Description It's a 40+ mile journey from Ellensburg, Washington into the Wenatchee National Forest to reach close to the 8,400' peak of Quartz Mountain. The journey takes place on absolute wilderness gravel roads - winding, narrow, rutted mountain gravel roads used in the past by loggers and now by Forest Rangers - and occasionally by fools such as I. Driving on these roads evokes feelings which sway from exhilarating to 'OH SHIDT' frightening and back again.
I reached a point very near the summit of Quartz Mountain where my Subaru Outback MIGHT make that last blind hairpin curve, but my brain said 'no mas' and my heartbeat just about said the same. I slowwwwly, gingerly backed down the road about 200 yards to a spot where I could pull over and park. I then hiked the rest of the way to the summit.
Taking that last hairpin curve on foot I was greeted by an incredible panorama of mountains and valleys and in the distance, peeking at me from above the distant clouds, stood Her Majesty Mount Rainier (see my other photographs).
I THOUGHT the mountain majesty in front of me was what this journey was about..... until I turned around and looked slightly upward at this magnificent scene. It immediately felt to me that these old, tired remnants of the alpine forest were standing guard over the mountain and over all that could be seen from this perch at her peak.
Also available in this gallery B&W, and in Nature gallery in color.
Bud Obermeyer, Cle Elum, Washington Member Since August 2007 Artist Statement I am a retired corporate manager in the property-casualty insurance industry with personal interests in photography, sports memorabilia, and poker. My wife of 48 years, Carole, and I were both born and raised in New York - her in Manhattan/Bronx and I in Brooklyn. We spent many years on the "corporate transfer trail" and have lived in the general locales of Philadelphia PA (where our son Jeff was born), Seattle WA, Anchorage AK, Columbia SC, and back to Seattle WA.
We now live in Cle Elum, Washington which is 85 miles east of Seattle, just on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. Cle Elum is located at 1,800' elevation and has a population of 1,300 people. We are surrounded by natural beauty which changes dramatically with each of the four seasons. Summers are hot and dry and winters are cold and white :) We are surrounded by national forests and mountains but within a 15 minute drive we can be in near desert.
All of this natural beauty inspires me to get out in the field and try to capture the wonder of this incredible land in photographs. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoy taking them.