I am a nature girl at heart. I love getting away from all that is ‘civilized’ and the best place I have found to do that is out in the forests of Washington State. The connection it brings for me is so thorough that I often time miss many great photos because I forget that my camera is even hanging around my neck.
Even the drive to get there is amazing. As the buildings fade away and are replaced with towering Sitka Spruce, Western Red Cedar, and Western Hemlock, to name a few, I can feel the tension start to ease from my body. As we get closer to areas that are appropriate to pull over and get out, I become like a kid headed toward an amusement park: I can’t wait to get in there.
I always drive through the forested areas for a bit before pulling over. I want to get a fairly good distance away from any possible signs of civilization, for me and because I always have my dogs with me. It is…such a gift to see the joy on their faces being out in the woods brings them, as well. By the time I pull over, they are as excited as I am.
Once I have found a spot that looks like a good spot to head in, I pull over, get out, grab my camera, leash all four dogs, and we head in. About 5 steps before we cross the border from man cleared area to nature created woods, I unleash the dogs, take the last five steps, and just look into the glory of all that is in front of me before I take that first step into the nirvanic abyss.
The silence is deafening. The moss, ferns, and lichen encasing the trees create a jungle-like scenary that is almost mythical. Here and there, there are short rows of enormous trees on stilt-like roots, their nursing trees once again part of the earth. The ground is a varying mixture of tree droppings, foliage of saplings, salmonberry plants, mosses, and ferns. The Roosevelt elk have done their job of keeping the undercover moderate.
As I take a step in, I see my pack heading back to check in and the world just fades away completely. I am in heaven.