Photos of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie River Valleys

Posted on May 12, 2013

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From the Mountains to the Sea

After many posts of fiction, I thought it was time to return to the original purpose of this blog: B&W photography.

About a decade ago (!) when I got into film photography and fly fishing simaltaneously in a big way, I lived on the Skykomish river (the “Sky” in my stories). Plunking around the country side of the Skykomish/Snoqualmie river basin I often found myself within yards of the highway or other roads looking at things I’m sure few people even know existed. Slot canyons, waterfalls, carved basins, and other natural formations most people drive blithely past, day after day. Around then the Sky made the 10 most endangered rivers in the country list. I had an idea of doing a book on these rivers and their tributaries, maybe a one-person show, and using the proceeds for on of the numerous, worthy conservation projects in the valleys. I would call it from the Mountains to the Sea, Journeys in the Snoqualmie and Skykomish Watershed.

Granted many of the shots could be better and need to be retaken. My skills were bad, the light was wrong, clouds don’t seem to repeat, I worked for a long time unknowingly with a broken lens (um, no Mr. Camerarepairguy, I don’t know why it’s full of rust), or the negatives are impossible to print (see reason 1, although lately my negatives are spot on, the primary benefit of unemployment). Some will never exist again. The logs in the featured image had clearly been there for decades, having been both debarked and delimbed, but when I decided to retake the shot two weeks later, I found them completely swept away by an early season flood. Some shots I’ve swum up stream for holding my 35lb kit on my head. Probably wont do that again. Most of them I was packing both my fishing and photography gear, which is actually a benefit as I can stand up to my nipples in water in my waders and get shots other people might not get (like the feature shot, a 30s exposure with the water lapping the camera). Once I stepped off the trail, slid down the algae-covered stones directly into the smooth stone pool, holding my camera and tripod over my head the entire ride like a sniper and unable to get out without help. My hiking companions didn’t even notice my departure and so I was stuck there until they came back. One set of shots I needed an ice axe to hold my position. One set I jammed my tripod into the snow without thinking and broke all of the cams that hold the leg positions. In almost all of these places I have caught fish.

Some are well-known features, some few people know about. Some are good, some are on my Fail list. But all of them are things you should know about. Places you should go. Awarenesses you should have. For me that is the thread that holds together many of my pursuits, fishing, photography, mushrooming: the awareness of the details of my world and the interconnectedness they have. If just one person reads this and discovers one thing, it will all be worthwhile. I know I’m barely scratching the surface of the vast habitat in this one valley.

So, in no particular order, here they are. Clicking any image will open a slide show. Hitting ESC will return you to the blog. As always please Like, Share, or Comment so I can figure out what is landing with people.


Holy crap, there are 100 shots here. Maybe a book isn’t so far away after all.

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Posted in: Photography