Monday, October 3, 2011

Caribou Lake to Cascade River State Park. 11.5 miles-Day 1, August 24

"Blustery" 8" x 10"
For some reason I started off on this section of trail not feeling very enthusiastic about the hike. I'm not sure why. Possibly the routine was getting boring: pack up, hike in, paint, eat, sleep, paint, hike out, home.  But as soon as I got to the East side of Agnes Lake (about a mile in from the trail head) I felt the excitement of the trail coming back. It was a new section that held the promise of some good vistas.  The day started off sunny and really windy.  Lured by the possibility of long views along the ridge of the Sawtooth Mountains, I passed up an interesting beaver pond but made a note on my map that it would be a cool spot to visit again with paint and brush.

I reached the ridge line and was hoping for that glorious vista with the perfect spot to set up my pochade box (roomy and protected from the elements). But this is wilderness, not a highway turn out, and while I was aware I was hoofing along the lip of an expansive forest the clear view I was looking for hadn't materialize. I thought maybe a painting of dense foreground trees with the hint of distant lands would be ok but I knew there had to be at least a meager overlook somewhere.  It wasn't till I was almost to Spruce Creek that the woods opened up a bit.  It was about one o'clock and the clouds had rolled in when I settled on a little outcrop with an semi-obstructed view.  The tiny birch tree in front of me was getting whipped pretty good by the wind and I decided that it would make a good testimonial of the day. Its spitted rain a bit but not enough that it interfered with the paint.

After painting, I hiked the short trail to Spruce Creek camp, set up my tent and ate dinner. By 4 o'clock the sky started to break and I went back up to the same spot to paint the clouds rolling through. It was one of those situations where  I could have painted a new painting every 15 minutes because the light effect changed that fast. I'll have to carry extra painting panels in the future because I could have used them all in this one evening. As it was, I stayed with the first light effect and saved the other two panels for the next day of the trip.
This view is from the same location as
"Blustery" looking just right of the tiny birch