With summer behind us and cooler weather closing in, the Scenic Boys 2010 season is slowly winding down. But don't get your undies in a twist just yet. Autumn colors will soon arrive giving us a few more opportunities to capture the brilliance of seasons changing.
This past weekend we invited a couple new friends: Alex and Brad, to join us on a fun adventure up north to visit Ranger Mike at his new place in Bellingham, WA. The four of us left Seattle Friday night and drove up to meet Mike, Micah, and Brady. A delicious dinner awaited us, followed by a ruckus night at the only gay bar in Bellingham, and finally a nice long soak in Mike's hot tub before calling it a night.
The following morning we met up with Emilia (Micah and Mike's friend) before driving east toward the 3rd highest volcano in Washington: Mount Baker. Driving to nearly 5,000 ft. past the Mt Baker ski area, we passed some amazing views of the surrounding alpine peaks in the North Cascades National Park. It was a beautiful fall morning and the parking lot was bustling with adventurous families. Thankfully most of them were not there for the hike so the trail wasn't all that busy.
With mighty Mount Shuksan behind us and Mount Baker towering up ahead, we hiked along the easy alpine trail to Ptarmigan Ridge. Views of icy blue glaciers in the distance and mountain sides painted with spectacular red and orange shrubs. The contrast between the blue sky - full of smooth lenticular clouds - and the breathtaking autumn colors made this location ripe with Scenic Boy photo ops! :)
Alex was a Scenic Boy fan long before this trip and he was eager to experience his first photo shoot. With a gusty wind and crisp chill in the air, he proceeded to strip down and brave a freezing snow field. High above the surrounding valleys and vistas, Alex stood in a patch of resilient summer snow taking directions and looking stunning with seemingly little effort... and he has some beautiful photos to show for it!
Brad was next in line to show off his scenic backside. He'd been searching the area for just the right spot and before long had found a gorgeous view. He also stripped down and embraced the elements for another fantastic shoot. The wind was whipping around so hard it was a challenge for him to even get dressed again. You can't argue with Nature!
After a relaxing afternoon taking in these exceptional mountain views, we turned around and hiked the 5 mile trek back to the cars. Later on we made camp along the banks of the Nooksack River - the same great location we camped last summer. We parted ways with Emilia leaving the boys to share stories, beers, and fun around the campfire. We stayed up until looming clouds engulfed the moon light and foretold of a rainy night ahead.