I only have one more post planned for Norway, but I’m taking a break this week to share something a bit closer to home.  We went backpacking this summer in the spectacularly beautiful Olympic National Park, one of our closest national parks.  (Fun fact: from Portland, Olympic National Park and Crater Lake National Park are almost exactly equidistant (ONP is barely closer – by a mile).  Mount Rainier National Park is closer than both of them.. but we’ve surprisingly never been!)  Ever since my epic adventure to Alaska last year, I’ve really taken a liking to backpacking, though I still haven’t quite figured out how to bring my bag weight down with all my imperative camera gear!

This particular sunset has a story behind it (don’t most photos?).

Sun setting behind a sea rock in Olympic National Park | LotsaSmiles Photography

As a group, we had somehow gotten on the topic of the elusive “green flash” sometimes observed at sunset.  Since we were on the beach with a clear view to the horizon, we resolved we’d watch closely to see if we could witness it firsthand.

The sun slowly sank toward the Pacific Ocean, and we had our cameras poised on their tripods.  I actually really loved these rocks far out to sea; they added some interesting subjects for my photos.

Eventually, the sun finally disappeared along the side of this main sea tower, but I never saw any hints of green (while trying to not stare at the sun too directly, mind you.  I started to pack up when I glanced behind me and saw the rest of our group still furiously shooting.  I also noticed they still stood in some faint vestiges of sunlight.

Sun setting on the Washington coast in Olympic National Park | LotsaSmiles Photography

Sun setting on the Washington coast in Olympic National Park | LotsaSmiles Photography

Sun setting on the Washington coast in Olympic National Park | LotsaSmiles Photography

Dashing to where they stood, sure enough, the sun was still just barely in the sky!  The rock obscured more than I realized.

I had a second opportunity to look for the green flash, but even then, the entire view remained stubbornly golden.

We didn’t catch it, but it was fun to look for it.  And we still managed to get some beautiful coastal sunset images, so I can’t complain.  Perhaps I’ll see it the next time we visit the coast.

Silhouette of our friend steadying himself on a rock on the beach for a photo with the sunset behind him | LotsaSmiles Photography

Have you ever seen the green flash?


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