Skagit Valley Experience by Christopher Fridley in Mount Vernon, Washington

I live in a beautiful place. That’s why I relocated here 15 years ago. I was an uninspired photographer for over two decades and I found myself always buying those photography magazines with all the wonderful scenery. I wanted to be there myself taking MY own wonderful images. Well, once here in Washington state… my inspiration was blown away. I was HERE! I can go from the mountains to the sea, to the islands, to the desert and to the rain forest just a short drive from my own front door! These images are where I live!

Name:Christopher Fridley

Outdoor Photographer


Landscape photography. I frame up in my mind landscape images all freakin’ day. I’ll drive into a ditch checking out new angles. I’ll wake up in the wee hours of the morning like the house is on fire with a dire mission to get a particular capture I’ve dreamed about. I will flat out lie to be at a certain place at a certain time. I will revisit an area numerous times until I get the image I desire. In other words, I’m ate up with photography: overcome, saturated and preoccupied!

Tell us about Skagit County:

I live in the scenic area of Western Washington called Skagit County. Tourists come here year around to surround themselves with natural beauty and outdoor recreation and it’s all just out my front door!

A perfect day?

To witness a calm warm summer morning with a red sunrise over the great stratovolcano Mount Baker. Then a stroll to the Mount Vernon Farmers Market to take in the sights and smells of sweet berries, ripe local produce and fresh baked pastries. Then take a ride to the Big Scoop a local ice cream parlor, a favorite here since the early 1950’s, to enjoy a REAL banana split! Then, take a ride to Anacortes, Washington for a great seafood meal and drive up to Cap Sante Park to look west at the sunset towards the San Juan Islands.

What is the best thing about Skagit County:

It is an outdoor recreation haven, especially for an outdoor photographer!

What is the worst?

Constant rain for months during the winter.

What would be surprising about Skagit County to an outsider?

That our trees here are huge. Our mountains are rugged. Our waterways are treacherous. Our coffee is strong. Our local beers are yummy! And on a serious note, scenic places are everywhere… really!

Before I die I want to visit:

Mt McKinley (Denali), Alaska

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Greg Iles – favorite writer. The Coen Bros – fave filmmakers. Stevie Ray Vaughan – greatest guitar player EVER!


Name:Christopher Fridley

City:Mount Vernon

Favorite place to eat:

Popeyes… hell yea!

Favorite place to drink:

Skagit River Brewery

Favorite shop:

Tri-Dee Arts. You’ll turn into a kid again!

Local Tip:

Recreational marijuana is legal here… Doritos are real hard to find!

Must Do:

Bring waterproof clothes and grow out your hair.