Days 25-30: Washington

Well it’s been over a month now since I left Texas and thinking back to the places I’ve been these last 30 days is starting to become quite unbelievable for me. I’ve made it from the deep south central part of the country all the way to the far Northwest reaches so far. I’ve seen 7 beautiful states and have stayed in more incredible places than I could have ever imagined in such a short amount of time. My trip so far has taken me a very far way and through many different environments. It’s now during these last few days of my trip, that I’ve made it to an absolutely stunning environment where I find myself spending my days running through the Pacific Cascades Mountains. What a beautiful place this is. John Muir, the famed naturalist, once said “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” I couldn’t agree more after staying in these forest wilderness’ here in the evergreen state. These woods and mountains are just so endless and limitless in their natural wonder. Here in this special environment; creeks begin flowing from mountain top glaciers, crash and fall down steep rocky waterfalls, and continue downward into an organized maze of wide rivers spread throughout the valleys, only to be interrupted by the occasional green lush meadow or patch of lost forest trees. The mountain peaks and covering forests themselves are an endless sea of jagged points and ridges as far as the eye can see. Within that entire ocean of peaks and woods, lay hundreds of glaciers, each starting this natural journey of water from mountain top to ocean below. I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to be staying. The sheer power of mother nature and time are evident everywhere around me. I’ll be spending the next few days exploring more into this unforgettable part of the country, hoping to see more of not just nature but the power of time itself. And finally to answer the age old question of, “if a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around, does it make a noise?” Yes, the tree makes quite a loud noise. Then that loud noise causes a wide variety of noises all around to arise as the living forest and living animals of the forest react to such a monumental symphony of noises. I’d say that the natural Universe couldn’t be any more clear in a place like this.

Pictures from Days 25-30:

 

This is a part of the country that is beautiful beyond what words can describe.

This is a part of the country that is beautiful beyond what words can describe.

1-DSC_0011

Nature at work.

Sunset over Lake Roosevelt.

Sunset over Lake Roosevelt.

There are two forces at play in these woods, water and time.

There are two forces at play in these woods, water and time.

Washington Pass

Washington Pass

Glaciers to creeks.

Glaciers to creeks.

4AM in the morning, the sun light is barely beginning to make it's appearance.

4AM in the morning, the sun light is barely beginning to make it’s appearance.

More stars in the woods.

More stars in the woods.

This photo was taken at night, the sky is being illuminated by the moon.

This photo was taken at night, the sky is being illuminated by the moon.

Reflections of forested mountains.

Reflections of forested mountains.

At the base of the valleys, you'll find this.

At the base of the valleys, you’ll find this.

Sunset over Lake Roosevelt.

Sunset over Lake Roosevelt.

In forests like this, very green plants grow on just normal green plants.

In forests like this, very green plants grow on just normal green plants.

View of the valley floor river from high above.

View of the valley floor river from high above.

Days 21-24: Montana to Washington

Well I’ve finally made it to the Pacific Northwest. I drove from the Bitterroot Valley of Montana into Northeast Washington state yesterday and am really finding the evergreen state to be extremely interesting. The Bitterroot Valley was an incredible place where the word “big” met the word “beauty” and a valley in Montana was created. The last day I spent in the valley began with the clouds finally breaking enough for me to see the valley floor covered in homes, towns, and farms. Unfortunately, the mountain tops continued to remain just out of sight hiding in the low clouds. But the message the valley gave off was the same, peaks or not, beauty. I definitely see myself making a return trip to this special part of the country in the future. The mountains and valleys of the Montana/Idaho border were just begging for more exploration. But due to the ruggedness and remoteness of some of these parts of the mountains, I determined spring and summer were the best time of the year to truly get lost in this wilderness. I can’t wait for the day that I get to come back and spend weeks if not months exploring the hundreds of valleys and creeks in this area. Washington state has been incredibly interesting in that the Bitterroot Valley I fell in love with in Montana was directly responsible for the land I’m staying in now. The Northeast of Washington has always been dominated by the mighty Columbia River and during the last ice age 12,000 years ago, the lake that originally carved out the Bitterroot Valley broke free and flooded down the mountains through the Idaho panhandle and into the Columbia River in NE Washington. Where I’m staying at now is in that ancient flood path. The river has been dammed since then, and now there is Lake Roosevelt in the once deep carved out Columbia River valley. This story of ancient flood waters shaping the modern day landscape of the Northwest has been incredibly interesting to follow along and see firsthand. The Earth is an interesting place with an even more fascinating history. How easy it is to forget that we see mountains, valleys, and rivers today because of events that took places over hundreds of years, thousands of years ago.

