Before we start our adventure, let us introduce you to the Seattle-based architectural designer, Dillon Gogarty. Not only is he a very passionate designer, but Dillon is also a great photographer who always loves to explore the outdoors. Follow along as Dillon takes us on an exclusive trip to Mount Baker Wilderness, Washington State.
an adventure yielding the excitement and awe of travel in an approximate 3-hour drive radius of your home.”
Morning rose. Light pierced through our aluminum blinds onto our living room floor and traced the legs of our metal bed frame. The glass facades of Seattle’s lower downtown skyline reflected the golden light into our little studio. It was Sunday. Happy to be naturally woke by the rising sun, we slowly rolled out of bed. Sadie was up first, already attacking ferociously her cute fox toy. I rolled out next – quick on the tea kettle to boil water. We had no plans for the day. Previous, my girlfriend Katie spent her Saturday with clients and I worked on my graphic mediums. The plan was to stay in this weekend to relax and work. However, after the coma-inducing pancakes Katie made, we decided we needed to have an adventure. I would say every three out of four weekends we travel to somewhere around the state. Why should this weekend be any different? We would load up the car with some cheap Trader Joe’s wraps and popcorn and be on our way. Today, we chose to head north.
The great thing about taking micro-trips is the little time commitment. Sure, you need to take into consideration what time you will be getting back, especially if you are leaving on Sunday and have to return to work in the morning. These are my favorite kinds of trips. They are built on spontaneity and purely on the urge to get out there. Below is the rundown of our trip.
Also, just trust me on the times. I know from picture data. This is one aspect that I absolutely love about photography/videography in the 21st century. It’s a way to hack your memory. How else would I have remembered these incredible moments during our day without my mobile device’s timestamps? Although it might be considered a pain or annoyance, to document your life we only have so much capacity to retain and even more so now that outside media consumption is constantly invading our bandwidth. But that’s a topic for another day.
Alright, enough backstory & ramble. This is where our trip actually begins.
5.16pm. We pull off on the side of highway 9, just before the town of Acme, to admire our destination from afar. Mount Baker hid in the background, while the Twin Sister range stood with pride. 5:17pm. Back on the road. At 5:49 pm, we pull into Glacier and arrive at our first detour by 6:02 pm. Nooksack Falls. Almost immediately, I cut my knee on a rusted railing demonstrating to Katie how I walked the edge before. My knee was now dripping blood and I was wearing my white vans – perfect hiking shoes, I know. We searched the car for a napkin or something, but alas I cleaned the damn thing the day before. The shirt would have to do for now. Eh. No, I couldn’t. I decided to just sit down, let it drip dry, and fly the drone. Not so much further than 50 yards was the waterfall. At 400m high, the convergence of the rivers below lay flat into an inverted triangle. It was dope. I captured some more footage and returned the drone to the center of the bridge. Kids gathered as it descended and I slowly got up and stiff-legged my way over to keep the blood from dripping. They looked at me weird.
Now that the blood was decently dry, we hiked down the trail and one minute later we came to the fence at the top of the falls. Sadie introduced herself to another photographer couple. Katie and I didn’t. We took a couple of pics, possible bangers, and headed back to the car.
Moments later, we snake up the ski mountain road in second gear. We whip past the A-frame huts and lodge and a couple of mirror ponds. A couple more detours wouldn’t hurt, right? By the third stop, we had arrived at Picture Lake. The boardwalk guided us through the delicate wild plants and led us to the outlook – it was gorgeous. We could see Mount Shuksan in detail through the reflection.
Shortly after, we arrive at the Artist’s Ridge parking lot. The sun was teasing us, moving quickly behind the mountains. We are too close to missing sunset. Sadie and Kate take their time getting out of the car and I rush over to the snowbank to scope our views. Maybe three minutes passed and I was entirely in the shade. I walked back to the car slightly sad until I saw a nearby hill split by the road illuminated in light. We ventured back towards the entrance and climbed to watch the sunset.
Afterwards, we walked back past the car and contemplated stepping through the slush to the snowy trail. We decided for it. My white vans and Katie’s shoes instantly became wet. Thankfully, the view was worth the price. We followed the ridgeline and finally found some dry ground to sit and watch the mountain peaks change vibrant colors. I even had a few moments to fly the drone around. The evening was near perfect until the bugs began to bite and decided to rain on our parade.
Now back at the car, we turned immediately to our roadside junk food and began to drive down the mountain. We stopped one last time at a lookout to eat our sandwiches and watched the final moments of blue hour dissolve from our car.
9.16pm: We embark on our 3-hour drive home in the dark. Home in time for just enough sleep to be functional at work the next day. Until next time, Baker.
By: Dillon Gogarty
Mount Baker Wilderness, Washington State, USA
Precision: Artist Point
*numbers current at the time of writing.
Copyright: All images are copyright protected and property of Dillon Gogarty.