Nature

2 Days of Gorging – Part 2

The flipside of spending so long at Multnomah Creek was that it threw my schedule right out the window. I ended up having to pare back my very ambitious list of places to visit and made my way to one of the shorter trips on my list…

Little Zigzag Falls

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Full descripton of the area is here on the Portland Hikers website. The trailhead is interesting since it’s located at part of the original road up to Government Camp. There’s an interesting sign which shows an old photo taken from this location. The vegetation wasn’t as leafed out as along the Gorge so things were a bit barren..

Little Zigzag Falls
Little Zigzag Falls
Little Zigzag
Coltsfoot - Little Zigzag

Zigzag River

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Right around Milepost 46, the Zigzag River crosses underneath US Highway 26. The stretch of river downstream of the bridge seemed interesting so I stopped to explore compositions. Unfortunately for me, there was a cabin located alongside one of the banks so I had to exclude it from my compositions. I really enjoyed working with the bright streaks of sunlight on the surface of the churning river..

Zigzag River
Zigzag River
Zigzag River
Zigzag River
Zigzag River

Mount Hood sunset from White River – Take 2

With the day nearing its end, I returned once again to the White River Snowpark hoping for a nice sunset. Through the day, a nice array of clouds seemed to linger around the summit of Mount Hood but, as sunset drew close, they vaporized. The sunset turned out to be a carbon-copy of the previous night’s. Bummer…

Mount Hood sunset along the White River
Sunset along the White River

Siouxon Creek

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The following morning, I began my drive back to the Seattle area but included a sidetrip to Siouxon Creek, which I discovered through my reading of the Portland Hikers Trip Report forum. It’s located in the South Central portion of the Washington Cascades and has the distinction of having a paved road all the way to its remote trailhead. It turns out to be a relic of the former glory days of logging and one forest superintendent’s idea to promote more logging. The trail travels through maturing second growth forest alongside the creek and passes near a few waterfalls.

This was my first visit and so it was all new to me. The creek turned out to be much wider and more open that I had envisioned so photography in bright sunny conditions wasn’t going to be good. I ended up focusing my efforts on the forest itself since it was so magical. The understory is dominated by Oregon Oxalis (which was almost ready to bloom) and full of surprises. If you go, be prepared to encounter a variety of groups because the trail is open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horses..

Oregon Oxalis and Wood Fern - Siouxon Creek Trail
Forest Scene - Siouxon Creek Trail
Mossy Jack
Forest Scene - Siouxon Creek Trail
Forest Scene - Siouxon Creek Trail
Sometimes the results don’t meet the expectations placed beforehand, and this trip fell into that category. How one responds to these challenges can make or break the entire outing. I come away with more valuable experience shooting in extreme light conditions and I hope this will only help me out during my future outings. I know I’ll be back next year (if not sooner!)..

2 days of Gorging – Part 1

I’ve decided that a couple days in May down in the Columbia River Gorge area is a good thing and so I made plans to go down this past week. The actual date was a little earlier than I would have liked due to other committments. Originally, I started doing this in order to photograph the endless field of Arrowleaf Balsamroot that blooms atop Dog Mountain, I’ve since then chosen to expand my itinerary to include other parts of the Gorge as well as neighboring Mount Hood.

At the last minute, I had to alter my plans and drop the Dog Mountain hike due to some highway construction located at the trailhead. I substituted the hike to Indian Point on the Oregon side in its place. The weather was forecasted to be mostly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms for the second half of my time down there but it remained sunny and clear the entire time (horrible conditions for photography!) And now the photos..

Indian Point:

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Not many photos from this first hike. A detailed description can be found on the Portland Hikers website. Overall, a wonderful forested hike to a prominent point overlooking the Gorge. Views north to Mount Adams, and east to Dog Mountain..

Oregon Grape branch nestled at the base of a Douglas Fir. Indian Point Loop Trail
Panorama from Indian Point. Mount Adams in the distant center.
Lone tree growing from the top of Indian Point

Mount Hood sunset from White River:


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First attempt had a small cloudcap over the summit but hardly any color due to the lack of clouds. I hiked about 2/3rds of a mile up the White River looking for a composition and settled on this location. Turns out some better spots were located much closer to the parking lot!..

Sunset on Mount Hood along the White River
Mount Hood cloudcap

Multnomah Creek:

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One of the highlights for me. Multnomah Creek feeds the very famous Multnomah Falls and the portion of the creek upstream of the famous falls contains some AMAZING scenery and a number of waterfalls. I spent nearly 5 hours here and only made it about 3/4 of a mile upstream of the main falls. A full description can be found on the Portland Hikers website. It’s worthy of an entire day!..

View back down over Multnomah Falls
Waterfall just upstream of the famous Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Creek
Multnomah Creek
Multnomah Creek
Middle Dutchman Falls - Multnomah Creek
Upper Dutchman Falls - Multnomah Creek
Ecola Falls - Multnomah Creek
False Solomon Seal - Multnomah Creek
Rock Patterns - Dutchman Tunnel
Rock Patterns - Dutchman Tunnel
Oregon Oxalis
Nature's cathedral ceiling - Multnomah Creek

More to come in Part two!…

Back from the Gorge

Bottom of the lower Multnomah Falls. A cliched shot to be sure but I think it's required under Oregon law..
I’ve returned from my 2 day trek down to the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood but have close to 400 photos to wade through. The weather did not go as forecasted so difficult lighting was present at every location I visited (i.e. sunny with no clouds!). I’ve gone through a fair amount of the photos but still have a ways to go. I should have a number of photos to share sometime this week!..

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