Last weekend I had an amazing time camping and hiking with friends in the Adirondack Mountains. I was itching to get out and photograph, so as soon as we pitched our tent and cooked some campfire lunch we headed to the Cascade Mountain trail head. The hike to the summit is only 2.2 miles, but it's almost 2000 feet up and feels like the most intense Stairmaster workout of your life. 

 
Becky Rodriguez Climbing Cascade Mountain
 

As we made our way to the top the thick forest that we had been walking in suddenly disappeared, having been burned away in a fire over 100 years ago. The exposed rock was fun to practice bouldering on with plenty of easy holds and excellent grip.

Our final climb on the bald mountain top.

Our final climb on the bald mountain top.

We reached the summit early enough to spend a few hours enjoying the view. I wanted to wait as long as possible for the sun to go down before taking any sweeping landscapes.

Photographing on Top of Cascade Mountain

It was getting late, and we had to head back down soon to beat the oncoming darkness. I timed myself for ten minutes and photographed the view I had been waiting for.

The Adirondack Mountains fade into the distance as far as the eye can see. What a privilege to be in such a large natural landscape.

The Adirondack Mountains fade into the distance as far as the eye can see. What a privilege to be in such a large natural landscape.

Sunset on Top of Cascade Mountain
 
Landscape Photographer Becky Rodriguez
 

It was hard to stop photographing, and I fell behind on the way back to take a few shots of the descent in beautiful sunset light.

The ridge walk down Cascade Mountain was decorated with rock sculptures made by other hikers.

The ridge walk down Cascade Mountain was decorated with rock sculptures made by other hikers.

Looking back, the mountain was beginning to turn orange as shadows grew longer.

Looking back, the mountain was beginning to turn orange as shadows grew longer.

As dusk fell, the forest took on a sinister quality. Shadowy trees became more than they were, like this one - a tangled octopus. 

Light changes everything. Right at dawn and dusk are some of the most interesting times to be working. The quality of that kind of light often lends personality to objects that otherwise wouldn't be there.

Light changes everything. Right at dawn and dusk are some of the most interesting times to be working. The quality of that kind of light often lends personality to objects that otherwise wouldn't be there.

When we got back everyone was exhausted.  We were all curled up in our tent about to fall asleep when Angel and my friend Jenn said they would be up for looking at the stars. I was surprised they had the energy and so glad we went. It was a beautiful night and just around the corner was this clearing in the trees. Campfires were crackling below lighting up the branches and mixing with the moonlight. The photo is a total of 70 seconds, and you can see the leaves swaying in the wind and stars trailing across the sky. 

It's always a surprise to see what kind of image comes out of the darkness. I was amazed by the dimension and texture that far away fires added to this night landscape.

It's always a surprise to see what kind of image comes out of the darkness. I was amazed by the dimension and texture that far away fires added to this night landscape.

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