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Duck Lake
Duck Pass Trail, John Muir Wilderness, California
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In my opinion, Mammoth Lakes, is one of the most beautiful places you can visit in California. I find it more interesting than Yosemite even. Duck Pass is a great day hike destination. The problem was, I tried to cram it in as an afternoon hike instead on that particularly beautiful October day. So far, I had hiked about 10 miles with over 1500 foot elevation gain. Surely another 6 miles and an additional 1600 foot elevation gain couldn’t be that bad . . .

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I took my good ol’ time winding through the evergreen forest. I stopped to take pictures at about every rabbit trail and adjacent lake there was to see along the way. I took short cuts. I took detours. Soon, I reached tree line. I kept climbing. Duck Pass turned out to be a much more strenuous than I had anticipated. But boy was it worth the view when I finally crested the top of the pass!

Duck Lake - CA

I was ready for a break. And thankfully, there was still some time left in the day. So I took a break. I stretched out on a rock and fell asleep. It’s not often that I’m tired enough to fall asleep on a rock, but a rock was good enough for me after that climb. And it was right at golden hour when I awoke. Perfect!

Duck Lake

It was certainly worth the hike.  Many areas of life are like this. Photography sure has a steep learning curve, but its worth all the effort you put into it once you get a hang of it!

But don’t let success get to your head.

You see, since I stayed so late up at Duck Pass, it got dark on my on my way back home. Past twilight. And I got lost. Like, actually lost. For the first time ever. And I think the only time ever. I really, truly lost the trail and didn’t know where I was!

After success and satisfaction . . . beware of being plunged into the darkness of self-satisfaction. Beware when men speak well of you. Everyone still needs to stick to the roadmap to stay on track in life, no matter how smart they think they are. And there is no better roadmap to life than what you’ll find outlined in the Scriptures!

How I found the trail again, well, I’ll have to tell that story some other time.

For now, feel free to read how I used this very same photo and story in my first ever public speaking engagement. Are you intimidated by public speaking? Start scaling this steep learning curve in this latest PRO article, Behind the Shot: Duck Lake.

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