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Robert Ballard | all galleries >> Galleries >> Washington 2014 Blog > Itís now legal to get high in Washington
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05-AUG-2014

Itís now legal to get high in Washington

Or so Iíve heard.

All I know is that I was legal because I had my National Parks pass hanging from my rear view mirror.

During a previous vacation I had mentioned that I didnít need to get high. I prefer the intimacy of walking by a creek under the forest canopy. But as I was starting to plan this trip I began to eagerly anticipate getting up to alpine scenery. Itís been so many years since weíve taken a summer trip. I do much better shooting spring and fall water scenes, which you usually see me posting. Come to think of it, I wouldnít be surprised if most of what I upload is macro wildflower shots since Iím so bad at shooting grand vistas. Well no matter, since I plan on enjoying being up at high places whether I get any good pictures or not.

The Cascade Pass trail starts out switchbacking up a forested slope, so we got to enjoy a hike with both forest and alpine views. There was plenty of shade, and the temperature was in the low 70s. While in the forest we could hear rumbling as the sections of ice across the way on Johannesburg Mountain crumbled. The trail breaks out of the forest and hikers are treated to very fine views down the valley.

As you can see in the photograph, the sky was a bit overcast by this time. The trail soon comes to Cascade Pass. There were a few patches of snow off the trail here. The overlook area is small, and the promised meadows were tiny and hardly worth the name. However, we did get to see plenty of wildflowers today. The trail continues on, but that was where we stopped.

There is a sky toilet up here, but a sign indicated that it was full. Too bad. Who doesnít want to use the restroom unencumbered by walls? A sign next to the toilet commanded, ďPee hereĒ. Who was I to refuse so stern a command?

On our way back down, while we were still on non-forested slopes with grand vistas, we finally got to see small areas of ice on the steep slopes of Johannesburg Mountain crumbling. We started counting switchbacks on the way down, but Iíve already forgotten the number. I think it was around 34 or so.

During our drive home we saw a bear on the side of Cascade River Road. I would much rather see one from the safety of a moving vehicle versus on a trail. Of course he had no reason to be up high since the huckleberries arenít close to being ripe. No word on whether the marmots and pikas living on the scree slopes are ready to eat. I know that we are. Millions of mosquitoes and flies canít be wrong.

Canon EOS Rebel T2i
1/100s f/9.0 at 22.0mm iso200 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
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Judi Hastings06-Aug-2014 23:13
You took a beautiful landscape photo! Looks like a great place to be. Glad you and Cheryl can get some downtime to go UP. :)
Jim Stiles06-Aug-2014 14:44
Very nice write up, Robert! So glad you and Cheryl are up this way enjoying our mountains! Great photo, too!!
Yiannis Pavlis06-Aug-2014 13:30
A fabulous composition ,well taken.V
Jim Coffman06-Aug-2014 12:56
A very pretty place to hike! Nice capture,Robert...