This is a journal of images by California photographer Skip Moss. The places, people, and events caught through my lens. Photographs of the Central Coast and mountains of California, the landscapes of the Western U.S. and travels abroad.
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All images © 2013 and beyond, Skip Moss.


The Other Pacific Northwest

After returning from a three week tour of the mountains, valleys, watersheds, and parts of the coast in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia I was trying to find a common thread to a part of our lands I haven't visited since 1980.
Looking at my photographs, and remembering the moments that geographically stand out I found that water became the binding element. Perhaps coming from a drought stricken dry environment where I live the enormity of the rivers, the lakes, the glaciers, the controlled waterways, and all they provide struck me.
We followed great rivers, the Columbia to its source in Canada, the Kootenay past places with mystical names like Valhalla, crossing mirror smooth Lake Chelan, along the 100 mile Arrow Lakes, past unreal blue Crater Lake. Up the McKenzie and Yakima, the Okanogati. Water everywhere. This abundance of water provides for great swaths of agriculture, apples in the Okanogan, corn in Chelan,  wheat in the Palouse, berries, and rich, deep forests of fir, spruce, redwood, pines, ferns.
These rivers are fed by wild glaciers high up in the mountains of British Columbia, the Purcell Range, the Kootenays, the Nelson Range, Selkirks, the Bugaboos. Hidden places with black and grizzly bears, mountain goats, moose and eagles and osprey and horseflies the size of hummingbirds.  Places where the only way to see them is on foot.
In an attempt to understand where I've been I take photographs, maybe to document the days, but mostly to share the incredible places I experienced. Our idea was to see the offbeat places, the quiet zones. I can only hope that these images portray in some small way the beauty of the territory.

Be sure to open these photos on a large screen if you can, enjoy.

It takes a 30 minute ferry trip to cross Upper Arrow Lake on the Columbia River, British Columbia

First evening, rain near Mt. Shasta California

Crater Lake, Oregon

Apple boxes, Chelan Washington

August wildflowers, Rossland, British Columbia

Rossland, B.C.

Morning in Nelson, B.C.

Gimli Peak, Valhalla Provincial Park, B.C.

Horsefly and Mountain Goat, Valhalla Park

Mulvey Lakes cirque below Mt. Asgard, B.C.

Northwest Face of Gimli Peak

The Slocan River section of the Columbia

Slocan Lake at Silverton, B.C.

Ferry crossing, Galena Bay

Shelter Bay along the Columbia

A small tributary in Jumbo Valley, B.C.

Forest, Jumbo Valley, B.C.

Hanging Glacier, Redtop Mountain, B.C.

Jumbo Pass Trail

Cauldron Mountain and glacier.

That's about eight miles away.

Mt. Lady MacBeth and Mt. MacBeth.

Glacial melt, a great campsite

Sunset in B.C.

The Palouse, wheat and open roads, Eastern Washington

Farmstead, The Palouse, Washington

Railway on the Washington side of the Columbia River

Hood River, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Umbrella Falls, Mt. Hood, Oregon

Nightime on Newport Harbor, Oregon

South Beach, Newport, Oregon

Bandon Harbor, Southern Oregon

Bigfoot at night, Prarie Creek Redwood State Park


Dawn Patrol, July, Central Coast

Dawn patrol on a Summer morning along the Central Coast. The fog structurally defines early hours, quiets the beaches, softens the daybreak. When it lifts colors and light shine more vibrant than expected.
Images can be opened to view larger.

 6am, Surf Check

Minus tide

A Source of Symbolism

The kelp provides the first color of the day.

Waiting for the fog to lift.

Sunlight pours across the salt marshes,

And warms the day.


The First Days of May in the Eastern Sierra

The first days of May in the Eastern Sierra were blanketed by light snows and gorgeous clouds.
Four days hiking, skiing, and camping in the Owens Valley below the Eastern Sierra escarpment. Spring has come to the valley floor but the higher peaks are still in Winter.
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Mt. Williamson from Owens Valley

Lone Pine Peak 

Sierra Crest above Sherwin Grade

Mt. Whitney from the Alabama Hills

Full Spring Bloom on a Cactus while Winter lingers in the High Country

Spring melt pond on Rock Creek

An 80 year Hindu ashram hidden in a high valley.

A lone rocking chair moves with the wind enjoying a view of the Owens Valley below

The view of Owens Valley

The Tuttle Creek Ashram set below thousand foot cliffs

lives on the Central Coast of California. These photographs are an attempt to share the story of a place, a person, a moment as it happens. Sit back, take a deep breath, and spend some time enjoying the images.