Kings Canyon NP
Last month one of my friends and I got together to go backpacking in Kings Canyon. The Sierras in September have always been wonderful, so I was excited to be able to spend a little time there. I had been to Kings Canyon only briefly before, but only to the Grant Grove area. I was totally unprepared for the experience I was about to have. As I was driving to Cedar Grove, the road climbed up to the junction point of the valleys and I was in awe. The beautiful multicolored granite peaks of the high country back there were so majestic. But this was only the start. At the bottom was Kings Canyon itself with all of its glorious formations. We strapped on our packs and started hiking up the Copper Creek trail. The trail started at the bottom of the canyon and just started climbing upwards towards the top. At 1000 feet gain per mile, it was definitely challenging with fully loaded packs! But the views going up were amazing. We encountered a small black bear, a skittish deer, and what I suspect were some quail. The evening was wonderful. The brisk mountain air came in with a hint of a winter chill. We were at a low enough altitude that we were able to still build a fire which was beneficial for more than just heat. Having forgotten the stove, my friend made a makeshift stand to hang the pot over the fire to cook. That evening there was a full moon that was one of the brightest moons I'd seen in quite some time. After a great evening we hiked back down the thousands of feet we had climbed up to views that were no less spectacular. Clouds were moving in making the skyscape as varied as the ridges below.
On the way out we stopped off at the sequoias to spend time with those wonderful trees. Those sequoias are a special place for me and remind me of both how unique we all are and how insignificant at the same time. Ever since that surreal SEKI trip back in 2001 I don't think I'll ever stop having that sense of wonder when I'm around those trees.
Every time I go the the Sierras I'm reminded of how beautiful those mountains are. Between the gorgeous open forests letting in so much light to the granite valleys to the amazing trees, the Sierras are truly one of the most majestic places to be, and I have only scratched the surface of them. I'm certain I'll be back, and hopefully soon.
The pictures were taken with my Minolta system. Knowing my love for these mountains, I brought along some of my favorite film. The first roll is a Kodachrome 64 PKR followed by a roll of Kodachrome 200 PKL and closing up with a roll of Kodachrome 25 KM. I'm stil amazed at the colors of the KM and am glad that I have some to play with. It just has more "pop" than the 64 speed film, but yet not so saturated that it doesn't look like Kodachrome. I also love that PKM grain for the texture it can bring to things, espeically areas of flat color.
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