A Good Match

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…

John Muir


So many interpretations of a good match are running through my mind tonight – father and son, mountain hiking and stress relief, nature and escape, family time and growth.  You name it and I’ll find a way to match it with a quote and a shot of the Pacific Northwest.

This weeks image is a look back to our 2008 day at Artist Point in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and one of my favorite shots of John and Ryan together.

Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge:  A Good Match.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy

This week, show us something creepy — because hey, we can’t take photos of rainbows and puppies every day. Well, okay, I guess we can. But let’s branch out anyway!

Michelle W. The Daily Post


Our long hot summer has been filled with fun day trips through some beautiful Pacific Northwest locations and I have plenty of new images ready to share but this week Michelle asks us to branch out a little and show a darker point of view.  Even though my recent postings have been all about sunshine, beaches and nature I’ve been busy taking photos of some not-so-pretty corners too and today’s image is from inside a bunker at Fort Warden State Park outside of Port Townsend, WA.

Fort Warden was built in 1897 to serve as one of three Army bases along Admiralty Inlet and the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula creating a “triangle of fire” to protect the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard as well as Seattle, Tacoma and Everett, WA.  The big guns were never fired and finally removed in WWI for use in Europe but the bases remained active for training until the 1950’s.  This stairway is one of many that lead down to a network of underground bunkers below the old gun installations and generations of kids and campers have used them to tell spooky ghost stories and creep around in the dark.

The rest of Fort Warden is now a beautiful Washington State Park open for camping, retreats and outdoor activities and many of the original buildings, homes and barracks are available for rent.  John and I both attended summer camps at the Fort when we were in school and earlier this month we had a great time showing Ryan around the place.  If anyone remembers the 1982 movie An Officer and a Gentleman or the 2002 movie The Ring they were both filmed here.  I’ll share new photos of the grounds, beaches and view points in later posts but today’s Weekly Photo Challenge:  Creepy is where we’ll start our tour.

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Rule of Thirds at North Creek Park


Ryan and I spent a fun fall afternoon exploring North Creek Park’s peat bog and floating boardwalk but when it came to photos I couldn’t decide which element I liked more, the wild grasses, the blue sky or the curvy path leading us across and around the water.  I finally decided to try for bit of each of them and thought the boardwalk placement on the left here fit Jen’s challenge to place your subject off-center following the Rule of Thirds.

Travel Theme: Delicate


This is the first, and hopefully only, time I post a photo of a slug but this little guy just insisted on being the center of attention today.  Yesterday brought a huge windstorm to the Seattle area and today John, Ryan and I ventured out hoping to visit a “new to us” beach.  The first park we tried was closed due to storm damage and the second was closed to us by a combination of private roads and electronic gates but we persevered, parked our car, and made our own fun taking pictures of what we could see along the road and trails.

Posted as part of Alisa’s Travel Theme:  Delicate

Travel Theme: Stone

During a recent hike in the Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest we ran into a layer of high mountain fog which hid the fantastic views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan and directed our gaze lower, to the rocky foundations of these mountains. I had a chance to see what I’d overlooked during my previous visits when the glaciers and peaks were so clear they captured all of my attention. This time I really enjoyed the color of the stone, the diagonal layers of earth forced up by geological movement and the tenacious alpine plants clinging to the cracks and crevices.

Posted as part of Alisa’s Weekly Travel Theme:  Stone

Travel Theme: Height


It’s not quite as dramatic as Devils Tower in Wyoming but looking up at Table Mountain in the Mount Baker – Snoqualmie National Forest always reminds me of the great 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind…

If you find yourself in the NW corner of Washington State searching for fantastic views and a great hike I encourage you to take a look at the Washington Trails Association page for directions and more information.

Posted as part of Alisa’s weekly travel theme at Where’s My Back Pack:  Height.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2013

Each April hundreds of thousands of visitors attend the month-long Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in the NW corner of Washington State.  While words on a page can’t fully describe the feeling of being surrounded by millions of blooming flower bulbs I hope my pictures below share some of the unforgettable views found in the fields.  If you are planning to visit the festival remember April weather in the Pacific Northwest brings a bit of everything and the day we chose to go saw snow, rain, wind, sun and a lot of mud.  I’m happy we packed our rain boots!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

I love bright, beautiful colors and many of my pictures are filled with images of vivid flowers and sunny waterfront days.   For me the hardest part of this Weekly Photo Challenge: Color was sorting through these pictures to choose just a few photos and finally I decided to share some of the Rhododendrons that grow freely in Washington and fill my yard each spring.