closer to slide film than print film. I didn’t have my tripod with me or I would have done some exposure bracketing and combined the shots in the computer to create HDR images. There was such a great range of tones from dark to light in these scenes that these single exposures don’t truly do them justice.

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

I used to go skiing here in the 90’s, before I moved away to a state that didn’t have any decent ski mountains and sold my gear.

Mt. Rainier, from Crystal Mtn.

Mt. Rainier, from Crystal Mtn.

The weather couldn’t have been better. I was walking around in a T-shirt and felt perfectly comfortable. For comparison, here’s a shot from the last time I was there:

Mt. Rainier, from Crystal Mtn, evening

Mt. Rainier, from Crystal Mtn, evening

I was lucky to get this shot because mist and clouds were rolling up the west side of the summit we were on and completely obscuring our view of Rainier.  There was a small break in the clouds and I took the shot!

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