-Warren

Pictures from Days 21-24:

Saying goodbye to this special valley for now. Imagine this going on for a hundred miles to get an idea of how massive this place is

Saying goodbye to this special valley for now. Imagine this going on for a hundred miles to get an idea of how massive this place is

Watching ducks swim and fly around Lake Roosevelt

Watching ducks swim and fly around Lake Roosevelt

Where I've been sleeping, with peacocks and apple trees in the middle of a forest of pines. Oh there's a lake too

Where I’ve been sleeping, with peacocks and apple trees in the middle of a forest of pines. Oh there’s a lake too

Cloud watching here could be a full time job

Cloud watching here could be a full time job

Where the forest meets the beach

Where the forest meets the beach

A truly special place

A truly special place

Good morning world

Good morning world

Ducks flying across the lake

Ducks flying across the lake

Flowers growing out of the water

Flowers growing out of the water

Cool underwater patterns in the sand

Cool underwater patterns in the sand

A true thinking chair

A true thinking chair

Days 19-20: Montana Cont.

WOW! I believe I’ve said that word out loud at least a thousand times in the past two days all while smiling ear to ear the entire time. I spent a day crossing mountain ranges within Montana, and am now in the Bitterroot Valley for the next few days. This whole valley has really blown me away with the beauty of it’s dense forests and jagged mountains. I just can’t get enough of this place right now. I’ve felt solitude before, but the kind of peace and solitude you feel in a place like this makes everywhere else you’ve been before seem busy and distracting. In the deep forests of this valley, thoughts are your only companion and the beauty of the surrounding nature puts an intoxicating spell on you that makes you just want to sit back and listen. Just like my past campsite, the one I’m staying in now is right up against the border of a National Wilderness and going exploring in there has been an absolute treat. As soon as I cross the border from National Forest to Wilderness, the scenery immediately changes. The trails begin to narrow to the point where sometimes it’s best to traverse them sideways. The landscape of the forests get even more dense with plants, rocks, and everything else natural you could imagine. The forest grounds begin to be completely covered with moss and small plants that I have never seen before anywhere else. There is definitely something special about a place like this and it’s impossible to spend more than 5 minutes here and not realize this. Unfortunately for me and my photos, the weather has been throwing some cloudy days my way. The jagged peaks are always going in and out of hiding in the clouds as the day goes by. But with a place this beautiful and majestic, I don’t mind waiting for some better weather to truly see what’s right in front of me. I can only see bits and parts, here and there as the weather allows; but I know that this place can be so much more with just a little less clouds. So I’ll be spending the next few days staying put right here; all while taking in the fearsome peaks, dense forests, and incredible feelings that a place like this will give you.

-Warren

Pictures from Days 19-20:

I'll be living in the base of this valley for the next few days. What a home

I’ll be living in the base of this valley for the next few days. What a home

Deep in Montana

Deep in Montana

A step back in time in Montana

A step back in time in Montana

These landscapes never get old

These landscapes never get old

Low clouds IN the mountains

Low clouds IN the mountains

Watching beavers swim around this lake was a great way to spend the afternoon

Watching beavers swim around this lake was a great way to spend the afternoon

Now this is a campsite

Now this is a campsite

Shadows of the forest covering the trail

Shadows of the forest covering the trail

Visibility in these woods is probably less than 100 feet

Visibility in these woods is probably less than 100 feet

I see why it's called Boulder creek

I see why it’s called Boulder creek

Little waterfalls in the middle of the wilderness

Little waterfalls in the middle of the wilderness

Days 17-18: Montana

Hello from Montana! I made it into Montana 2 days ago and have been busy exploring these beautiful mountains and forests since. While the state of Wyoming likes to call itself “forever west”, Montana IS the real deal west. The state of Montana is full of a proud people backed up by a fascinating history that most times has only happened within the last 100 years or so. Everything in this state just feels different to me. I feel like as I crossed the state border, I took a step back in time. The scenery I’m seeing and the towns I’m passing through are straight out of a wild west movie. This is my first time to this state, and within the first two days I’ve realized I’ve been missing a whole lot. Montana is a state where the word “big” takes on a new meaning. I’ve been busy busy trying to snap as many pictures as I can to try and capture this huge beauty. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

