Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #233: A One Lens Walk

Happy Sunday! Anne from Slow Shutter Speed is the lovely hostess for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and she has chosen a fun topic – One Lens Walk.

Though I have a total of 5 lenses for my current camera – Nikon D3500 – I usually take just one lens whenever I have an outing opportunity. It’s mostly because I’m someone classified as clumsy and often have anxiety nightmares about my camera and/or the lens getting dropped or destroyed.

I got this camera at the end of 2019 when it was on sale. It came with 2 lenses – 18-55 mm and 70-300 mm. Before long, I invested in a 50 mm f/1.8 lens, followed shortly by the 17-70 mm f/2.8. My most recent addition is the 18-400 mm lens, purchased for my recent trip to the east coast and Canada. Although I like the versatile zoom range of the 18-400 mm, my 2 favorite lenses remain the 17-70 mm and the 50 mm, mainly because of their weight.

I did this hike in June 2021 with my 17-70 mm lens at F/8. It’s probably the least-written-about-hike on this blog. I don’t know why. It wasn’t like this was my first failure to complete a hike and certainly wouldn’t be my last.

This was a hike to Cecret Lake, a small lake at almost 10,000 feet elevation in Albion Basin, located in Little Cottonwood Canyon in Alta, Utah. It was snow-runoff time, snow was melting, water was rushing down the mountain, creating these streams of water in the middle of the trail. My aunt and I had to go around part of the trail because there was too much water for us to just to walk across.

As we climbed, the sun’s rays got more intense like it was a laser beam aiming at my skin. The intense sun was also washing out the light from my photos, making it difficult to edit. It’s why I never really got around to post-processing the photos from that day.

We never did reach Cecret Lake. After being misled over and over by the map on my phone, we ended up asking for direction from a couple that was coming down. They pointed to the mountain in the picture on the right and told us the lake was over the mountain. Immediately, I wanted to faint right then and there.

But…but the map on the app told me the entire hike was 5 miles, I wanted to whine. That’s not 5 miles.

So we decided to turn around.

We had to cross a river on our way back. Most of the river still had a thick sheet of ice on top though I could hear the water running rapidly beneath the ice. Like a ninja, my aunt leaped from stone to stone with ease, something I couldn’t do (clumsy, remember?)

With my hiking stick, I poked and prodded at the ice as I stepped onto the first stone. My balance failed me when I tried to step onto the next stone. My foot landed on the ice and that was when I heard a loud crack. Next thing I knew, I was in the icy stream, getting swept away.

I tried to anchor myself with the hiking stick but it was like my entire mind and body have frozen over. Thankfully, my aunt grabbed my arm in that exact moment and pulled me up.

I was soaked from the waist down. Fortunately, I stowed my camera in my aunt’s backpack right before our journey down or else, it would’ve been damaged.

The whole experience has taught me to not go hiking in high elevation mountains during snow runoff season because for someone who doesn’t know how to swim, this can be a dangerous hike.

18 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #233: A One Lens Walk

  1. Yikes, Yinglan, what a memorable hike. Fortunately your and your camera were safe. And, your pictures are beautiful. I have a 17-70 for my Nikon and it’s a great lens. This was a great response to this challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow Yinglan, I think I understand why you haven’t blogged these images before – what a frightening and disappointing memory! I’d have been scared to death to have landed in the icy water even though I CAN swim! Glad you came through without injury to either yourself or the camera

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how to swim, so I was very much panicking in that moment as well as shivering because that water was very cold. I was glad to be back on land and with that intense sun, I was dried in no time.


  3. Wow scary to think of what might have happened had your aunt not grabbed you. The photos of the meandering trail with the mountains in the back are are beautiful anyway. I guess you won’t go back. I don’t see it as a failure at all and instead a lesson. Experience is life’s greatest lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. And there are no rules are there? One of our hardest hikes ever was Lassen. We promised ourselves we would enjoy as far as we could go. After all we are out there for the beauty. I hope you do go back.

        Liked by 1 person

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