STEVENS TRAIL 21X January 25, 2011

Anxious to take advantage of the fine winter weather, I set out to do another hike. Taking Interstate 80 east, I came to the Colfax Exit and started my hike here by 9:30 a.m. The trail was not muddy as expected, but firm, with damp red dirt. The sun had done its work well, baking the soil dry.

Descending through the trees, I began to take some pictures. I wanted to do some movies at the bottom, so allowed for a long time before hiking up and out. A few vehicles were at the trailhead, so I presumed to see some other hikers. I snapped many photos, keeping track of things. Coming to the cave or mine, I saw there had been a landslide, ahead. It looked stable, so I hopped over the footpath leading over the debris, and the slide area was only some 50 feet of covering the former trail.

I hiked further along, and saw some shadow ahead. I'd have to wait for the sunlight to hit the river. Finally coming to the side trail down to the green pool near the end of the trail, I saw a blue tent or tarp at the campsite by the river. Thinking I heard a dog, I stayed away. I relaxed at the green pool, and began to capture images. I set up a tripod and started to do some movie clips. My handheld shots often suffer from the "jello" effect, a consequence of the image stabilization setting. A hiker took off from perhaps an overnight stay, although he didn't seem to have a backpack.

I lounged about as the sun began to hit, and snapped more photos at my leisure. Having to put on a jacket due to my inactivity, I waited a bit longer, then the sun hit the rapids on the upper far side of the pool. Using my long lens, I shot a few movie clips, then took off back up the trail.

Keeping a record shot of the sights going up, I ran into another solo hiker with a small dog, then arrived back to the landslide. That would be it for my photography today. Resting at the creek with a waterfall, I paced up and the train rolling by sounded its horn. Keeping left at the final junction, I came upon another person with a chainsaw, who said he was clearing trees from the trail.

Back to the car at 3:15 p.m., I quickly motored off. I had some sumptuous light food at the buffet back in town, declining a stop till then.

Hiking then 9 miles with about 1,000 feet gain after loss, I captured 180 images and movie clips (61.8 MB, 1:11). Driving 101 miles, I used about 3 gallons of fuel. I spent $10 for gas, and a bit for food as I got back to town.

While I am contributing slightly to carbon emissions, I have tried to get partners. It would be much better to hike in a group with a carpool, but no one is available. Some have said that they dislike my photography, so I leave them to their own ways. I like to convey the fine conditions and sights of what I see, hopefully to be helpful in the hiking and travel adventures of others.