1165 on the 101
I’ve made this trip many times before. Through out my childhood & teen years I’d cram into the family van with my folks and younger brother. Up the long freeway to a tiny town in a Washington valley. A family reunion was happening and my grandmother, 91 years, was getting to the age where you’ve got to see them one more time.
The drive up the 5 is normally a boring one. A long, hot valley filled with golden hills and farm lands. This time however my journey took me up to 101 free way. Closer to the coastline, tiny towns dotting the highway. The hills greener. The air cooler.
I was waiting for this. The drive between home and Humboldt a journey I’ve made on more than one occasion. It was a bit of old hat. The thing that made it new and beautiful was the fact that I got to be the passenger for once. To space out and watch the scenery fly by. Looks at the world with my child eyes again. I couldn’t wait to hit the Oregon boarder. To lands unknown.
Along the ocean’s edge the road wandered. Up and over hills, through tall trees. On two lanes. One town right after another, cute and small. Each leading to fantasies of simple, town life along the pacific northwest coast.
Randomly picking a spot we pulled over. Wanting to see the water and let Smedley, our traveling bulldog, run along the shore. He loved it. So excited at every stop. This pup is already an experienced traveler.
Back on the road. North bound.
Off the Highway
We finally reached our destination. A small town. Something you wouldn’t really notice. A spot on the highway, an hours drive through a windy mountain highway. It felt good to get out of the car and stretch our legs.
The view of our new home much different then one I came from. Towering trees and mountains replace apartments and telephone poles. Rocks, mossy and cold, a river across the highway.
Lakes & Resting Places
Small town cemeteries, the final resting place for many generations. Rows of different years, same names.
On the way out of town an empty yard and wooden building catch my eye. Small towns are filled with the skeletons of once living structures.
On the highway back to Randle you’ll see a sign, pointing to lakes and campgrounds tucked away in wooded lands and along river ways. Leading like veins to the heart of the lake. Knocked over trees showing the shift in water through out the years.
All weekend my family gathered at one of my uncle’s homes in a neighboring area. People laughed. Old stories were told. The home itself a little farm. Gardens and barns. Chickens and turkeys ran around, later chased by the bulldog.
Chehalis & Centralia
Monday came and a trip out to the twin cities was planned. Chehalis and Centralia is a 62 mile drive through tall trees and over mountain rivers. The closes thing to a normal size place. The sun was warm, sky clear and blue. We walked through businesses and homes looking for nothing in particular.
The day was full with exploration and new sights. It was time to head back to the wild and prepare a delicious meal form my family. Tomorrow was a bigger adventure.
She appears slowly. Creeping over the horizon. Louwala-Clough, known in english as Mount Saint Helens. Her distinct mountain face beautiful in it’s destruction. Young trees not 35 years old. Growing, thin and young where ancient monsters once stood.
Dots of color on top of grey dead earth. Life making it’s way through the crunchy crust.
Bodies of trees blown over. You can see the volcanic path. The dust blow. Like a nuclear blast of destruction. Triggered by the Creator.
Looking straight in the mouth of the beast. A monument to the steam and the titan.
A quaint little forest town. The last stop on the 12 Highway before going over the pass. The town where my parent’s met. Him a Forest Service Ranger, her a waitress in town. My mom retold stores of how things were, ghosts of the past walking through current dreams.
Another mountainous volcano, this one not ready to awaken, loomed over head. Floating in the sky.
Parts of the town, saying good-bye.
The king of the Pacific Northwest. Tahoma, or also known as Mount Rainer. This monstrous mound of stone and wood, snow and water towers 14,411 feet above the earth. Everything must look so small from the top. Like flying. Nothing but blue.
On our way to Tahoma we’d seen a park. Statues cut of wood. A hippie looking man and some woodland animals.
Recharging one energy with another.
One More Evening’s Light
Each evening I’d lay out under a large tree in my grandmother’s yard. The sun would set behind large evergreens and cedar. It would twinkle and dance across leaves & bath insects in it’s light. For 20 minutes each night the world was perfect and calm.
The Golden Valley
The time came and we were ready to go. We headed down the golden valley of the Golden State. Through rolling hills and past farmlands. Trying our best to guess what trees had what fruit or nut.
Back home. Back south.
CAMERA: Canon 7D // LENS: Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5 & Canon 50mm f/1.4
*Taken through out the Pacific West Coast. Between July 19 and July 31 2017.