After my October residency at HJ Andrews nothing happened. It was like the experience stopped any and all creative flow. I actually started to get worried that I had used up my good idea quota. It took three months, but then an idea started to form.

Lookout Creek in January

Lookout Creek in January

In late January I headed back to HJ Andrews to take some reference photos. My plan was to go to two locations on Lookout Creek, at a bridge, the other higher up along a trail in the old growth forest. It was a cold, wet day, but fairly warm for January. It was only spitting slush; at least it wasn’t snowing. But as I got closer to my first destination I realized that there was more snow on the ground than I had anticipated. Then, abruptly, the road was clearly no longer plowed and I could not drive any further.

I packed my gear in my daypack, donned my rain gear and started trudging through snow. I knew that I wasn’t too far from the first location, but it certainly seemed like I was. Luckily a snowcat had recently gone up the road and I was able to trudge mostly in fairly packed snow. I arrived at the bridge hot, a little worn out, but at least it wasn’t snowing.

From the bridge above the creek, I took photos of the water and also the sky above. The sky was changing so quickly, sometimes a dark gray, and then unexpectedly the clouds would thin enough to see a light blue tinge behind before they thickened back up again to a deep gray. As I was finishing with the photos, the sky darkened and it started to snow. It was clear that I was not going to reach the other location. I would need skis, or that snowcat, to be able to get up there, but even then, I’m not certain I would be able to navigate the steep trail that leads from the road to the creek.

As often happens, the original plan would need to be changed.

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