Winter Scenes Along the South Skagit Highway, Washington, 2017

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A rural photograph of a old silo on a rainy winter day along the South Skagit Highway in Skagit County, Washington.
“Grain Silo, South Skagit Highway, Washington, 2017”
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After dropping my daughter off at the college in Mount Vernon, Washington for a school related seminar, I had a good portion of the day to spend out shooting photos.

Since the rain was coming down pretty hard I figured that it might be a good day for exploring locations for future landscape photography trips.

A few months back I discovered see Rasar State Park along the banks of the Skagit River (my blog post at Snowy Late Autumn Afternoon at Rasar State Park, Washington, 2016). While on my hike through the park, I noticed that there was a road on the south side of the river. Today would be a good day explore that side of the river and see what I find.

Looking at the maps, I determined that the road I was looking for was the South Skagit Highway.

A landscape photograph of Loretta Creek on a rainy winter day along the South Skagit Highway in Skagit County, Washington.
“Loretta Creek, Skagit County, Washington, 2017”
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To get to the South Skagit Highway, from SR20 in Sedro Woolley I headed south on SR9. Immediately after crossing the Skagit River is the turnoff for the highway.

When heading eastbound, the South Skagit Highway meanders back and forth between the banks of the Skagit River, farmlands, rural homes and forests.

Since the clouds were hanging low on this rainy winter day, I never found out if there were opportunities for broad landscape vistas along the river and surrounding hillsides. With the wet misty weather in mind, I found that the rain-swollen streams made for great intimate landscape photographs.

A landscape photograph captured on a rainy winter day along Cumberland Creek in Skagit County, Washington.
“Cumberland Creek, Skagit County, Washington, 2017”
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Along the way, I made stops at Loretta Creek, Cumberland Creek, and O’Toole Creek. At O’Toole creek, I could see up the ravine a series of small waterfalls, so I made my way through the wet forest and found a location (partially in the creek) to capture some photographs of the water flowing over the moss-covered rocks.

I didn’t have to go too far before there was snow on and along the side of the road, limiting the area where I could pull off and take photographs.

Once I came to the intersection of the Concrete Sauk Valley Road, I hopped back over to SR20 and continued eastbound.

A landscape photograph of a small waterfall during a Winter rain along O'Toole Creek in Skagit County, Washington.
“Waterfall, O’Toole Creek, Skagit County, Washington, 2017”
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As I drove through the town of Concrete I noted a few spots for potential future photos. Because of the nasty weather, I decided to come back another time.

To finish out the day, I continued up SR20, with a goal of reaching Newhalem.

A landscape photograph of moss covered tree branches overhanging O'Toole Creek in Skagit County, Washington.
“O’Toole Creek, Skagit County, Washington, 2017”
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The further I drove up SR20, snow was accumulating quite rapidly on the road.

As I drove along the highway, there were so many potential snowscape images I would have loved to stop and photograph but there was no safe location to pull over.

By the time I arrived at Newhalem the wind was blowing the snow sideways, not ideal conditions for landscape photography. At this point, I decided that this was probably a good place to turn around and head back the to lowlands.

A panoramic landscape photograph of a rainy winter day along Cumberland Creek in Skagit County, Washington.
“Cumberland Creek, Skagit County, Washington, 2017”
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A landscape photograph of a series of small waterfalls captured on a rainy winter day along O'Toole Creek in Skagit County, Washington.
“Waterfall, O’Toole Creek, Skagit County, Washington, 2017”
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“Video: Windy Winter Day, Newhalem, Washington, 2017”