I just finished a backpacking trip in the Northern Cascades of Oregon with my friend Steve. It was fun to catch up with Steve on our somewhat annual trip, and the location and weather were spectacular. On trips like this, I usually don't bring my camera with me - it's a nice little vacation from taking pictures. There's lots of picturesque things, as you can imagine, but sometimes it's frustrating not having ALL your gear, in order to make a picture correctly. Without the whole kit, I'd just assume do without.
My brother-in-law Mark has a phrase for my nephew Kale when he's in china shop-type situations: "Look with your eyes." (A particularly good phrase for Kale, as Marilu and I think he's a bit of a Mini Zen Master.) So, channeling Kale, here's what I saw, and will hopefully remember: A pin-dropping quiet forest of enormous Hemlocks; an insane variety of mushrooms - from enormous, Grateful Dead hat size, to sponge-like, to creepy and slimy; tiny red salamanders swimming in a shallow lake; a plate of Trader Joe's Indian food and garlic naan; a snow-capped Mt. Hood; strange, unopened pinecones that were gnawed on by some little creature, leaving a pile that looked exactly like pencil shavings; a glassy mountain lake at sunset.
In full disclosure, I did take a few pictures of Steve, with his point & shoot, that I'd like to submit to the NY Times' Why We Travel column. Vacations have to be paid for somehow...