Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Looking for Paintings - Part 6

Route 20 out of Burlington East to Twisp is a "Designated Scenic Byway" and that's the understatement of the decade. For me, this is the most spectacular road I've ever been on in the United States. It's about a 135 mile drive and it took me an entire long day of driving to do it, and I was zipping along at 35 mph most of the time. I just kept stopping about every half-mile to take another picture. I highly recommend October for traveling. The roads are all yours and if you want to stop somewhere along the way to grab a spectacular shot, you can probably just stop on the road without much worry about another car coming along behind you for awhile.

I didn't get too far out of Burlington when I felt compelled to stop and grab this shot of the scenery ahead, not knowing what was yet to come.

This was a herd of at least fifty elk grazing in a meadow about 300 yards from the road. Quite a few people pulled over to watch and some of them were just itching to figure out a way to get closer so they could shoot them. I don't know if it was elk hunting season or not but I think this land was part of a preserve.

Is there any doubt that we have entered the town of Concrete?

I'm not a fisherman, but if I were, I'd want to be this fisherman. Even if there's no hook or bait or lure, what a great excuse to stand out in the middle of nowhere and enjoy the scenery.

My kinda road.

After all, it is a rain forest.

Way too pretty to pass by without taking a shot.

Another shot along the road. Every time I went around a bend, there was another shot. The mountains in the background in this shot looked very cold and, as it turned out, I wound up going there. And it was cold.

From a cold viewing area, looking down at Diablo Dam and Ross Lake, about 15 miles south of the Canadian border.

Typical open highway along Route 20 in the Northern Cascades.

Further along the same highway, suddenly there was a lake, too.

Further and higher, this mountain looked like a volcanic cauliflower ready to pop.

You'll have to imagine these two pictures combined to form a panorama. Very high up, very cold and very windy. In the ten minutes I was here only one car went by. The locals don't live up here and the tourists all went home three weeks ago.

Cold peaks, waning sun, creepy moment.

Many of the pictures I took happened to be taken in late afternoon or in some situation where dramatic lighting was evident as I passed by. This was one of those situations. I passed this little meadow and lake, and it took some effort to turn around and find a place to park off the road, find a place to stand without falling into the mud and get the shot before the sunlight went away completely.

Same meadow, same pond, slighlty different angle for a fantastic image if I could combine them into a pan shot. Let's try it...

Not perfect, but the best that be can done with the limitations of the template.

And sure enough, if the sun hadn't been setting and the light fading, this might not have been such a stunning scene. I caught this out of the corner of my eye, stopped the car, backed up, grabbed the shot and drove on.

The same spot, panned slightly to the left. Another one of those potential panoramic shots that can't be combined in this template. But here's a approximation, sorta...

Next: Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam


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