-Warren

P.S.: Feedback is ALWAYS appreciated! I really enjoy hearing which of my photos capture your attention. This is very valuable feedback for me and for my future shots. Sound off below in the comments! I’m sure one of my photos stood out more than the others to you.

Pictures from Days 17-18:

Welcome to Montana

Welcome to Montana

Big Sky country

Big Sky country

The big dipper high above big sky country

The big dipper high above big sky country

Notice the cluster of stars in the right part of the picture

Notice the cluster of stars in the right part of the picture

The trail follows all the way around the lake edge

The trail follows all the way around the lake edge

 

The view straight up from my campsite

The view straight up from my campsite

Life's not bad when you're sleeping less than 200 feet from this

Life’s not bad when you’re sleeping less than 200 feet from this

I've been having fun playing with the creeks and mountain tops

I’ve been having fun playing with the creeks and mountain tops

The only gaps in the thick woods comes from creeks like this

The only gaps in the thick woods comes from creeks like this

This is bear country

This is bear country

One of the most beautiful campgrounds I've ever been too

One of the most beautiful campgrounds I’ve ever been too

Just when you get lost in the trees of the forest, a rock busts out of the ground to remind you of the mountains

Just when you get lost in the trees of the forest, a rock busts out of the ground to remind you that you’re in the mountains too

Montana pastures

Montana pastures

More of the massive pastures of Montana

More of the massive pastures of Montana

Just another day in Montana

Just another day in Montana

Mountain creeks

Mountain creeks

Days 15-16: Greater Yellowstone Area

Well I’m back on the road after staying in Idaho Falls for a week, and I’m very excited for the opportunity to catch some great shots now that I’m heading through a very scenic part of the country. The greater Yellowstone area I’m in refers to the Yellowstone Super-volcano area, not necessarily Yellowstone National Park. I spent Monday afternoon climbing out of the Idaho Falls valley and up into this beautiful area. I had been to Yellowstone National Park years ago as a kid, but never got the opportunity to explore the Idaho side of the same environment, and I have to say it’s exactly how I remember the park. The pictures I’ve been taking these last two days here have been some of my favorite so far this trip, probably due to the fact that I finally feel like I’m getting a hold of what my camera can really do. I guess that’s what will happen when you spend a week off the road. So with some new photography skills/ideas and a beautiful new landscape to live in, I feel right back at home. Stay tuned to the blog (or just “Follow” to be notified of all new postings) as I’m going to be heading up North through the Montana Rocky Mountains. The epic landscapes and breathtaking scenery should make for some beautiful shots, weather and bears allowing of course.

-Warren

Pictures from Day 15:

Natural frames in Idaho with the clouds rolling in on the mountains

Natural frames in Idaho with the clouds rolling in on the mountains

Beautiful rivers in Idaho

Beautiful rivers in Idaho

Rainy day in Idaho

Rainy day in Idaho

Almost to Montana

Almost to Montana

Being high up in the mountains made for beautiful clouds passing overhead

Being high up in the mountains made for beautiful clouds passing overhead

Property lines in the valley

Property lines in the valley

Changing colors in Idaho

Changing colors in Idaho

Playing with natural frames

Playing with natural frames

 

Pictures from Day 16:

Low clouds rolling over the mountains

Low clouds rolling over the mountains

Clouds as big as mountains

Clouds as big as mountains

Golden valleys and blue mountains

Golden valleys and blue mountains

The sun setting over the forest

The sun setting over the forest

Spent a few hours out in the valley watching the sun set, there was a moment of only about 10 minutes where the suns rays could visibly be seen across the valley

Spent a few hours out in the valley watching the sun set, there was a moment of only about 10 minutes where the suns rays could visibly be seen across the valley

The path back into the woods

The path back into the woods

Playing with more natural frames in the valley

Playing with more natural frames in the valley

Sunsets in the mountains can lead to insane lights/colors in the clouds

Sunsets in the mountains can lead to insane lights/colors in the clouds

Clouds at sunset over the valley

Clouds at sunset over the valley

Days 11-14: Idaho Cont.

