This lake was the first of three alpine lakes on the trail. Along the way I passed meadows of colorful wild flowers, vibrant green blades of grass, and occasional patches of snow hidden in the shadows of the trail. Aspen trees eventually gave way to large towering pines, accompanied by massive time-worn granite boulders. The smell of pine and dust was in the air, and every now and then I could hear the far-away trickle of a stream or waterfall - remnants of the snowmelt. My daypack was on the heavier side. It was crammed with paint tubes, brushes, my field easel, my makeshift palette made out of an old clipboard, water container, 3 liters of water, plus food for lunch and snacks. I had initially intended for it to be a short hike, but it was so incredible I just kept going. However, the extra weight, steep trail, and high elevation made the hike more strenuous, but totally worth it.
Upon reaching the lake, I went down to the water's edge and immediately splashed the cold lake water on my face and neck. How refreshing and welcome! I had been wanting to visit an alpine lake for quite sometime. Although I have only been to a few, something about them has been calling me to paint them for a while now. I put down my pack, sat down on a warm granite boulder and surveyed the scene before me. Pines and firs dotted the mountainside, higher and higher as the granite rose to a commanding peak. The sun kissed the trees with rays of light, illuminating their edges and treetops. The mountainscape was electrifying and I wanted to convey this feeling by painting the contrasting orange of the setting sun against the aqua of the alpine water. After taking in the scene, I continued hiking up to the other two lakes, and then further up to the peak. What an unforgettable day!