The Evergreen State

The magic of living in Western Washington continues as snow comes down from the elevations for a brief visit. Indo and I took a trip up to Campbell Forest for a look at the city from our favorite vantage point. In the picture below, the city seems to float in mists with towering mountains beyond. From here to the urban sprawl span massive evergreen forests and large rivers snaking through to the sound. This is my love affair with Washington in a nut shell. The big city is manageable from afar, close enough for the cultural enrichment, yet spaced nicely with wilderness all around. You can ski, hike, hunt, swim, fish, sail, and anything else outside you can think of.

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Seattle and Bellevue off in the distance with The Olympic Mountains beyond

On a crisp morning, you’ll find Indo and I enjoying the foothills near where we live, adventuring on the slopes and discovering new terrain to enjoy together. With snow finally here for the season. With that, adventuring becomes a little more risky. This time last year, on a drive up into the hills, the truck almost got stuck. Luckily, east coast winter driving skills took hold and with a few clever tricks (floor mats under the spinning tires) we managed to get out. Chains are a must if you are heading up into back country right now.

Wilderness beckons from so close. Sometimes on Leafhopper, I forget how easy it is to head down town or up stream. The choices are endless, and the farm offers yet another type of paradise. The land has slope, running water from Weiss Creek, and home, a place to den up when it gets really dark and cold outside. But in Western Washington, cold and dark are quite relative. This morning I was up at 5 in the dark moving goats out, and the temperature was almost balmy. About 20 miles away to the East, at elevation, people woke to the teens and a truly frozen situation. Even in the picture below, you can see that the snow and cold stops before arriving at the base of the mountain. Our temperate ocean side river valleys  will always revert back to rainforest.

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left hand slope is Si, Rattle Snake Ridge in the background

The balance of urban, suburban, and rural are so beautifully illustrated in these pictures, because there really is only about a 20 mile distance between us and Seattle as the crow flies. I do not know of many urban hot spots with nature right out the back door. Denver would arguably be close, but no ocean in that land locked state. Also, Alaska is only a ferry ride away and I have yet to take a trip north to visit our frozen sister state.

The farm is located on the foot hills of The Cascades and Cascadia is a place unto its self. This beautiful range of wild peaks stretches from Canada to Oregon with most of the best skiing in Washington. Where Indo stands below is the start of our rise in elevation to the East. You can still see Seattle far off in the distance, but it’s more of a dream scape now, with nothing but forests, clear cuts, and The Snoqualmie River (in it’s 3 branches) thriving in a temperate rainforest ecosystem. We’ll continue to enjoy the view from our hillside and be thankful that all these riches lay around us in our homeland.

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Indo licks her chops at the thought of a venison stake dinner

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