Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Oregon Photography Tour: Columbia Gorge

My trip started with the 600 mile drive to Portland, OR. With rain forecast for the next week, it didn't make sense to visit the Hoh Rain Forest and the beaches on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Having lived in Portland for 3 years in the 1980s, I knew that if I set mysights inland towards the dry Eastern side of the Cascades, I'd probably be able to avoid the worst of the rain.

The Columbia River Gorge was a logical way to head out of town, but it was raining and even having brought a giant golf umbrella and towel for frequent drying, most of my shots have some degree of water drops on the lense. The drizzle stopped briefly during my hike into Oneonta Gorge, so I was able to capture this shot of Oneonta Falls.

My first night out of Portland, after a dinner stop at the Full Sail Brewery in the town of Hood River, I headed towards the rian shadow of Mt. Hood. I still had a Forest Service map from when I lived in Portland years ago, and I tried to find a campsite that would have a sunset and sunrise view of the mountain.

This site, "Clouds Rest" had a promising name, and while it seemed to take foreever to reach up a decaying dirt road, my effort was rewarded with this sunset view of the breaking storm, over a sea of wildflowers.

It was raining and gray when I woke up, so it was fortunate that I made it to the campsite in time for sunset!

I heard a couple of days later that the Washington coast received record rain on the days that I had planned to visit, so having the flexibility to head for a drier part of Oregon really paid off!