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Ragged Peak Sunrise

As a kid I dreaded September. It meant the end of summer vacation. But as an adult I’ve become a fan because September may be the best month for hiking and camping. The weather is still pretty warm even at high altitudes, but after Labor Day the oppressive crowds in places like Yosemite drop dramatically. (And – thanks to work – for me there is unfortunately no longer any summer vacation for September to earn a bad name by ending.)


On Saturday my buddy PLD and I took advantage of the first post-Labor Day weekend by hiking up to Young Lakes in Yosemite. I’d never been there before and it’s a beautiful spot. A six-mile hike takes you to the lower lake, with great views of the Cathedral Range along the way. We dropped our packs at the lower lake, checked out the middle and upper lakes in the late afternoon, then went back down to where we left our packs and set up camp.


On the way to the lakes we ran into another hiker who turned out to be a fellow Flickr photographer – steventheamusing. Be sure to check out some of his great star trail photos. Before dawn on Sunday morning, as I was setting up for the shot posted here, Steven showed up at the exact same place – turns out he did some scouting the night before and decided on the same spot. So either this was the place to be or we both messed up.

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Taken on September 13, 2009