Saturday, May 10, 2008

MPG V2.0

Click on photo for Photo Guide

From some suggestions by other photographers, I've updated My Photo Guide (MPG) to Mt. Rainier National Park with version 2.0 which will set the level I can work update and upgrade. I still have some more cosmetic changes for consistency, but they're transparent to everyone. I've removed all the unnecessary photos, using a standard one except for two others, until I can get more images scanned or taken.

In additon, I have a list of things do work on, which are the list of day hikes (haven't decided if by region or catagory), a climbers Web page (just the basics since I'm not a climber and there are far better pages), a naturalist Web page to describe the flora and fauna, a wildflower Web page, a sunrise/sunset Web page, a better map for the quadrants and Paradise overview and sections, and some visual enchancements for the imagemaps.

So far, and photo/trail descriptions with photos, which takes being there hiking and photographing. I have to keep remembering it's a long task for this photo guide, about 3-5 years to get something substantial for just the thought of a book. And don't forget, you can send your suggestions, questions or problems.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Day Hikes

I've added a new Mt. Rainier NP information Web page on day hikes in the NP along with a map interface to locate them. The hikes and background information on the hikes and trails described in the overview and used for the map were gleaned from the three currently available books on day hikes in the NP, see Web page for list and links, and my own experience.

I tended to weigh the rating by my own skills and ability, which is slower than normal for my age. I tend to carry more stuff on day hikes, not just camera gear, but the ten essentials plus a few more things for emergencies. I noticed the hikers who wrote the books are far fitter and better hikers than me, which is why I adjusted their ratings with my experience to get a general rating for each day hike.

I've hiked all the trails in the southwest quadrant, being the closest entrance to my home, and a few of them in each of the other quadrants. I plan to do more as the weather gets better, and can post photos, and I'll update the trail information when this happens and I download and process the images.

If you do plan some day hikes, I hope this Web page along with the books help decide which you want to try. You can read hiking tips along with the excellent advice in any of the three books. They're far more experienced hikers than me. I can only add a few general comments I always like to make.

First, don't overestimate your hiking ability. Don't wait until you're tired to turn around, or you'll be tired and sore long before you get back. Turn around when you're comfortable with your distance or time, so you can have energy when you get back to the tralihead.

Second, wear good hiking shoes or boots. The last thing you need is to develop foot problems miles from the trailhead.

Three, take the ten essentials. It's great if you don't need them, and better if you do.

Four, and I can't say this enough, do NOT bring dogs on the trails. Besides it's prohibited by the NPS. You risk losing your dog along with pissing off the rest of the hikers who you meet along the way.

And lastly, if you hike solo like I do all the time, leave a note somewhere obvious where you'll be and when you expect to return. It's just common sense should something happen to you or they need to find you for another emergency.

Well, that's it. You're welcome to send me your suggestions, questions or problems with the Web pages.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I've added three new Web pages for the photogrraphy guide to the NP. These are about lakes in the NP, 46 with names and 2 just outside the NP accessible through trails in the NP of the 400 mapped lakes in the NP. Many of unnamed lakes are either small, remote or intermittent (seasonal or temporary) and haven't required a full identification or description in publications or on maps.

The lakes in Mt. Rainier NP are divided into three catagores, two major ones and one obvious one. The lakes are generally divided by their location, namely elevation, in relation to the treeline, where they are either surrounded by forests or above the treeline and are open or in geologic features such as tarns, cirques, etc. The third type are the scenic or photogenic ones, most of which are alongside roads, listed below for easier identification for location.

For the photographer, the scenic or photogenic lakes are interesting for their beauty and view of Mt. Rainier (mountain) as a backdrop. The hardest part of photographing them is the light and wind, the former makes the image or photo difficult and the latter may spoil any reflection. As they say in photography, it's all about light and timing, so you have to plan, and often make multiple trips.

The two other types makes for a lot of interesting photo opportunities if you want to capture more than just Mt. Rainier itself. They afford you the opportunity to capture much of its uniqueness and nature. As they say, it's in the eye of the photographer, so I invite you to visit the other lakes too, listed in the list of lakes or found on the map of lakes Web pages.

Unfortunately there isn't much on-line or published information about the lakes in Mt. Rainier NP, and what does exist are often research studies related to water resources investigations or academic research. The Washington State Department has some information with their Water-Supply Bulletin series on lakes. The USGS did one study in August 1983, available here, on a dozen lakes.

And the Web pages? You can read the Introduction, and view the lakes in the NP via a Map or a List, both of which have some information about the lake and the access to it. As always, you're free to send me e-mail about problems, suggestions or questions.