Days 33-34: Pacific Cascades

Hello from Washington! Since my last post, I’ve been able to spend a few more days enjoying these Cascade Mountains, but have moved out of the North Cascades area and more in to the central part of Washington’s cascade range. Make no mistake though, there’s still plenty of lush forests and never ending mountains where I’m at now. The last few days have also seen an increase in weather activity. These incoming storms have made for some real interesting nights in the woods when the winds really picked up. The sounds of the wind were whipping through tree tops so quickly and in such a chaotic sounding manner that at points it was impossible to not feel surrounded by a tornado passing through the forests. I’m not sure there is anywhere else in the world where these noises could be replicated other than a different deep, mountainous forest. But that makes me very happy, as I’ll still be spending some more time in these mountains exploring those peculiar moments of noise.

Pictures from Days 33-34:

These mountains are known as the "Alps of America"

These mountains are known as the “Alps of America”

Diablo Lake. Another dam made lake in Washington state.

Diablo Lake. Another dam made lake in Washington state.

I enjoy playing with the mountains' reflections in the reservoirs.

I enjoy playing with the mountains’ reflections in the reservoirs.

View of Ross Dam, one of the dams in the cascade mountains.

View of Ross Dam, one of the dams in the cascade mountains.

Got to be one of the coolest looking dams I've seen before.

Got to be one of the coolest looking dams I’ve seen before.

Highway 20 climbing up to Washington Pass.

Highway 20 climbing up to Washington Pass.

View of a creek meeting a reservoir from very high up.

View of a creek meeting a reservoir from very high up.

The river banks in these forests are all beautiful and covered in a multitude of plants and trees. These riverbanks go on like this for miles.

The river banks in these forests are all beautiful and covered in a multitude of plants and trees. These riverbanks go on like this for miles.

Eventually these trees will be carried away down the mighty river behind them. It's only a matter of time.

Eventually these trees will be carried away down the mighty river behind them. It’s only a matter of time.

Sometimes the forest breaks it's dense underbelly and exposes a moment like this.

Sometimes the forest breaks it’s dense underbelly and exposes a moment like this.

Changing seasons in the Cascades.

Changing seasons in the Cascades.

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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