An insane case of cabin fever for Nicolette and I led us up north to stay at one of our favorite spots up near Mt. Shasta. We found it a year ago to the day. It was our first stop on our 4,000 mile road trip around the Northwest. It felt a bit weird to be staying there and heading home after, rather than continuing on another grand adventure. 

Joey and his girlfriend Anna met us up there and once we got settled into camp, we decided to head to Castle Lake and hike up to Heart Lake and the Overlook. 

Untitled photo

It's a pretty mellow hike. Maybe three miles to the very top. If you're new to backpacking or trying to get your trail legs back under you this is a terrific place to start. 

We got up to Heart Lake and hung out for a few hours. Jack and Leo swam for at least three hours nonstop before we hiked the rest of the way up to the overlook. 

Once at the top the pups took a look around, and then immediately went to sleep.

Tired Doggos

It didn't quite feel real up there. Like something you see in a movie, or some place far, far away. Every direction you looked was a beautiful photo. And yet, I still felt an overwhelming sense of creative block. 

I was loving the views and being up there watching the sun drop. We even made some friends, one of which was celebrating his 30th birthday. But every photo I took, I didn't even really bother looking at in camera. I just wasn't feeling like I was doing this place justice at all. I even texted Joey when I got home and tried to edit one of the photos. I was so bummed. But after I went to bed and took some time away from the photos, I came back the next day and ended up with 34 photos I couldn't be happier with. Sometimes, all you need is time.

Castle Lake Overlook

This is Houston. Houston asked us if any of us would go out and sit on this rock shelf for a photo. We all looked at each other and said "yeaaahhhh nah'. About ten minutes later he couldn't take it anymore, he went out there himself and had us all take his photo. Madman! After snapping a few on my camera, I picked his up and snagged a few for him. Thanks for taking one for the team Houston!

Madman Houston

Once the sun dropped below the mountains we hiked back down to Heart Lake. There is a frame I've been wanting to capture ever since I came across this place a year ago. 

I love the photos, but the conditions weren't quite what I was hoping for. Glassy water and reflections were nowhere to be found. Good thing we have a backpacking trip planned soon and I can hopefully get a couple tries at the right photo!

Heart Lake

The sunset on our hike down was incredible. Every time I come up this way, I'm rewarded with the most beautiful colors. Maybe I should come up here more?

Back at camp, we made a fire, cooked dinner, and turned in for an early night. We had to get up for sunrise after all.

Yeah we didn't get up for sunrise. Instead we slept in until about 7. Got up, made another fire, made coffee, cooked breakfast, and just relaxed until it was about time to hit the road back home.

Joey and Anna received word that they got an apartment they applied for up in Washington. They moved in two weeks. This was going to be our last trip with them down here like this. I really can't think of a better one. See you in September guys! Wayyyy up North!

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