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  • Driving into Haines Junction I noted a few places within reasonable driving distance back where I might set up for a magic hour photo and video shoot of the mountains. But after looking at a map I decided to drive south toward Haines for a bit to see if I might find a spot where I could shoot over the water as well. Seventeen miles south I found an access road to Kathleen Lake. It had what I wanted but was a little lacking for water as this was just a small bay near the end of the lake. I snapped off a few stills and a took a bit of video under the clouds. Then I decided to try to hike to scout out if a better location might be available on foot. I found I could still do a 30 minute hike at my usual mountain pace of three miles per hour. Not bad for an out of shape 60 year old geezer. But...I was hiking at 2600 feet MSL rather than a Colorado 8600 feet or more. (Stop grinning!)

    The trail started out dry but turned wet in a few places. Had to be from recently melted snow. Sure enough I eventually came to some snow still along the trail. I was gaining elevation above the lake but had no clear shot. I tried a couple of promising places off trail to get down to the lake. All were too difficult either due to thickening growth or slope. Finally, I came to a fork in the road. There was a small log sign with an arrow pointed to the right and the word "KATHLEEN". Ah. It started to slope down hill and then turned a bit towards the lake. This had to be what I was looking for. Sure enough, soon I could see lake shore. But there was at least a foot of snow blocking the trail for about 15 yards near the lake. But I slopped on through and around it. I had found the spot alright. Fair skies and calm winds should make this a favorable location in the morning. I hiked back to the truck. It was good to see that it was still there. A three mile round trip hike to my photo spot was one thing. But another seventeen miles back to the trailer would have been a bit much.

    I got back to the trailer and cooked dinner for the group. (The three of us, not all four.) We had a bottle of Austi with dinner and had a fine evening. I had decided to rise at about 4 the next morning so I could get into position for sunrise at 4:53. Will said he would like to go with me but his heel would not permit it. Then we started talking about the difference between a solo afternoon hike at the lake and a predawn trek "bear wise". I finally decided that one of those spots along the road I had spotted on the way in might be a more prudent choice. In the morning there were enough clouds that I decided to just go back to bed. It turned out to be a good choice.
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