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Tag Archives: North Cascades

These two have been together for nine years, engaged for four years; they’ve lived together and far apart, separated by jobs or school. They’ve lived in the northwest, the southeast, overseas. Their wedding was threatened by a not so distant wildfire. Mazama was on a level 1 alert which means, be ready, in case this fire blows up and moves closer to homes. Their home in Florida was threatened by Hurricane Irma. And yet, it all turned out. The fire cooperated and photos were made high in the mountains and the intimate morning wedding in Mazama went just as planned. Irma changed course. Sometimes it all works out.

They had considered having the entire event high in the mountains near Harts Pass however some family members were reluctant to drive the steep and windy road to the top. And with the potential fire danger, it was even scarier. Instead, they had it on the edge of a meadow at Mazama. Just the three of us drove to Harts Pass to catch the morning light and the beginning of fall colors in the alpine larch trees. Just yesterday, Harts Pass was closed to the public due to the continuing wildfire situation and Mazama is on Level 2 notice.

Since this was a morning wedding, we started early. The hair and makeup artist was there at 4:30 AM! I started working at 6. Have I mentioned that all weddings are unique? It’s true. That is something I love about them.

 

My website, Reflected Light Images continues to be a problem for me to fully update. Hopefully, this will be the last of my weddings to be posted here.

Face it. Many people in the west have had to battle smoke and wildfire for weeks. Even months. Those things stole our summer from us. Now, it’s cool in the mornings and you might need a sweater in the evening. Colors are changing. Not so much with freezing temperatures but endless weeks without any moisture. I don’t expect a big fall colors show like last year. So even though the calendar doesn’t agree, I think summer is over.

Luna and I got out of the car at the trailhead this morning and I was reminded that my brain is still in summer mode. Fortunately, in my car, I had a light jacket and some gloves to get me started up the trail. It did warm up after we got to the lake and the changing colors are beautiful.

Yesterday the girls and I joined with Molly (remember Molly from last year?) and Mary for a nice hike, mostly above tree line in the North Cascades. We drove through a layer of wildfire smoke to get to the trailhead and found perfect blue skies with fluffy clouds. Ground squirrels and hoary marmots and pikas gave their warning calls as we walked by.  At the end of the hike we could see the smoke column from the Diamond Creek wildfire east of us. In the meantime we were treated to vast vistas of mountains in all directions. We all felt grateful to have this in our ‘backyard’. The dogs were most grateful for the last of the snow and a creek of snow melt leading to a clear refreshing pond for cooling off.

The girls and I have been out and about on some trails this summer. After a wet and cool spring, we have not had any rain in weeks. The paths are all dusty and dry. I carry water for my dogs and they appreciate it. The streams and lakes and snow patches are welcome sights!

The girls and I have not been getting out enough lately. Both of them are still in bed, not even asking to go outside or have breakfast. That is nearly unheard of around here. We had a lovely outing to Slate Peak yesterday but I didn’t think it was overly strenuous. Must have been all that fresh mountain air and the cold streams.

I was told that the road to Harts Pass was open although not all the way to the trailhead near Meadows or to the lookout parking lot. Sure enough, that was the case. Several cars were parked at the last PCT trailhead with lots of hikers and walkers heading north on the well-worn path. Luna and Sky and I simply walked over the snowbanks and up the road to the lookout. It’s only a mile and a half walk and we had it all to ourselves. The flowers were amazing and the mountain views were beyond beautiful. Later we walked near Meadows and saw more wildflowers and clear mountain streams.

It was a nice day.

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