Being able to capture the essence of an area is a tricky thing to do. Through pictures, writing and video, many of us attempt to put you on the ridge, in the forest or along the beaches. While none on of will ever be able to replicate the salty air or the smell of a freshly fallen cedar, there is occasionally a form of media that gets a little closer.
A video, simply titled MTJP OLYMPIC, gives us a look at the life of Olympic National Park via a series of jaw-dropping time-lapse images. For nearly four and a half minutes, the camera travels around Hurricane Ridge, Obstruction Point, LaPush, and the the Hoh Rainforest during the day. Once the sunsets, which you get to see from numerous ridges across the park, the night sky comes out, showing off satellites, the northern lights and some of the most impressive images of the milky way from Olympic National Park I have ever seen, aside from in person.
Will and Jim Pattiz’s project, More Than Just Parks (MTJP) has raised the bar for capturing the beauty of Olympic National Park. If this video doesn’t inspire you to explore the mountains, rivers, lakes, rain forests and ridges and mountains of Olympic National Park, I don’t know what will.
I was lucky enough to be able to interview the filmmakers about their experience in Olympic National Park. While they were traveling through regions of America with sketchy, spotty cell service, they were nice enough answer questions via email. Please Read it after the video. The are super cool guys!
To learn more about the More Than Just Parks Project please take a minute to visit: morethanjustparks.com
EH: What did you know about Olympic before you came here?
Will Pattiz: Prior to our filming expedition, Jim and I had never been to the Pacific Northwest. We had done a lot of research trying to find a great park for our initial video and Olympic really stuck out at us as the top choice due to it’s incredible diversity. All we knew is what we could find on the National Park Service website and various blogs.
EH: What are your impressions of Olympic now that you have spent time here? Any favorite spots or incredible moments? Any least favorite things about the park?
Will Pattiz: Olympic National Park is one of the most incredible places to which we’ve ever been. Getting off the plane in Seattle and walking outside we were amazed by the trees and greenery just around the airport, let alone in the park. Coming from Peachtree City, Georgia and being raised in the South makes the parks all the more special to us as we don’t have many around us – visiting them is like visiting another planet and Olympic is no exception. I mean where else in the world can you see glacial mountain peaks, old-growth temperate rain forests, and incredible wilderness coast all within the same day?
EH: Any favorite spots or incredible moments?
WP: I have to say our favorite part of the park was the Obstruction Point area near Hurricane Ridge. The views are out of this world. Everywhere you look there are breathtaking mountain peaks and lush dark green forests. The whole time we spent hiking up there we were just thinking to ourselves how amazing it was that such a place existed how incredibly lucky we were to have the opportunity to spend time exploring there. I remember one moment in particular where we had been sitting on some rocks along a remote ridge of peaks overlooking Moose and Grand Lake and Jim says “Can you hear that?”. I strained for a bit after not hearing whatever it was that he was trying to single out and I responded “Hear what?” “Nothing, absolute silence” was his answer and it was the most incredible thing. I can’t ever remember being in a place where you could experience a quiet like that – it was serene.
EH: Any least favorite things about the park?
JP: Olympic National Park is very unique because of the way in which it is organized, or should I say – unorganized. It is very unlike a traditional national park in that it lacks a centrally located visitors center, and the roads within the park do not connect to each other for the most part. This, and a lack of paved roads in some areas, can cause problems for your GPS as well as your planning. If you want to get to some of the really cool areas I recommend an SUV and/or 4-wheel drive. Don’t let any of that dissuade you though, it’s truly an amazing place with so much to see and do.
EH: What made you decide to take on such a project?
WP: It was not until a few years ago that Will and I visited our first national park (that we can remember). We along with our youngest brother, Tom, and two friends decided to take a trip to see the grand canyon and on the way we stopped by Petrified Forest National Park. It was an incredible experience that really hooked us on the parks. We thought to ourselves “Why has no one told us about these incredible places?” And while we had heard of them before no one had ever really told us about them – what they were like, what sort of treasures they held, what it felt like to visit them, etc – it was as if they had been kept from us and we wanted to change that.
EH: What is the goal of your work?
JP: Our goal is to build a greater awareness for the wonderful treasures that reside within our national parks. We want to encourage folks to get out there and have a one-of-a-kind experience of their own in a national park. It can be truly life-changing. In the words of Chief Seattle – “Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.”
EH: What park are you most looking forward to filming in?
JP: I am really looking forward to visiting and filming Glacier National Park. We have come close to making the trip out there a few times, but haven’t yet been able to make it work. I know that the park is threatened by natural gas exploration in the area and that it’s glaciers are melting so we want to get out there as soon as possible. I’d also like to mention that Ken Burns national parks series has been a significant influence on us. We were already hooked on the parks when we saw it, but being able to delve into the history of the parks and why they are so important is a moving experience.
Background on Will Pattiz and Jim Pattiz
Our mom is from Los Angeles, our dad is form the Bronx, NY, and we’re from Atlanta, GA so we feel like we’ve been blessed with a pretty good mix of America. Born a year apart and raised in a suburb of Atlanta – Peachtree City, we grew up in the South. We started a media company, Sea Raven Media, a few years back that offers a wide variety of media related services. We have designed airline training courses, produced the In-Flight Safety videos you see in the back of headrests on planes, directed advertisements, re-branded corporations, developed websites, created database systems, and more.
DISCOVER THE BEST HIKES AROUND OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK