Tag Archives: Oregon

Fog and snow in the Santiam

Santiam Forest

We reach an impasse in the failing light and choose a bend to pitch our tent and table above the foggy valley floor.

It’s nighttime now and with the icy logging roads behind us, I uncap the Old Crow to heat my stomach and blow life into the gasping fire against the rain and rivers of mist that flow through the hills and swallow us whole.

Icy road

The flames begin to gather and grow hot against the frigid night, vaporizing raindrops back up to their other being, adding with our breath. We draw our chairs closer to the fire and talk. Bringing us back into our bubble, words straining at the darkness in electric fingers of light.

Night lasts long outside and by morning we are ready to return to warmth. Thankful for a presence with the calm.



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Rain in a redgrey sky

It’s been hot here. And dry. Strange words in the Northwest.

But the Wet is never far away.

I’m drawn outside to the first patter of rain, the faint knocking of a long-missed friend, feeling the warm clammy drops of rain on skin.

The downspout begins to creak its metal-water warcry. Drip. Drops connecting, weeping together, a rivulet. A stream.

Green leaves unfurl beneath cloudy skies and the promise of a healthy soak.

Gregory, the Garden Guardian

I look at Gregory, the rescue lion turned guardian of my garden.

I found him sitting on the edge of a dumpster, one step away from an early grave. He’s actually a broken clock, but he fit nicely over the gap in my fence, thereby finding his new home and purpose.

I’m a little obsessed with gardening. The earthiness of it. The satisfaction of growing, sustaining, and mutually benefiting from each other’s attentions.

It’s a form of meditation on the present and a calming way to be productive after hectic hours spent working.

It’s not the act of traveling great distances. It’s a travel through time.

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Grey over Alsea Bay

Bridge over Alsea Bay

Salt and seabirds early morning,

monolithic grey.

Looming, in the glowing shade.


(Leica mini-zoom | Kodak Ektar 100)

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The Pacific Northwest


I’ve found myself boomeranged back to my beginning. Or nearly the beginning.

But it is only natural, I suppose, to prefer what you’re used to.

So, here I am in the Oregon Spring, breathing easy as the sun plays tag with the clouds.

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Notes for home.

In the midst of man, my thoughts flow westward.

Here are a few shots I took with my Leica Mini-Zoom in the Jackson-Frazier Wetlands near Corvallis a few months back.

Also, it was my best friend’s 26th birthday the other day, and sadly we didn’t get to hang out. So, happy birthday James! And if you haven’t already, check out his work.

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How the water falls

Over the weekend I went backpacking with a couple of friends to Silver King Lake in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness, one of the largest old-growth forests left in the state. Turns out, I’m still in love with Oregon, and trekking still leaves my body feeling like it survived a UFC fight with a silverback gorilla.

‘Twas a long three days.

On our way back from the lake we found a peaceful creek-side spot for the night near some waterfalls and a clear blue-green pool at the bottom of a rockslide. I’ll be posting a few more photos from the trip, but first, a few studies of one of the waterfalls.


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VIDEO: Ankeny Wildlife Refuge

— A few clips from our little stroll through Ankeny Wildlife Refuge last week —

Ankeny Wildlife Refuge – Oregon from J. William Young on Vimeo.

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If the fridge is full, there’s no need to hunt

The fog lays down its glassy blanket, giving life to barren things. Interest given freely for no reason but interpretation.

I’m walking enshrouded.

My feet crunching ice as I roam the concrete hills. The clean tidy pathways of Suburban Domesticity that dare you to desecrate their unfounded innocence.

Another day, in a different place, a young woman walks by, self-righteous and sure. 

It’s cold and my roaming called for yak. Re-donning my traveling wool brought me back to a different country, but the same piercing cold cuts into the same beating veins.

I live in several places at once, partly in the past, eyes to the future, stomach firmly grounded. Grounded in comfort, too sated to leave, holding on to the pantry door against the tempest of uncertainty. But my eyes roam. My legs roam. My mind – my Self ——— roams.

Into the wind and the cold, that beautiful uncertainty — the great unknown.

Seeing my family, my friends, gives me the heart-clenching joy of familiarity and long-founded love. But my mind gets lazy as I assimilate into groundhog days of wake-eat-work-lounge-sleep.

This ain’t my scene.

The world beats around me, beyond me, but I’m here, and I’m happy. And Comfortable.

But comfort breeds complacency.

An age-old enemy of creativity.

It’s time to check my miles.

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