Cover Photo – the story behind the picture 

Early Morning High in the Mountains 

Written by Molly Bogeberg, Marc Hershman Marine Policy Fellow
Photographs by TNC and (3) Benj Drummond

We set out early from Seattle, leaving in the dark at 4 a.m. Lauren Miheli, Iris Redwood-Sawyerr, Robin Stanton and I were heading east of Snoqualmie Pass to meet photographer Benj Drummond to capture images of us exploring some of the 48,000 acres of forests the Conservancy was about to acquire in the Central Cascades.

Once we arrived, we consolidated our bags of gear and warm layers and piled into one car to head up the mountain. At our destination on Cabin Mountain, I put on every layer that I had brought with me–a wool layer, puffy down jacket, teal scarf, teal mittens, wool beanie, and my blue raincoat. I had been told that red and orange were the best colors for an outdoor photoshoot, but I could not be convinced. As an ocean- loving, marine scientist (and now a marine policy fellow at the Nature Conservancy), I was sure that blue would be best!

We all donned our headlamps and followed Benj (who had pre-scouted the area) into the dark, straight up to the peak where the photoshoot would commence. As we hiked up the mountain, we did our best not to slip on the slick muddy ground and dew covered rocks. We were met with gusty winds and fog banks moving in and out of the trees. My warm layers seemed futile against the elements and we all found refuge from the wind huddled behind a rock.

Lauren, Iris, and I took turns climbing high up on rocks with our headlamps as the sun started to appear. It was apparent that the light conditions were going to be a challenge. After a couple of hours of waiting for the sun to shine through the high clouds and fog, we lumbered back down to the car and took off down the mountain to get breakfast in a nearby town.

When returned to the site, the light was still not ideal, but Benj showed his expertise and patience working with different angles and locations to get “the shot.” As I climbed to the top of themost prominent rock, it was a little bit precarious, but thanks to a background in ballet I was able to keep my balance. This rock begs to be climbed! It juts out from a ridge on Cabin Mountain and overlooks a gorgeous valley with expansive views of the new land acquisition. It was really a breathtaking place to stand and take in your surroundings.

And that’s what made the cover of Nature Conservancy Magazine!

As an avid hiker, explorer, and conservationist I was excited for this opportunity to see the forest team’s hard work in the Eastern Cascade forests firsthand. I am truly honored to work for an organization that seeks to protect areas such as these to maintain ecosystem services, sustainable jobs, and places for us all to find peace in nature.