Blue Lake, North Cascades. Photo by Darcie Lloyd

September 2020 Photo Round-Up!

This last September, Institute staff put the final touches on one season and welcomed another by taking summer’s last road trips, harvesting in backyard gardens, and of course, hitting the trails to enjoy fall’s new color palette. Join us for a glimpse through our best pics from the month!


Welcoming Fall!

Get ready to be hit in the eyeball with a wallop of color! Every season has its bag of tricks, and painting the landscape in every possible shade of red, orange, and yellow is autumn’s superpower.

Alexa’s delight matches ours at the marvel of larch turning gold.

Darcie captures a pristine reflection in the aptly named Blue Lake.
Mountain bog gentian is a mystifying late-bloomer, spotted by Jodi at Maple Pass Loop.
Jodi pauses on the trail to take it all in from Goat Peak.
A sampling of this year’s spectacular palette. Photos by Jodi Broughton
Wild blueberry foliage takes on a fiery hue at Cascade Pass. Photo by Katie Manz
Katie enjoys the last—and perhaps the sweetest—of the season’s wild blueberries.
A dramatic late September sunrise near Hamilton. Photo by Molly Harrigan


What’s Happening in the Kitchen

Although meals packaged in to-go containers have temporarily replaced a trip through our buffet and indoor seating, the delicious fare served up by our kitchen crew remains as tempting as ever.

Dan, Miles, and Chef Justin prepare take-out meals for conference attendees to enjoy outside. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
The legendary dining hall salad bar is now mobile. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
Chef Justin brings in a delivery of fresh produce. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
Grab & go lunch bags. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
Homefries for miles. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
Hand-carved, thick-cut bacon—yes, please. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
With fresh paint and refinished floors, the dining hall is ready for the day it can host visitors again. Photos by Katie Manz


Garden Days

Summer has come to an end but we’re still enjoying the bounty and beauty growing in our gardens. Before we turn to fall planting, let’s take a look at the harvest of Institute staffers who wear green thumbs with pride.

Among Institute gardeners, Deven might take the prize for flowers!
And Kayla gets a blue ribbon for platter-sized sunflowers.
Tomatoes and toes in Confluence Garden. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Technicolor dahlias in Ferndale’s Hovander Homestead Park. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Molly’s homemade tulsi and lemon balm sun tea.
Stephanie’s baby dill pickles and spicy marinara from garden grown cukes and t’maters.
Kim’s fresh-pressed apple cider.
More homegrown treasures from Kayla’s backyard garden.
A lady bug can’t escape Jodi’s eye for detail.


Base Camp Opening Weekend

On the last weekend of September we excitedly welcomed guests back to the Learning Center for our first Base Camp since closing campus this spring. Rain  showers dampened the trails around campus but you can count on Pacific Northwesters to come prepared with boots and a sense of adventure.

Welcome to Base Camp! Photo by Catherine Endicott
Evan and Kari orient participants to Base Camp opportunities. Photo by Catherine Endicott
Resources for self-guided activities help participants get the most out of their weekend. Photo by Catherine Endicott
Base Camper Catherine spent the day hiking at Thunder Creek and enjoying the fall color.
Thunder Creek trail treasures. Photo by Catherine Endicott
Sunset reflecting in lodge windows welcomes Base Campers to cozy, private rooms. Photo by Katie Manz
After a day exploring the North Cascades, participants can count on a home-cooked meal. Photo by Catherine Endicott
The sun sinks low a little earlier on campus these days. Photo by Katie Manz


Putting the Final Touches on Summer

Nature is a respite one can rely on in any season, but especially this summer it offered the renewal many of us needed. By exploring new corners of the map and returning to favorite haunts, meeting friends of various species and finding quiet moments to check in with ourselves—we all got by with a little time spent outdoors.

Christian made his bi-annual pilgrimage to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to experience the wildlife, landscapes, and geological oddities of Yellowstone National Park.
Christian enjoying a paddle on String Lake beneath Mt. Moran.
Former staffer Katie Roloson found the Institute sticker left for her by Christian as he passed through Yellowstone!
Molly spotted a petrified palm tree trunk while paddling in Chuckanut Bay. 
Panoramas are a great way to capture these spectacular views! Photos by Kari Paustian
Kari and Dan sharing some excitement over the view of Boston Glacier.
Kim appreciating Mt. Shuksan from the Chain Lakes Loop trail.
Alexa’s awesome lobster mushroom!
Chinook are spawning in the Skagit River. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Looking down at Lake Ann on the Heather-Maple Pass Loop. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Mountain dwelling critters, pika and golden-mantled ground squirrel. Photos by Jodi Broughton
Jodi enjoyed a day on the water at Bowman Bay with long-time Institute supporter Ginny Darvill.
More stunning captures from Katie’s many miles on the trail this summer, here at Cascade Pass.
A beautiful end to the summer’s adventures, Deven takes in the placid view at Lake Pearrygin.


Thanks for coming along on this photo round-up! As always, we invite you to share your own adventures with us—please reach out to us at and your pics just might appear in our next round up!


  1. Jodi Broughton

    Delightful photo round-up, Stephanie. Thanks for helping us ease into fall!

  2. Paula

    So stunning! Thank you for sharing your images and stories of a job well done, and your many adventures.

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