Earth Day 2020

Earth Day 2020

Earth Day evokes images of wild places: broad vistas of desert, ocean and mountains.

The Wilderness Act of 1964 defines wilderness as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammelled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”[29]

Earth Day is about protecting these places and keeping them wild.

The raw nature of wilderness and its inherent aesthetic beauty often leave me short of breath, amazed at what I see and grateful for the chance to be a part of it.

In the wilderness is freedom. There is no one to tell you what to do. Knowing these untrammled places are there, and that you can go visit them is integral to sanity, to survival.  They say that wilderness can heal a person and I believe it’s true.

Pictures speak words, they say…

Point of the Arches and Shi Shi Beach, Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park includes long stretches of coastline. Its wonderfully refreshing to backpack and camp along the forests edge, on the beach.

Depending upon how far you hike from the car you can find some real solitude out there.

The spot I’ve visited most often is Point of the Arches. It lies along the northern-most section of ONP, just south of Neah Bay. Its now a very popular spot and sees many visitors. These images are from a trip 2 years ago, in January. A window of warm sunny weather was forecast, and I spent two glorious days there with sumptuous light.  On this particular sunset the colors were so bright and vivid and the orange glow from the rocks and sand so intense, it was more tricky than one would think to edit these and do the place justice.

North End of Shi Shi Beach, Olympic National Park

Its almost a 2-mile hike through the forest and mud until you get to the stairs and descend to the beach. Point of the Arches is another 2 miles walk, along the ocean.

Once the sun started to set the shadows and lines were amazing.

As the colors got richer it was impossible to capture enough images.

Every shot looked magnificent, better then the last, and the landscape is so utterly magical…

There you have it! Prints are available here. Info on Photography Tours here!

Wilderness

I was drawn to wilderness from the first time I saw images on some old 1960’s Wild Kingdom TV show. Things looked a bit sketchy out there. Like you were never exactly sure what would happen next.

That appealed to me.

Sahale Camp

I didn’t get very old before I figured out that most people seemed to live life in a straight jacket. Maybe it was created for them, or it could have been of their own making. But things looked so predictable and depressing.

Wilderness, was it a way out?

At 16 my mom got cancer and passed away rather suddenly. She was my stable person in the world. I was lost. 30 days on an Outward Bound program in the Sawtooth Mountains saved me.

The wilderness taught me strength.

Returning to civilization afterwards was…difficult.  I ran away soon after never to return home. There were rough times. When things got really bad I escaped to a wild place.

Wilderness gave me hope. My time there taught me that no matter what, things would be alright.

For a time I lived an idealists dream, thinking I was helping to save the world, only to end in bitter disappointment.

Sahale Camp

When that ended I was left with a hole in my soul bigger than the grand canyon. And it was Sahale Camp that saved me.

Wilderness taught me that you shouldn’t take things so fucking seriously.

I have dug myself in many holes in my relationships with others. I escaped to wilderness to find peace. Finally wilderness taught me some humility.

Sometime just knowing that there are wild places out there is the only thing that keeps me going.

There are times when I am deeply disappointed in humans and worried about the havoc they wreak. I worry about losing wild places.

Now I understand that wilderness is more than a place. Its a feeling, an attitude, a freedom, a willingness and a determination.

Deep down inside I know these are things I will never lose.