I had a craving for the mountains. I also had a craving for camping. Fortunately my wife felt likewise. With numerous options within a relatively short drive, we decided on the Seven Devils in North Central Idaho. This would be my second time to visit this range. Prior to my backpacking trip last year I assiduously researched the terrain in and around these mountains. Using Google Earth I determined that the Forest Service road would come around a bend near the final destination and open up to a grand view of the mountains. After a few miles of climbing up a collection of switchbacks all the while being jarred by the washboard ride, the glimpses of canyons and mountains come into full view especially the Seven Devils being right in your face as you round the corner.
This time in the mountains was a little more casual. No backpacking was planned but “little” hikes here and there were enjoyed. We warmed up with a very short hike up to the Heaven’s Gate fire lookout. We had great views all around. We followed that up with a healthier hike to overlook Papoose Lake just north of the lookout. This hike had a little up and down but the saddle that overlooked the lake was quite nice. After making it back to the car and ultimately camp, we had some lunch and rested before the main attraction was tackled. I had planned to hike the climbers route from the Seven Devils lake campground to overlook Mirror Lake. While viewing the cirque from camp, I felt intimidated having lost my hiking legs a little. I also felt sorry for what I might be putting my wife through. After a mile and ~800ft of progress, we were atop the saddle preparing to view Mirror Lake. The trail was strenuous but not difficult. Going down was a little tricky with the scree along the trail, but the view (as always) was worth it.
Of the two mornings I had an opportunity to shoot sunrise, I only shot the first morning. I was fairly satisfied with what I had. Shooting only with the 24 TS-E lens, I was playing around with shifting for panos. I also used a circular polarizer to help balance the reflection on the lake surface. It was a rejuvenating trip to the mountains with a handful of shots I was pleased with. My greatest pleasure was that my wife actually enjoyed the strenuous hike, especially with such a gorgeous view as a reward.