It’s pretty hard to beat the Pacific Northwest as a place to hang your rain hat.
It all starts with the forces that formed this land. As the Pacific plate slowly slid (and continues to slide!) down under the North American plate, tectonic forces buckled the land, giving rise to the volcanic Cascade, Olympic, and Coastal mountain ranges. Meanwhile, wet Pacific winds get stacked up by these mountains, cooling and drenching their western slopes. After climbing over the mountains, the dehydrated air pours into the arid Columbia Basin.
The end result is a diverse geology that influences daily life of the Pacific Northwesterner. Our highways twist through a maze of valleys and peaks, glacier-carved lakes, islands and inlets. Commutes almost certainly involve the use of bridges, tunnels, or even the world’s fourth-largest ferry system. The variety of climates and landforms make practically every type of outdoor recreation reachable within a two-hour drive. An appreciation for everything the ecosystem provides us drives the PNW to be a breeding ground of environmentalism.
For locals, this network of mountains, rivers, rainforests, lakes, waterways, islands, coastlines, and arid lands is a major source of inspiration and pride. This is heightened for me, as a photographer, with endless viewpoints and landscapes to point my lens at, then recline and take it all in.