At long last, this lake decided to show me a little love. I've now lost count of how many times I've visited this location in various seasons for various sunrises, sunsets, and even midday opportunities, and never once did I get any nice color in the sky, despite my best efforts at reading the weather forecasts and satellite images. This time I came to the lake with lower expectations than ever, having long since decided that this place is one of my white whales, and that I should go there to log in some disappointment and get it out the way so that maybe better luck will meet me elsewhere.
My plan was to hike the perimeter to get some exercise and then set up the tripod somewhere for my usual spanking, which typically arrives in the form of either completely blank or else incredibly grey skies. The snow was about a meter deep and very wet, with a lot of little terrain wells collapsing beneath my feet as I hiked. It was very slow going, and by the time I reached my favorite part of the shore, the sky was already starting to show some color. I noticed it first in the water, which intensified the golden hues quite a bit. As the color grew more vibrant, it became obvious that I was in for a treat. I suddenly forgot all about the perimeter hike and started to scout for compositions. When I found this serpentine funnel shape between some snow-covered rocks, I felt a rush of excitement--that unique feeling I get when the little voice in my head says, "This looks like a picture."