It was the first day of my August trip to Washington State. I was staying with my long-time childhood friend, Jeff, who was generously showing me some of his favorite Washington scenery. As we headed east our first stop was Deception Falls, right off of Stevens Pass Highway.
After a short hike in a beautiful old-growth forest, we continued north to see the Big Four Ice Caves. On the trail to see the caves I captured this fern:
Big Four Mountain’s north side features large flows of snow and ice that is there all year long because it’s shaded from the sun. In the summer, meltwater flowing down the mountain forms caves in the ice. The walk uphill through the old-growth forest was pleasant, in the 60s, but in the last five minutes approaching the ice caves the temp dropped about 20 degrees.
Leaving the trailhead I noticed many interesting red alders alongside the road:
Mountain Loop Highway meanders through the forest alongside the South Fork Stillaguamish River east of Seattle. As the sun started to set, the clouds finally started to break up toward the west so I started frantically watching for possible spots I could shoot the sunset behind the river. I eventually had Jeff pull over and I scrambled down the roadside embankment to the river and captured this scene:
I can’t wait to get back to Washington. It’s one of those places that has endless possibilities for nature photographers.