Washington Wanderings II

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 in Travel

In Seattle I met up with a friend from community college. She isn’t a fan of heights but obliged to go with me to the Observation Deck at the Columbia Tower for sunset. Looking down from such heights makes me dizzy and slightly apprehensive myself. Especially considering earthquakes are a rather common occurrence in Southern California.

_DSC0186

There’s a large spike in tourists right around the sunset hour that quickly subsides once their phones can’t cope with the darker settings. I managed to take a long exposure without a tripod by resting my camera on the window sill and holding very still.
_DSC0241

The great thing about going to the Columbia Tower is that you get to see Seattle sprawled out below you including the Space Needle. When you go to the Space Needle you see Seattle, but nothing that really makes it “Seattle”.

_DSC0243

_DSC0254

To the east of Seattle lie The Enchantments; an entrancing place composed of mountains, forests, valleys, rivers and lakes, many things unseen and unheard of in dusty Southern California.

_DSC0267

_DSC0268

_DSC0270

_DSC0274

I had come across a photo of Dragontail Peak and wished to replicate it myself. I looked up the directions and after skimming the trail description, determined it was 2 miles in. Lindsey and I make the 3 and a half hour drive out and start our journey through the woods. The goal was to get there for sunset, enjoy the space then turn around and go back. But come to find out, I had underestimated the hike one way by 4 miles. At 2 miles in there is a fork in the trail. We make a left and start to go up a steep incline with switchbacks and large rocks to scramble over. Lindsey starts to fall behind and tells me to go on ahead, that she’ll catch up later. I can see the sun on the upper peaks begin to fade. After quite a while the ground levels out and I can see a lake through the trees. Though the sun is gone, there is still some light. I briskly search for a clearing to get a good shot. I find a decent one and get some photos, then wait for Lindsey.

_DSC0277

After some time I hear nothing of her. Cell phone service is non-existent. I start to get nervous, how are we suppose to find each other? So I begin to whistle. Regularly at first, singing the tune the rooster plays at the beginning of Robin Hood. After some time of that I figure it’s not loud enough so I put my fingers in my mouth and send forth a piercing whistle that echoes across the lake and off the mountains. I try it again and this time I hear a faint “Jon! I’m over here!”. I do it again and hear “i can hear you!” She’s getting closer. I clamber off the rock I’m on and start wandering through the woods, whistling regularly again. We find each other and she brings me to the place that she had found that had an unobstructed view.

_DSC0291

We sit there for some time taking it in. Something I struggle with as a photographer is trying to get as many shots as I can in the fading light instead of just sitting there and enjoying the moment.  We start to make our way back in the dark. Thankfully I had put my phone on Airplane mode and had a high percentage. We made it all the way back by using the light and it only drained 20%! And a new record of 32,279 steps. My ankles didn’t want to work properly the next day.

Leave a Reply