Saturday, July 23, 2011

Water, water everywhere...

Well, it is late July.  To date this year the western side of the northern Cascades has had a total of approximately 70 hours of sunshine.  I am camped about 50 miles west of Stevens Pass in the Cascades and have been here 11 days.  Today is the second sunny day.  And, while the rest of the country has been basking in those lovely 100+ degree days, here we are looking forward to today being the second day of the year when we reach 80.  But I digress...

The Cascades are wet.  As the peaks force air from the Pacific to rise, it drops its moisture, leaving even near-vertical faces of rock covered with ice and snow and, where the snow is melted, there is often a green tint that must be moss at higher elevations and is forest at lower elevations.

All that moisture forms these little mountain streams and rills, surrounded by emerald green vegetation.  A trip up a side road brought me to an unknown (to me) stream tripping down the mountainside to the nearby river.

About 45 miles east of here, near the rise to the Pass, is a recreation area called Deception Falls.  The river drops over some steep narrow passages, then moves into a flatter, but still broken forest.  The ever-present mist from the initial and later, smaller falls nourishes the forest, while small side flows branching off from the main stream create a group of small waterfalls that my lens loved.

All that water continues west toward the ocean, joining together into ever larger streams.  Sometimes these rivers become placid or sometimes, such as at Snoqualmie Falls, they remember their former energy and jump in joy one final time.