After a morning of driving along Hood Canal scouting for potential landscape photographs, I decided to head up the West Skokomish Valley Road in rural Mason County, Washington and do a little mid-winter exploring.
In the few days prior to my trip, the Olympic Peninsula received a large amount of rainfall, causing the Skokomish River to overflow its banks and flood the surrounding low-lying farmlands and countryside.
I drove through multiple water crossings, eventually finding a location along the road to photograph an overflowing creek amongst the river bottom forest.
West Skokomish Valley Road eventually forks off to FR23 and climbs out of the valley and travels through Simpson Timber Forest lands and eventually entering the Olympic National Forest.
As I was driving along FR23, I took the turn towards the High Steel Bridge over the South Fork Skokomish River on FR2340. Before reaching the bridge, I noticed a small lake off in the forest to the right. After checking my topographical map, I located the old road (now a trail) that led down to the lake.
Once I was done photographing at West Lake, I continued the short distance up to the High Steel Bridge. Luckily, the lighting was good down in the canyon on the river. The light wasn’t so good when I attempted to photograph Vincent Falls from the bridge or when I hiked down a trail that follows the top of the canyon to a viewpoint of the bridge.
While photographing at the bridge, I talked to a couple of gentlemen from Bremerton who recommended that I check out Pine Creek further up FR23. So after capturing my photos at the High Steel Bridge, I continued up FR23.
I drove FR23 past the turnoff to Brown Creek Campground (where the pavement ends) up to a point that the road was completely covered in snow. Since it was late in the day and I was by myself, I decided that was a good point to turn around.
On the way down, I stopped at several unnamed tributaries and shot a few photos. I also drove back down through the Brown Creek Campground where there was a group of campers enjoying a late afternoon campfire.
My last photo of the day was captured on the drive out from Brown Creek Campground from the FR2348 bridge over the South Fork Skokomish River. It wasn’t long after this that the sun had set and it was dark.