Drinking Water at the Waterfall, Planting Vines Under the Bedspring

On a mostly cloudy December day with sun breaks – a common weather occurrence around here – I went for a drive and found myself zipping down a lonely two lane road, 56 miles from Seattle…


A pretty waterfall tumbled down a steep hill and passed underneath the road. I pulled over, parked and got out to take a closer look.

On the concrete barrier at the side of the road was a plastic glass, full to the brim with cold rainwater,

as if set down mid-gaze by the last person who stopped to admire the pounding creek.

I never know what I’ll find when I explore back roads around here.

The road clung to the roiling Skykomish River at one point, opening up a view to Mt. Index in the distance.

Around a few curves and over a hill, “Dr. Seuss trees” gently swayed in the wind, their trunks and limbs laden with soft, wet moss.

Further on in the small town of Index (population 184 in 2012) I stopped to get coffee and look around. An old railway bridge crosses the Skykomish River there, and when you step back, there’s Mt. Index, rising to a precipitous peak.

With its crazy-steep slopes, this mountain is a well known landmark here in the Cascades. The tiny town of Index is a picturesque spot too, with its river and mountain views. Europeans began coming to the area in the late 1800’s – gold had been discovered farther east and there was plenty of logging everywhere. Nowadays river sports and the Index Town Walls draw people – Index is a rock-climber’s minor mecca. A tiny museum in town is open on summer weekends. We went in once and found it fascinating but the old gentleman who was minding the museum and wanted an audience smelled terrible. Oh well.

You can get a decent espresso or a beer and snacks at the Outdoor Adventure Center, open all year for kayaking and rafting. The last time I visited, in August a couple enjoyed a picnic behind the OAC building:

Also from the summer, the tiny Index Town Hall:

Reflecting the local penchant for idiosyncratic expression, a yard in town displayed glorious lilies set against polka dotted posts holding an old box-spring which supported vines. One aspect of the Pacific Northwest that delighted me when I first came here is local people’s freedom of artistic expression in their yards, along the streets, in parks – just about anywhere.

Before too long, those lilies will be back!


  1. What an enjoyable post…I loved the glass of water at the side of the stream…and the rich green of your forests. So very nice…and well captured, too. πŸ™‚


    • Cool! Glad you liked it – the water was just such a funny sight there. In less than 3 weeks I’ll be in the desert though, probably struggling with adapting to how different the light is…


      • I liked it very much, Lynn, and I’m sure I would have had the same thoughts if I had been the one to find it there. The light will definitely be different here in the desert…it sends to wash-out some of the objects…but morning and evening will be prime times to be out, unless you’ve got certain filters, etc., that will allow you to shoot throughout the day. You managed well in Joshua Tree National Forest, so I would imagine that you will do fine out here in the Chiricahua, as well.


  2. I love that artsy polka-dotted post and the bedspring trellis, as well as those mosses in the forest. Your waterfall pictures are wonderful too! It looks like it was a fabulous drive. πŸ™‚


    • Ha! Glad you liked that – there are so many odd things like that people put in their yards out here. I don’t think people are as free with putting their zany sides out front for all to see back east. And I can’t imagine this kind of thing popping up in China. It’s part of the west coast easy going live and let live mentality, I think.


  3. Such a lovely rythm to your words Lynne, not unlike I suspect, the gentle rythm to life in Index and the rural parts of the north west generally I’d imagine. Beautiful photos, I expecially liked the Dr Suess trees.


    • Nice to hear! From what you’ve said about the increase in traffic in your area, I can imagine you’d enjoy a slower pace from time to time. Our traffic is also very heavy near Seattle and in the surrounding suburbs, but what’s nice is that you can easily drive to a place that is so very different.


  4. Places to be adventurous or as chilled as one might be thirsting for Lynne . Love the tumbling waters of course πŸ˜‰ and can feel really the squishy texture of those Dr Seuss mossy trees .. aren’t they just wonderful .


  5. We are so blessed to be able to head out to visit these marvelous places so close to home. Next stop the desert? That should be quite the contrast. Different is good.


  6. Lynn, these images are exquisite! I felt my inner self sighing and relaxing as I explored them – so beautiful. And I’m always a sucker for those mossy tree shots πŸ™‚ Oh, and the railroad tracks and bridge – what a great eye you have for line and composition. Bravo!


  7. we do live in a beautiful corner of the planet, don’t we? i’m up in Canada, but frequently in the Pacific Northwest, and we share similar landscapes.
    love those Dr Seuss trees. can never tire of them, although i must admit that is a clever moniker for them. have never thought of them that way before, but of course that is exactly what they are! thanks for sharing.


  8. Thanks for taking us along on the road trip. Love the box spring art. Would be nice to haul a mattress up there one day and take a nap.


  9. What a beautiful part of the country. Ferns, forest, moss, mist, wildflowers. I’ve enjoyed looking at your work here and on your site. This Lynn W. is from Minnesota originally, how about you?


    • Born in Michigan actually, but only lived there until I was five, then various places in NY and NJ, many years in NYC, upstate…a few years in the mountains in NC, then here, outside of Seattle. That’s it in a nutshell!


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