Parker Lake

This was going to be a main goal for the trip - capturing sunrise with peak foliage at Parker Lake, since the scenery was breathtaking when I had last visited the lake except aspens were still lime green.

I got to the parking area at the end of a dirt road in darkness. There were no other souls within a few miles that I could have seen. In addition to typical photographic gears, I also brought along a couple of flashlights to illuminate the trail as I hiked up. I tried to take a couple of quick pictures of the trail, but it was not easy - even close to 30sec exposures, only the setting moon behind the cloud showed up in the images. The hike this time seemed longer than my last trek, perhaps due to slower progress in darkness. Eventually, I could see the trail a bit clearer and made better headway.

By the time I reached the lake, the sun was still behind the cloud. The foliage colors were great, except there was no blue sky and the reflection was dull. I took some pictures in the drizzle, all the while fearing of a downpour which never materialized - the only lucky part of this hike! I had the whole lake to myself the entire time. Perhaps other photographers knew better than me about the odds.

I got back to the trailhead after some 3 hours, with nothing to add to the portfolio. Trying to put positive light on it, I mused it'd give me the incentive to return in another year.

For comparison, images from 2 weeks earlier were substantially more vibrant.