Oregon · USA
Did you get that play on words, folks? Huh? Did you get it? Ahh...never mind, perhaps it wasn't that clever...
Anyways, this was a capture from a magical hike to Jefferson Park, an insanely popular 5.1-mile (one-way) trek through a towering stand of old-growth Douglas fir with a pillowy cushion of spent pine needles underfoot, meandering through a subalpine coniferous forest ablaze with red huckleberry leaves before emerging into a near-perfect (see below), tarn-filled mountain-view oasis nestled at the broad northern foot of mighty Mt. Jefferson. I'm sure it's not a phenomenon unique to Jefferson Park, but few words are up to the task of describing the experience of seeing a stately mountain round into view as you enter a clearing. I'm sure many of you can relate.
The area is a victim of its own beauty, however, as heavy use by hikers and backpackers have left parts of the meadows sullied. This has resulted in unfortunate but obviously needed access restrictions to allow the stressed vegetation to recover.
But even with these restrictions, splendor abounds. This is the same trip from which my other Jefferson shots were taken, and reviewing my photos from time to time lets me relive the serenity and camaraderie I felt on this particular trip. I hope to experience these soul-stirring sensations again, be it here or elsewhere in Nature's vastness.