It's awful, why would anyone want to see this?

Being facetious of course. 

Over the past couple of weekends, I've continued to walk, drive and climb around on some of the prettiest area of the country.  I've ranged from the Olympic Peninsula, out on Oak Harbor and Whidbey Islands, the Cascade Mountain parks and of course, Mount Rainier.  I probably won't get sick of it anytime soon.

One place I really wanted to get back to was the Wallace Falls State Park area.  It had been 5 years ago when I last visited so I had hoped for some really neat little waterfalls.  However, this is summer and those little streams I remember were nothing more than a drip now so that meant I would have to negotiate the rocky trails with my trusty hiking stick praying I wouldn't sprain an ankle on the imbedded rocks.

After a nice hike, I had the opportunity to rest at the edge of the water at small falls about 2 miles up.  Very nice even though I had a lot of visitors doing so.

Another spot was Deception Pass, north of Seattle and separates Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands.  Deception Pass has a dark history, including smuggling Chinese illegals.  Seriously, read about it here.

The tide going in and out through the pass is so strong, it has it's own waves and I could see some smaller boats struggling against the current.

Completed in July of 1935, the Deception Pass Bridge connecting the islands is another steel marvel.

I've long been a sucker for sunsets and small waterfalls.  Yes, the big 100'+ falls are grand but I just love sitting near small falls and hear the rush of the water.  On my way to another spot on Mount Rainier, I found myself stopping often, sometimes crawling up under a low bridge and scooting around on the rocks.

My favorite thing is slow shutter speeds that result in a "foamy" look to the rushing water as it spills over the rocks.

Bridges are everywhere and I can't resist the stop.


Often, you would make a turn just to see another shot at Mount Rainier, sometimes with meadows; sometimes with trees but the presence was always around another switchback.

Over and over again, beautiful falls.  This one is Christine Falls.  There's a bridge above the apparent one that you may not be able to make out here.

If truth be told, the chief reason for going up today was an image I'd seen on the internet called Reflection Lakes.  The article had said to go in July so the flowers would be blooming.  Perhaps I'd not paid any attention to the accessibility that was mentioned.  Somehow, I had in my mind that I was going to have a 3 mile round trip hike for this.

Nope...drove right up to it.  As a matter of fact, If I had so minded, I could have taken this picture from the drivers' seat of the car if all the other tourists would not have gotten in my way.

After picking up a pair of geezers who had hiked up a distance and were worn out, I deposited them a couple of miles downhill at a parking lot.  I pretty much had put the camera away until I drove through the little town of Elbe, Washington.  Here  there was an entire business community of espresso shops, one gas station and a whole train that had been converted into a hotel and inn.  I'm not so sure how many people actually stayed in the thing but for a Sunday after Independence Day, it was wrapped up with motorcyclists, bicyclists and a host of Washington style rednecks with pickup trucks. Yep, I felt right at home. Maybe the Hobo Inn wasn't so bad.

I'm looking forward to Ms Darlene coming out soon to see this.  Thanks, Mr. Jones.