The autumn colors of 2001 were the most splendid of my career here in the eastern Sierra. The first change occurred early, in mid September, and the spectacular reds and oranges seemed to last forever. Perhaps it was the lack of precipitation that fall that allowed the leaves to hang on a little longer. I spent an afternoon scouting this location at North Lake the day before. I chose my exact angle and left some rocks to mark where I placed my tripod. The next morning, I arrived without much time to spare. To my surprise, I found Galen Rowell and his workshop of a dozen students. They had been there for hours. Miraculously, no one had taken my spot and no one was setting up in my view. Galen set up just around the corner on my left.