I have been wanting to capture this beautiful image for over seven years. First I had to find it, because most people want to keep it kind of a secret. It’s off the trail, not on any map, and sometimes, as I found out from a few trips up there, doesn’t even exist. Several times it was just a big mud hole. Something spoke to me early Tuesday morning. I think it was the tv weather man telling us the rain was coming back. Even though I had a busy day planned with many errands, I decided I would go for it.

My sister joined me on the climb, and we reached my mystery tarn about 4:30pm, a perfect time to capture Rainier in the afternoon sun. It was so peaceful. I got my picture. Cross another one off the shot list. We hung around the tarn for nearly three hours, and when Rainier lost its light, we started back down. I didn’t put my camera away. My intuition said  something was going to happen.

We rounded the corner and saw this:

The scene took our breath away. The rocks were on fire in the alpenglow. It reminded my sister of the red rocks in Sedona. I happily shot away, thankful for the gift that was laid out before my eyes. I hadn’t planned this, but it was spectacular. More spectacular than my alpine tarn. My gift with purchase. The above image is my favorite composition from the series. I love how Pinnacle Peak is taking center stage, pushing Rainier into the unaccustomed background of the image.

My friend Beate Dalbec recently wrote in her blog about not putting the camera away too soon, and waiting it out. My sister and I had to hike down in the dark, but I’m so glad I did not miss this rare opportunity.