You may have experienced it. This is the time of day when the earth seems most calm and peaceful. It’s a cherished time of day, only for those seeking that special moment. The light is soft, almost orange as the sun crosses the horizon, blue light is filtered, leaving the earth in it’s most natural state. This is the time when I feel most alive. The dogs certainly know this as well. Credit is due to them for offering me the tenacity to push forward when the bed is so warm and soft.
The time – 3 A.M. The temperature – I don’t really want to know. I can see frost on the porch railing as I brew my tea for today’s trek. I’d better grab a muffler and wool gloves. The dogs always seem to know that I’m going and what I will endure. They beg me to go. I can only find one remnant of hope… the alpenglow.
Only thirty minutes to the entrance of the park. Peter, the park ranger, gives me a nod as I slowly pass. I tip my hat to him. The sheer sight of my vehicle at this ungodly hour explains the look on his face as an uncommon occurrence at the ranger station. The thought strikes me, “Am I nuts?”
A headlamp is still in order. There are 30 pounds of camera gear on my back. I make sure the bear bell is attached to my back pack. I just focus on the anticipation of alpenglow as a way to get me through the next 4 miles of uphill starting at an altitude of 10,00 feet. There are only stars and a sliver of moon to light my way.
Now it’s time! Just 1/8 of a second shutter click and the moment’s gone. SUCCESS!
I’ve taken you on this journey with me. Although we have not met, we share the search for alpenglow. It is with the grace of God’s hand that I live in Estes Park, Colorado, the doorstep of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Cameras and photography equipment have evolved significantly since I started my journey into photography in 1978. One thing remains the same. My photographs are more than an image. They tell a passionate story. Thank you for coming with me on this adventure.
© Copyright Mark Hackmeier 2022