Monday, November 28, 2011

I have lived in a vacuum for these last several weeks.

I am unable to acclimate because I am switching out elevations, climates and proximity to the ocean and the Cascade divide, as if they are layers to be shed and adorned. Here is like no where else in the nation because 40 miles of road rash can make the difference between sea level and 5,000 feet in elevation.

In the Intermountain northwest our lives embrace geographical, climate-driven diversity.  For those of us living "east of the mountains" life is centered around preparedness.

On the I-5 Corridor most motorists are completely unprepared for adversity. Mobility grinds to halt with the introduction of rain, sleet, snow. and water reflecting sunlight.

In Washington, the Seattle metro area looks inward..The I-5 experience is all that matters and the weather forecasts barely acknowledge the eastern 2/3 rds of the state.  But for continental road warriors, those traveling back and forth, we drive these routes expecting to encounter various climates. We hit the road expecting a challenge and rarely are we disappointed.  We encounter changing conditions based on elevation, proximity to water, and the directional exposure of the landscape. Facing south, we stare down arid.

Facing north is about lush. East to west and vice versa is subject to thoroughly transitioning seasons based on elevation, differentiated by mountain passes, rain shadows and tracing our way along shorelines. 

We engage the shortening daylight while worrying about getting caught in a squall, we carry anti gel additives in winter, extra water and windshield cleaner, de icer and bug degreaser and as temperatures can drop 70 degrees from the coast heading east, we pucker.

I shot these images before the first major storm assaulted the coast, before the last leaves hit the wind and carpeted the ground. Before the warmth of summer finally exited the stage. At the same time I shot these images, already several feet of snow lay on the ground at home.  What a difference 400 miles.  What a difference elevation. exposure, and perspective make.

I am amazed at color, pattern and texture. I see numerous

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