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Land of the Lost by Ian-Plant Land of the Lost by Ian-Plant
I just returned from six months of wandering the wild rain forest of the Olympic Peninsula. I arrived at the trail head in January with nothing more than my camera, a book of matches, a bag of heavily salted peanuts (jumbo size), and a rain poncho that doubled as a shelter, sleeping bag, and camera bag. I walked off the parking lot and hooked a left, letting the forest be my guide. Soon I was surrounded by a thicket of primeval growth, an impenetrable morass of moss and branches. It wasn’t long before I was completely abandoned by my sense of direction.

I lost count of the hours, days, and weeks as I penetrated deeper and deeper into the hinterland, reaching places that had never felt the trample of a man’s boot. When I encountered a deep and wide river, I spent ten days hollowing out a dugout canoe from the trunk of a fallen tree. After crossing, I set fire to the boat—for me, there was no turning back.

When I ran out of food, I drank the sap of the rare Speckled Quinault Cloud Maple, not realizing that it had slightly hallucinogenic properties that imbued one with a vague yet impending sense of being stalked by tenacious process servers. As my madness progressed, I began to neglect my health and personal hygiene, and my body wasted away from starvation, dehydration, and exhaustion. At some point—I do not know when—I collapsed and prayed for a painless death.

To my surprise, I was rescued by a clan of reclusive Sasquatch, who normally shun humans, but who took pity on my broken state. They nursed me back to health, and soon I regained strength and mental clarity. It took me three months to master their primitive language—which consisted of grunts, primal screems, and ripping apart tree trunks with one’s bare hands—but finally I was able to ask them to point me in the direction of civilization. After a tearful group hug, I left my new furry friends, and began my long journey back. I had a few more adventures along the way, including a brutal encounter with a ravenous six-foot man-eating giant vampire slug. Lucky for me, I still possessed my jumbo peanut bag, sans nuts but full of copious amounts of salt. Needless to say, things ended badly for the slug.

And then, finally, it happened—I stumbled into a mysterious glen and found the image I had searched six months for. A place as primitive as ancient earth, a hidden cacophony of green splendor, a haunted copse deep in the dark heart of an epic wilderness. A place where life itself stood still, besotted with the splendor of its own creation. For some reason I felt the moment required the barest semblance of dignity (although I possessed little in my feral state, and in any event no one was watching), so I pushed my knee-length beard behind my back and straightened and smoothed the remnants of my tattered clothes, which by now were mostly held together by finely woven strands of moss. After an appropriate amount of solemn reverence, my hands trembling with excitement, I clicked the shutter, recording the first and only image I had taken during my entire journey.

As I walked away from this magical place, I realized that I was only fifty feet from my car (which by now was covered in dust and parking tickets). I had completed the circle, returning to the far side of the parking lot from where I began. If only I had turned right.
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:iconcr99nut:
CR99nut Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013
Funny story, great photograph, and now I've got that old tv series theme song stuck in my head! "The laaaaa-aaand of the lost! Lost! Lost! Lost..." :D
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:iconhippe23chick:
hippe23chick Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012
i love this shot so much! and the story is hilarious!
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:iconnasahkalam:
nasahkalam Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Speechless!
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:icongeoffwoods:
geoffwoods Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2011
this is one outstanding gallery my friend
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:iconmysticangel74:
mysticangel74 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011
okay...
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:iconspleen-tola:
spleen-tola Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011
wow
Reply
:iconaboodie101:
Aboodie101 Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011
sheer excellence
Reply
:iconrajabally:
Rajabally Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
Wonderful, truly beautiful photo, lighting and composition as are all of your photos. Great work.
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:iconla-vita-a-bella:
La-Vita-a-Bella Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011   Photographer
:rofl: I love your little story.....very funny!
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:icondraken413o:
Draken413o Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2011  Professional Photographer
freaking epic story bro!
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:iconjjdooby:
jjdooby Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2011
wow...fabulous
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:iconvtas:
vtas Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011
Oh god, that is a hilarious story. Love it and the shot! Really adds perspective~
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:iconmichael-dalberti:
michael-dalberti Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2011
Ian.......... wonderful shot. It's so hard for me to capture close ups of the vegetation like this.

Also, hilarious story. Love it.
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:iconemiliobrown:
EmilioBrown Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
Great!
:wow:
Reply
:iconjanpusdrowski:
JanPusdrowski Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Student Photographer
I don't know how to handle this story xD Nice shot!
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:iconpauladaruk:
pauladaruk Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
Amazing place :)
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:iconfrozen-song:
Frozen-song Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
Haha, I would love to go on a adventure with you, there would never be a boring moment :D
Great story and shot.
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:icondepleted:
depleted Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011
Love that drippy usnea. And I think I've spotted those slugs here as well.
Reply
:iconglendagwalltcoch:
GlendaGwalltcoch Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011  Hobbyist
Perfect title. Great story and picture.
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:iconsassaputzin:
sassaputzin Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011
...i dont believe you ian....sorry

but its a great story ;)
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:iconaguswu:
Aguswu Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011
Great photo, as always.
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:iconvexcel:
Vexcel Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Dude, awesome, it's like something you'll see in a dream or fantasy.
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:iconafeinphoto-com:
aFeinPhoto-com Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011  Professional Photographer
Well that is pretty damn badass. The story isnt a bad read either ;) Gotta love the converging lines. Man the NW is just nuts...even with the Sasquatch.
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:icongroovygeek:
GroovyGeek Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
I could walk all day through a NW forest and not find a way to pick a dominant shape out of the tangle of trees, shrub, moss and grass. Great job of seeing the convergence of branches on the patch of clovers. Any four-leaf ones down there?
Reply
:iconphantanomaly:
Phantanomaly Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Makes me wish Skyrim would hurry up and come out already.
Fantastic shot and chuckleworthy story.
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:iconalban-expressed:
alban-expressed Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
Oh you dozed off while you waited for the camera to process a preview. :-) Great shot. :-)
Reply
:iconvernbrocas:
VernBrocas Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
I enjoyed this image greatly! But the story is 'fantastic'! Really funny! You should (if you aren't already) write books! I for one would buy them! :)
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:iconnomad55:
Nomad55 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is an amazing shot :D
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:icondimensionseven:
DimensionSeven Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
LOL! :D
Reply
:iconzufalls-foto:
zufalls-foto Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
haha, I didn't know you were a story teller too.

Fantastic image of course. I think if you look at it just right you can see the raptor's eyes....
Reply
:iconadijah:
Adijah Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
It so amazing, the general effect of the photo and the story, that it has left me almost speechless, so I'll quote:

“Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting o'er lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Reply
:iconda-phil:
da-phil Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
what the hell? dude, both the image and the stuff you took are just amazing! may i ask where i can order homeopathic portions to be able to experience the same? :P
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:iconnicolasalexanderotto:
Haha, the first part reminded me of Christopher McCandless. Love this shot, hope you have more Olympic coming up, it's my favorite place to shot gonna head there again next year. ;)
Reply
:icondominique-merot:
dominique-merot Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
... Amazing trip and story, I think we need to get lost sometimes, beautiful picture, yes.
Reply
:iconsuicidebysafetypin:
SuicideBySafetyPin Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:love: as my camera is broken atm i can only imagine the splendor!
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