Ross Lake and thru the highlands


The first thing I wanted to tell you is this; Washington is a state of contradictions. I’ve heard this said before and nothing really explains the state more than this. Since the day I decided to actually share this northern route with you this was the primary thing I wanted to tell you. 

Let’s see if I can show you something… to show you why where I live is completely ignored. {p.s. I don’t mind people not knowing and feel inclined to only tell my friends who actually read this blog.}  Here is the last stretch of the pass. It is called Ross Lake. Let me give you four very good angles of it.


crater mt


and lastly,

washington pass

Okay… let’s move on. Because the mountains dissipate they go away like a whisper and we wander unknowingly to the Okanogan Highlands. This is referring to a county just on the other side of the pass. The mountains subside (however, some eastern mountains look very similar to this area) and we wander into a deep desert region. Where the sky is what garners your attention. They are called the “highlands” and sometimes the apple belt of Washington this is where the fruit grows and this is also a very high altitude desert region. The photos I’m showing you now runs at about 2500 ft above sea level to almost 3000 ft.


This is how the west was imagined and shown on all those John Wayne movies and what we equate to the rugged west. It is commonly referred to as the high chaparral desert. Unlike many areas Wyoming, Utah etc.. this is just a bit of Washington but a beautiful bit. A touch of the west that all of us have learned from watching so many hours of television and rooting for the good guy in the white cowboy hat to win.



The last step in our state I hope to show you something else. The last stage. The old mountains that have existed for so many years it was an island when most of the coast and middle America was a flooded stage. Middle America we find fossils that are of the sea faring type. About twenty miles from us you find plant fossils and a softer mountain range. A younger one that does not play harsh on the eye but plays with the same height and to me, speaks softly of home. It is pretty like a butterfly and is not demanding existence like the grand Tetons or the cascades. It like the Adirondacks mountains has been home and will be home for humans for thousands of years.

In order to do that tho I have to make a drive. I wonder if I can talk my ever so understanding hubby to do so. My guess is yes but it may be a couple of days. Meanwhile, I’ll shoot up different photos.



16 Responses to “Ross Lake and thru the highlands”

  1. 1 montucky

    That certainly is a beautiful place, Lori! Excellent photos! I can see why you like it so much.

  2. Truth be told Terry I like the complexity of this state. I like that you can climb mountians, salmon fish, whale watch, go crabbing, kayaking, exellent lake fishing, hiking, big game hunting, sledding, and still spend Christmas day in 70 degree weather if you want to drive to the coast (which we’ve been known to do) … overall I can’t think of many things you can’t do here except lobster trap and surf. Thanks for the compliments on the photos I had hoped they turned out okay. This set was my favorite (probably the right time of the day.) I took this set between four and five in the afternoon and was home by seven. (By Sherman pass it had gotten too dark.) Thanks again for visiting.

  3. 3 Tracey

    I am so in love with your beautiful area in which you live!

    Those amazing skies! Do you see a lot of meteor showers? One of my favoruite music artists of all time is John Denver and he wrote about “raining fire in the sky” in his song Rocky Mountain High, meaning the amazing meteor showers he witnessed in the rockies.

    One day i`ll visit. You have convinced me even more now by those photographs. 😀

  4. Lovely photos, Aullori! I love the juxtaposition of desert and mountains. The 1st, 3rd & 5th pictures are especially well-lit.

    We have some areas that have that too in far-southeastern California, where the eastern Sierra Nevada range (up to 14,500′ mountains) plunges down into the Great Basin (6,000′ desert), then all the way down into Death Valley (-250′ desert). In fact, Alabama Hills near the town of Lone Pine is where a great many of the classic western movies (and the original Star Trek TV series) were filmed since it’s high desert with interesting rock formations, and is “close” (sort of) to Hollywood.

    Hopefully I’ll make it up to WA one of these days. Well, I’ve been to Vancouver WA but that barely counts since it was just across the bridge from Portland, OR.

    Thanks for the fun post!

  5. I’m blown away by your article and your photographs.

    The third one down is a dream I would love to paint one day if I have the priviledge to see it. How could anything be more beautiful? I like the last for a plein air painting.

    Thanks for sharing because if you didn’t I wouldn’t believe such places could exist.

  6. The sky, the clouds, the mountains …you have got it all Lori, these images are amazing, I love the motion and textures you have captured in the clouds in 5&6. And number 1 is my favorite, could you answer a question about and tell me the type of camera and lens you are using. Great work.

  7. Hi Tracey, thanks for visting! sidenote; I actually sang that song in a talent contest when I was in the first grade and won. 🙂 Meanwhile, we get two really big ones over here. In May and in Sept – me and the kids stay up on those nights and count the falling stars. We save them up for the day we need a really important wish. It also happens right around the girls birthday and my son’s birthday as well.. It’s a fun game we play.

  8. Hi Adam, I had mentioned in a previous post that I had been born in California but have never visited since day three after my birth. 🙂 Your state is at the top on our families visiting itineraries. We’ve had a few movies made over here but nothing comparable to your state. Your landscape is very similar to ours – the tallest mt. here goes about 90′ under yours – not to mention you carry a decent portion of the Cascade range. Me personally I can’t wait until I’m visiting in your backyard. (I intend to try and get photos of Oregon’s mustangs in route…) Ahh.. one day. 🙂 I loved the facts you provided – now I want to visit that much more! Thank you!

  9. Hi Paintingartist – I hope you enjoyed your game. Oh it was my pleasure this area is really not very populated and it makes for some really nice shots (and a pretty good time vacationing too.) I’ve met a few people from Florida and they call us “mountain people” or “mountain girls” and “mountain men” if they decided to get gender specific. 🙂 It gave me a giggle. I never really got an idea of how really flat America is until I traveled it. However I really do have a love for your mountain ranges over there as well – it’s like looking forward into time and that creates an inspiration all in and of itself.

  10. Hi Bernie – once again a pleasure. I’ve been working on capturing skies. My biggest frustration being that digital has a way of washing out the sky and I do have to do quite a few funky things to prevent that. If I had to photograph standing on my head I would damn it! For these shots I used a wind angle lens. (This one is a Schneider-kreuznah xenar 0.7X Wide-Angle Lens) I’m not working with the most coveted camera in America – that would be my next buy) it’s just a z650 Kodak. I figure once I master this guy and these lenses then I can move on to the big dogs. Maybe by Christmas??? hopefully.

  11. Those are such amazing views and I love those mountains!

  12. breathtaking!

  13. Thanks Monarch – ahh much like you I consider myself pretty luck to just view it.

  14. Hi Narziss – thanks for visiting and for the kind comment.

  15. wow Aullori these are amazing photos! love the colors and composition. very nice work.

  16. Love your blog!! Found it very helpful! I have been wondering what the berries were in my backyard so thank you!!

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