There are days when you don’t want to travel too far but you definitely want to go somewhere new.  Sunday was like that, so we drove northeast a bit and then probed the back roads for miles, bumping down an old pot-holed logging road into a state forest, where we found gold. Well, golden leaves anyway, and a deep gorge, thundering water, pockmarked rock formations, mushrooms galore, and a fanciful, moss-hung forest.


We were plunged into the midst of vibrant, lush growth, from the forest floor to the treetops far above us. The older trees, with their strange shapes and moss-covered trunks. seemed possessed of distinct personalities.

The deep gorge was lined with slippery rocks, twisting roots, and precarious precipices. It was impossible to see the whole waterfall, but the loud roar of water plunging down through ink-black rock told the story.

One way to peer into the dark recesses of the gorge would be to crawl out on one of the tree trunks that spanned the gorge. I didn’t do that, but I did creep out as close as I dared to the edge on both sides of the gorge to peer down at the water below.

I kept getting distracted by tiny lichens and mushrooms in all shapes.

Coral mushrooms of an indescribable hue grew undisturbed behind fallen logs. Bits of lichen, fallen from branches high above, littered the forest floor.

I kept wishing for the sun to come out – the forecast was for morning fog to burn off and it was already mid-afternoon. Finally blue gaps in the clouds appeared, and then a burst of gold penetrated the thick growth.

Back on the road, there was enough space between towering fir trees to see the bright October sky and sunbeams displaying golden Bigleaf Maple leaves above us.

Our legs were weary from climbing up and down the steep, twisted paths.  We had discovered a new place not too far from home, and as we got into the car we wondered what that “creek” must look like after the spring snow-melt. We’ll be back.


    • It sure does look like your back yard. It reminded us of the Olympic Peninsula too. I like the underwater observation – all the wavy sword ferns and moist, lush growth everywhere – it’s true, you could almost be under water.


    • Yes, it has that primeval look. But even with the very steep hills there, logging was done, years ago. You can see huge stumps here and there. It’s all grown back, but before, there were even bigger trees than what we see now.


  1. Enchanting beyond words! We love this post — thank you, and your sturdy knees too, for taking us along. We can practically feel the air and sunshine. The little “distractions” are awe-inspiring! 🙂


    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. Get this – I lost my lens cap (groan!) so I walked back a bit, looking for it, and didn’t see it. I sighed, turned around, and began to climb up a very steep, short, narrow path. I had to grab roots in the ground to pull myself up and there, just next to my hand, wedged in the curve of an old root, was my lens cap! I had “crab crawled” down that path an hour before and the cap must have squeezed out of my back pocket. It was dark on that stretch because of all the trees, the cap is black of course, so it was crazy that I happened to put my hand right on that little root…if not, I never would have seen it.


    • Hey! Nice to hear from you! No swifts, in fact few birds at all there, but I did see my first Dipper, in the Skykomish R. earlier that day. I’ve been eager to see one & the little guy didn’t disappoint.


    • Thank you John – that one came together so nicely – I was looking up and realized that a few yellow leaves were in my fame of view against the more distant sky & treetops. I was glad I was able to capture it, pretty much just as I saw it. You know I miss the city sometimes! Certain places I was habituated to, I’d have to say – not photographically, more along the lines of food! (You’ll not find pizza here that fits my idea of what pizza is!) But I also miss a small botanic garden I used to frequent on Staten Island. And aren’t we glad for the diversity? If it were all the same we wouldn’t be missing those things that define a place.


  2. Love all the beautiful discoveries along your path BB …trees sleeved with mossy dampness and misty tears dropping to the forest floor …. liquid gold leaves melting into grey waters . Gorgeous images bring Enchantment !


  3. Such an incredibly lush landscape to explore. Your photographs are so intimate and delicate. I love the lead up to the sun coming through and then the illuminated trees and water. Just beautiful!


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