Tag Archives: beautiful

Bridal Veil Falls Hike with Renaissance – Sept 2021

I’ve been to a lot of waterfalls in Washington State, among other places, and Bridal Veil Falls, is one of my favorites.

The trailhead is only located about an hour and a half Northeast of Seattle (in fair traffic) along Highway 2 just outside of Gold Bar. So, for those of you live in or are visiting the region, this may be a good day adventure for you. However, I will offer a caution that I wish was extended to me prior to my visit.  A National Forest Pass is needed to park your vehicle, a Discover Pass will not work. I picked a day pass up for $5 at Gold Bar Family Grocer (1111 Croft Ave, Gold Bar, WA 98251) or

You can also purchase and print one to display in your vehicle from the USDA at:

https://www.discovernw.org/mm5/merchant.mvc?screen=PROD&product_code=20281


I read reports about vandalism of vehicles in the parking lot prior to my visit and one of the first things I saw was the remnants of a broken window. My car was not messed with while I hiked. The recommendation is to make sure your valuables are out of sight if possible. My philosophy is to make it less appealing but knowing that being gone for so long there really is no guarantee.

There are two outhouse restrooms in the parking lot. I did not see any others along the trail to the falls. I recommend making a pit stop prior to the hike. If however, you are a person that must go frequently, there are plenty of hiding places along the way, just come prepared, it’s a pack in pack out trail.

On this trek, I only went to the falls, which is roughly 25% of the way to the lake. I made it to the Trailhead late and I had to turn around to get a park (parking pass) that took additional time. I also wanted to spend time at the falls didn’t think I had the time to do the trail safely and enjoyably before sunset. The sun set as I drove through Monroe on the way out. Wise decision on my part.

Most of the people I bumped into along the trail were friendly and most said at least hello. There were a few people with whom I actually had good conversations. That was surprising to me. As a person of color and having lived / been to quite a few rural areas in recent years, my experiences have not always been pleasant. Yet, on the day I visited the people who were on the trail with me were also interested in human connection and at a minimum politeness and common decency. Qualities I think are often in short supply in our society of recent.  


The trail to the falls is quite moderate (in dry weather). Roughly 25% of it is compacted gravel with only a slight slope. However, the rest gets more intense after the gravel. Much of the trail is over rock and if they were wet it would have probably been slick. The rest of the trail to the falls included a lot of wooden stairs and raised plank pathways– beautiful, natural, and flowing. However, I also know them to become slick in the rain. The trail crosses a few stream beds that depending on the time of year may be fuller than others. A minor word of advice would be to wear shoes that will either protect from water or that you do not mind getting wet. I am personally not a fan of hiking with wet feet, so my preference is to have waterproof boots on hikes like this so that nothing slows me down or leaves me uncomfortable. The tradeoff of course, is less agility.

I do not have children, so those of you who do please consider the follow with care. The trail I have described seems to be manageable for most relatively fit people. There are a few questionable spots in terms of falling off the trail, but we’re easy to work around with care. The falls itself has a fenced off area where it is quite simple to look at the falls and be happy. However, there is nothing to prevent climbing into the stream bed. The falls is relatively easy to maneuver around, but the ground again is entirely composed of rock that may become quite slick. This is a risky place because the falls we view sits atop another drop. My concern is that small children excited by the falls, and on slick rocks, may not be aware of the potential risk if viewing the falls from the stream bed.

Going slowly up, it took me about an hour to an hour and a half to make it to the falls. I was taking pictures and enjoying nature. It could be done much faster. Having been to many waterfalls and this being one of my favorites, I will definitely be returning and making the trek to the lake in the future. It is sometimes hard to find places that are so well known, even as remote as this is, to chill and meditate for a while in peace.

There was a very calming sensation I felt underneath the falls.

Next time, I will not be so preoccupied with photos and videos and I will be able to absorb more of the energy there. If you venture up after reading this I would love to know what you thought about it and perhaps see some of your photos as well.

An Impromptu Rap Cypher

By Michael Anthony Moynihan a.k.a. Renaissance the Poet
By Michael Anthony Moynihan a.k.a. Renaissance the Poet

I went out for a photo shoot today with the goal of snapping shots of animals and to my surprise I caught two wild rappers. These two random guys, B-50 and Jonathan Rojas, stopped me to say hello and the next thing I know I was dropping a beat and the cypher was on.

Much of their conversation was focused on dealing with the law and the struggle to make it as an emcee. When they found out that I go to the University of Washington they were shocked and embarrassed. Then they congratulated me and thanked me before saying; “Not to many of us make it there.”

That was the second time in twenty minutes I heard that from a stranger. This is unsettling because I thought more of us, young intelligent, male minorities were making it, but it seems that I am beating the odds while most are not. And here in the midst of this random excursion I got to be a positive influence, by just doing me, and to be an example revealing that there are more options for a young black male than being an emcee and dealing with the legal system.

If you are open to it, you can find beauty everywhere.

I accomplished one of my goals though, I was able to catch living beings, who are also strangers to me, in the act of enjoying life and tell a bit of their stories.

Mount Rainier (June 21, 2014)

By Michael Anthony Moynihan a.k.a. Renaissance the Poet
By Michael Anthony Moynihan a.k.a. Renaissance the Poet

 

The perfect conditions converged to create a beautiful shot.

First, the sky was clear enough to see our great Mount Rainier all the way from Seattle. Now, this is something that is not a regular occurrence and I am not sure whether this is because of the region being overcast much of the time or because of the result of the smog that is filtering into the region from all the automobiles releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. Whichever is the case, it is not the case that the mountain is always visible from Seattle and it just so happened that it was on the eve of June 21, 2014.

The second factor that converged was that the sun was setting onto the mountain with all of the brilliant hues so common and familiar with sunsets, which is the perfect formula for an amazing photograph.

The last factor, was I had my camera handy and I was both willing and able to head out to snap a shot.

When I noticed this convergence, I snagged up my camera and jumped on my bicycle and headed out to find the location from which to shoot my first real shot of Mt. Rainier. I live in the White Center neighborhood of Seattle and I chased my shot all the way to Burien, which is about 5 miles or so away from where I left from. The problem was that I left just before the sun was begining to set and I still had to find a location, but I was determined beyond reason, not to give up no matter how much it hurt and to capture the shot I had my heart set on. It is good to have the maxim resting firmly in my heart that when I set a goal that I do everything in my power to accomplish it, and that is precisely what I did. I found the location and I got the short I had my heart set on.

I love being spontaneous and I love taking pictures. I hope that you all enjoy this one, I know I sure do.