In the Pacific Northwest one heads to the coast in order to warm up in winter or cool down in summer. With the Japanese Current bringing cold water from the Gulf of Alaska, this coast is often foggy. The current also causes cold, nutrient-rich waters to well up along the coast, helping to support the region’s rich marine life. While the cold currents nourish life in the sea, the fog they create nourishes dense forest on land. The foggy conditions, not surprisingly, have also caused many a shipwreck over the years. The entire Pacific NW coast is rugged and studded with lighthouses, but the north Olympic Coast in Washington is an especially big graveyard for ships.
I captured this image on my recent trip to the Olympic Peninsula. The narrow, curvy road out to Cape Flattery runs along a rugged, forested coast facing the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Cape Flattery lies on the Makah (American Indian) Reservation. It is the northwestern-most point of the United States (excluding Alaska). Fog came in and out during my one-night stay out there. I wanted to capture the primal feel of this place where rugged rainforest-clad hills meet the sea. During summer, this kind of weather is not nearly as common as it is in winter, so I felt pretty lucky in that regard.
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