Thursday, January 08, 2009

Western Washington Is An Island

The feeling of claustrophobia had already settled over the city in the last month. Holidays, snow, rain, clouds, more rain, more snow all culminated together causing us to reach the breaking point. Now we are stuck; I-90, our only link to Eastern Washington, is closed at milepost 32 and I-5, our only link to Portland when I-90 is down, is closed just past Olympia. We have become an island, stuck at home and bouncing off the walls.

The record level of rain and snow fall has caused flooding in the lowlands. The city where I grew up is under mandatory evacuation. Families sleeping in churches and people sandbagging through the twilight hours trying to protect their homes.

From what I've been told, the amount of water flowing over Snoqualmie Falls is of biblical proportions. Flood warnings and road closures not withstanding, I decided to head up there to see if I could capture the water flow.

As I passed the long lines waiting to get onto highway 18 I was reminded of the Radiohead show my friend and I went to a couple months ago. I called him, hoping to feel some of that LA sunshine over the 3G network, alas all I received was a deep and heartfelt discussion that was needed but was still came at the wrong time. I sat in my parked car, steaming up the windows with my tears, NPR on low in the background with experts talking about the economy in a way that the layperson could understand.

in the shadow of the fall

I ended the call and made my way to the falls. I knew right away that I was not going to get the traditional shot, and I was fine with that. The observation deck was so enshrouded with the mist from the billions of gallons of flowing water that was pounding against the rocks below that you could see nothing but white. A couple tried to make their way out there, but only the man made it into my shot as the girl with her umbrella went fleeing.

I took a few cliche shots of the falls when the mist would break away for a minute to give me a nice 5 second exposure. But they are so banal that I've decided to keep them off my blog. You can find it on my flickr site if you are so inclined.

Coming home to an excellent bottle of wine, I feel content. I made it out today, I did not come home and bury myself in the down comforter given to me by a lovely woman. I was able to write today, create today, shoot today...and for that I am grateful.

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