Falls Creek Falls · Falls Creek · Gifford Pinchot National Forest · Carson · Washington · USA
Such an alien and privileged sensation it was to be standing alone before this gargantuan, particularly after getting a later start on the road than I’d anticipated. I’ve hiked this trail countless times before, but in only a minority of those times have I found myself scrambling down to this platform, which is usually occupied by hikers in turnstile fashion. So on this warm morning I took the opportunity to bathe in the cool shadow of the giant, listening to it roar in paradoxically calming fashion, and see if any new compositions might rise above subconsciousness. Eager to greet my wife upon her return home from her half day at work, I eventually turned to head back when I suddenly realized I was no longer alone...
Thankfully, it was merely a nice human couple who’d just arrived to admire the view, too, rather than the ghost-like puma in search of unsuspecting Asian human flesh that my mind immediately conjured in that first millisecond of dawning recognition. I somehow managed to stifle every orifice under voluntary muscle control that had threaten to blast open and let loose whatever interred contents laid therein (millisecond two), offering up just a standard and face-saving “Howdy!” from my mouth instead.
After a brief moment to secretly compose myself, I turned my attention back to the network of roots emanating from the stately western redcedar residing at the lip of the usual viewing area. I’d long been drawn to its sinuous intertwined forms cascading down the incline, but this time I wanted to see if more deliberate attunement might conjure a lasting image I could replicate in the viewfinder. The sharp downward angle made it challenging to compose anything that included the full extent of the root system along with the visible portions of the falls, so I settled on this framing to highlight the convergence of the distal roots towards the lower plunge pool, as if the tree drew sustenance straight from Falls Creek itself.
Having sought solace from The Matrix here many times before, I certainly could be said to do the same.
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