Well my time in Idaho with family is coming to an end. I have to say that I really enjoyed the time I spent here for many different reasons. Spending time with family is always a plus and sleeping inside is definitely a major plus. But the call of the wild and the thrill of open country is becoming to loud for me to continue to ignore. I’m well rested and ready to embark into what I’ve been told is some of the most beautiful parts of the country. I’m excited to share with everyone some beautiful pictures in the next few days. I’ll be leaving Idaho Falls for the greater Yellowstone area, as well as the Rocky Mountains of Montana. Both of these places should hold great opportunities for some really nice pictures and camping. So it’s back on the road for me, constantly in search of a new place to sleep and an internet connection.

-Warren

Stars over Idaho Falls, the city lights even in a town of less than 100,000 have a major impact on the night sky

Stars over Idaho Falls, the city lights even in a town of less than 100,000 have a major impact on the night sky

Idaho sunset

Idaho sunset

Double rainbow over Idaho Falls

Double rainbow over Idaho Falls

The Huffman sheds, full of all sorts of hidden toys and equipment

The Huffman sheds, full of all sorts of hidden toys and equipment

The property was first built on during the Great Depression times and has since become an incredible collection of the most unorthodox building materials. I think the saying should be, "one man's trash is another's building materials"

The property was first built on during the Great Depression times and has since become an incredible collection of the most unorthodox building materials. I think the saying should be, “one man’s trash is another man’s building materials”

Inside the car restoration shop. I was able to help finish an office inside and build a retaining wall outside for this shop

Inside the car restoration shop. I was able to help finish an office inside and build a retaining wall outside for this shop

The shop office, getting close to done

The shop office, getting close to done

All sorts of cool projects in this garage

All sorts of cool projects in this garage

Makeshift shop office

Makeshift shop office

DSC_0049 (5)

The Huffman Clan plus Grandma

Alexander being Alex

Alexander being Alex

Days 7-10: Idaho

Hello from Idaho Falls! So lately I’ve taken a few days off the road, and have been spending time with my cousin and her family. The family consists of 5 kids; a freshman in high school, a 6th grader, and 3 triplet two year old boys. Yes TRIPLET TWO YEAR OLD BOYS. Needless to say, there’s always something fun going on here in Idaho. So far I’ve been able to check out the city of Idaho Falls and the beautiful downtown area. The falls here in the city are incredibly pretty, and by building three hydroelectric power plants along the river, the city was able to generate 50% of their total power usage from a renewable energy source. I also have really enjoyed trying to keep up with 3 two year old balls of energy the last few days, as well as their two older siblings. There’s just so much going on around here, keeping me plenty busy. Part of the family out here is also always working on cool and interesting projects. I’ve been able to help build an office inside a car restoration garage, dig out a broken water main, and help lay the foundation for a retaining wall and concrete slab; all in the last 3 days. I’ve really enjoyed being around so many different and interesting projects that I normally never have the opportunity of seeing. I feel like a young sponge soaking up all the skills and knowledge around me. Seeing and learning about these many new things reminds me why I took off on this adventure in the first place. I’m planning on spending a few more days here in the area because my stay here happened to coincide with one of my aunts visits to Idaho. For me, it’s like a mini family reunion in Idaho Falls and I couldn’t be any happier.

-Warren

Pictures from Days 7-10:

Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls

Another view of the falls

Another view of the falls

Lots of wildlife and waterfalls in this area

Lots of wildlife and waterfalls in this area

Another section of the Idaho Falls

Another section of the Idaho Falls

Snake River right before the falls

Snake River right before the falls

Tractor fun

Tractor fun

Idaho sky right after sunset

Idaho sky right after sunset

The triplet boys, almost got a good picture of all 3 but then I realized that was impossible

The triplet boys, I almost got a good picture of all 3 but then I realized that was impossible

Alexander

Alexander

Benjamin

Benjamin

Charlie

Charlie

When triplets attack

When triplets attack, seek high ground