Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

April 23, 2016

OLYMPIC WANDERABOUT

... after chad's morning workshop ended we headed out to wander 250 miles to the far reaches of the olympic peninsula ... about fifty miles from our destination we found ourselves twisting and turning along the very edge of the sea ... chad kept saying, "the sign says thirty" ... of course, my response was, "when the sign is yellow it's only a suggestion" ...

... near neah bay we crossed into the home of the makah indians ... after a short drive and a twenty-minute hike we found ourselves at the end of the world, cape flattery, which is also the northwesterly point in the contiguous 48 states ... 

... it was still early in the afternoon, with a great deal of glare, so while chad explored the point seeking a perfect vantage for a sunset picture i stayed closer to the very tip of the peninsula and chatted with the handful of people who, like us, were enjoying "the 1% path" ... this gentleman was all excited because when he turns 70 this year the state of washington will allow him to fish for free ... i relaxed as he snapped pictures of tatoosh island, knowing that in a short while i would be photographing the lighthouse sillouetted by the setting sun ...

... over ten miles from the bluff i stood atop, i saw this huge ship making the turn to enter the strait of juan de fuca ... as i focused my tamron sp 300mm lens i noticed that the jagged rock reef was covered with dozens of sunbathing sea lions ...

... the united states on its starboard side and vancouver island, canada, to its port, another great vessel navigated the middle of the wide strait ...

... even from a distance it was clear to me that chad had found his perfect spot ...

... ever mindful of his photographic responsibility, chad snapped a picture of me as i surveyed all the wonders before me ...
COURTESY CHAD TRACY
... after shooting several pictures of chad, i turned and walked back to climb atop the little viewing platform ... it was then i noticed that i could no longer see the lighthouse ... i became almost mesmerized as the western vista was slowly erased to white by a soft blanket of dense fog ...

... very soon, the landscape itself began to disappear ...

... although we couldn't see the sunset, for a brief moment a bit of its warmth diffused through the misty curtain ...

... in the darkening landscape, with the threat of the trails becoming treacherously slippery from the mist, we knew we should head back to the car ... even so, we kept taking pictures, and i think for both of us it was a great tearing away to have to depart this magical headland ...

... the cool mist bringing an ache to my knees, i walked very slowly ... so slowly that my eyes had time to explore along the trail ... sometimes, it seems, old knees can be a good thing ...

... in a forest that receives almost 100 inches of rain every year, there is only that which sprouts and all else that is being returned to the earth ...

... odd, but it made sense that rather than appearing threatening or malevolent these old trees seemed only beckoning us, "remain longer, slow yourself, remain awhile longer in our time—a time within which only that which truly belongs can stay with you—you may not know it, but you need the rest" ...

... as we drove back towards civilization we left the fog behind ... before the road turned inland we paused for a last look ... herman raucher called it "the singularity of the sea," but to me it was simple loneliness ... this place, however, reminds us that loneliness need not be a definer, but instead can serve reminder ... 

... driving back in the dark we finally gave in to our hunger and stopped at an "open 24 hours" grocery store to purchase a rather junky supper ... munching down as we cruised the highway we missed an important turn and ended up adding over an hour to the route ... the serpentine road was etched along the edge of the olympic mountains, wet slippery tree-seed-covered slick nastiness in a black, black night ...

... we didn't care ...

... tired sore-foot pictured-out weary, we didn't care at all ...