Sep 18, 2016

Tiger Lily

This photograph of Tiger-Lilies was caught on the Pacific Crest Trail about 15 miles South of Harts Pass in Washington State.   In truth, I had no idea they were Tiger-Lilies; it was another, much more horticulturally minded hiker I was travelling with that identified them.  I stopped for a short time to capture as close an image as I could, and came away with this photograph. I am proud that it came out so well.  :)

Creative Commons License
Tiger-Lily by Justin Arn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Aug 6, 2016

Foot and Soul Damage

Downtown Seattle 1:30AM

My bright silver and yellow Z-lite pad lays starkly juxtaposed against the dirty gray sidewalk near King Street Station, that I now call home.  My pack, lopsided and and lazy, lays a foot away.  The brain, or top cover of the pack, hangs down the back side and and the top chord is loose. My gear is half strewn around me. It's become impossible to find things and I'm so bored that now seems as good a time as any to go through all my crap and organize. All of it is in bad shape, there's no doubt about it.

Karmas foot is cracked and blistered from hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

  Nothing in my pack, however, is in worse shape than my feet. In all my years of living, hiking, and punishing my body, I've never had feet feel like this.  Open sores and blisters expand across them in all the key (read worst) spots. My ankles are so chewed up they've begun to swell. Unable to even wear my hiking boots any longer, I've been reduced to sporting a pair of Seattle Seahawks flip flops in order to get around.

....Oh the ignominy

Aug 4, 2016

A Dragons Tale, part one.

A foreboding Cascadian Mountain where Dragons live.

Slumped over my lone hiking pole, wheezing in agony, I call out to the trees for mercy.  I'm not halfway up the mountain, but my legs are on fire and my lungs gasp for at every morsel of air they can find.  This hike is not for the weak. 
But that's what I've become.  Damned Weak.

All the cigarettes and the sitting around; they take their toll, stretching my patience and my muscles to their absolute limit. This mountain is beating me and it knows it. 

Dragons are always hiding in the colest places on the PCT.
Clouds don't care about your limits

The tall Firs solemnly observe my pain. They've witnessed this before, I'm quite sure. They sway back and forth empathetically, their leafy rythym drowning out my gasps for air. 
A beautiful Tree Surrouneed by Sun on the PCT.

I listen.
Slowly I slip out of self-proclaimed agony and my breathing falls in line with their swaying.  I stay this way for many minutes.
"I've got to keep going," I tell myself, "the Dragon awaits."

Yes, I've come all this way for a Dragon. Specifically to pick a fight with one. Dragon-fighting used to be an art. It separated men from myth and created the world we live in today.