12 Jan New Year – New Goals
Each year, on January 1st, I have this little tradition. I get up well before the sun rises, load my photography gear up, and head to some remote location to be alone with nature. It gives me some time to reflect on the past year as well as to think about what the new year will bring.
I really love the solitude of being in the middle of nowhere and waiting for the sun to peek out over the horizon, in anticipation of a beautiful setting. There’s something really special about hearing nothing but the wind blowing and the birds singing as the sun slowly rises.
This year, I decided to see what the Ridgefield Wildlife National Refuge had to offer. The refuge is just a short 40-minute drive from Portland. I headed north up I-5 to the quaint town of Ridgefield Washington. No sooner do you leave the concrete ribbon of the interstate and you are meandering down a curvy road toward the small town.
As you enter town, there are all of the things you expect to see in “small town America”. The local barber shop, the corner store, Lilly Wiggins Mercantile, the Old Liberty Theater, and of course, Sportsman’s Steakhouse and Saloon.
As I continued to the refuge, I passed several old farmhouses. The road followed a few creeks, which led me to the entrance to the refuge. From the parking lot, I started my journey down the gravel path in still near darkness, with high hopes of a beautiful sunrise.
It did not disappoint!