Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nooksack Falls and Mount Baker Highway

My youngest brother was in the area for business the week of January 15-21 and we managed to get out for an afternoon, even though the weather was terrible.  That was the week that the Pacific Northwest was nearly brought to a standstill by snow, ice, winds, and cold.  By Saturday the weather had moderated a little and we went to Nooksack Falls where we did some photography.

The road to the falls was closed and so we had to walk to the falls, but it is short walk and at some point the road had been plowed, and the walk was not an inconvenience.  The weather, however, turned to wet snow, and that was an inconvenience with all our camera equipment - we had to keep our cameras under our coats when we weren't using them and we ourselves got soaked.

Nooksack Falls are on the North Fork of the Nooksack River and drop 175 feet into a very narrow cleft in the rocks making it very difficult to photograph the falls.  In fact, the bottom of the falls is barely visible if one stays on the safe side of the fence that surrounds the viewing area, as one ought to do, since the area around the falls is quite dangerous and eight or nine people have died there.

We took pictures not only of the falls but also of the river above the falls and took both time exposures with a tripod as well as hand-held and quicker shots.  Photography was extremely difficult both because the light was fading and because of the strong contrast between the snow and the river and surrounding forests.  Most of my pictures had to be processed a bit to make them worthwhile.

We also made several other stops, but there was little to photograph besides the mossy forests which were rather eerie in the mist and low light.  We did ask on couple who had been snowshoeing in the Hannegan Pass area if we could take their picture as they ate their picnic lunch in rather wintry conditions.  They were more than happy to let us snap away and joked about the pictures we took.

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