No trip to the Portland area is complete without visiting Multnomah Falls. Here is a lie; there was nobody here when I took this shot.
In fact, to get this, I had to elbow my way through layers of Instagrammers holding phones aloft with their backs to the falls. I should have known better, it was July 4th, but I went anyway. I Photoshoped all the people off the bridge except for one. In the end, this edit is not far from the scene I imagined in my head.
If I did have the place to myself, I would have taken more shots, but I like this shot, so maybe that would have been a waste. Anyhow, when I go back, even if it’s winter, I’ll come early to try my luck again. But it’s all good; I ended up hiking to the top to see even more waterfalls and a lot fewer people. It ended up being an excellent day, for Instagram and me.
One little tip about shooting waves at the shore is tripod legs sink when the water washes over. So, if the exposure is too long, objects get blurred. Another tip is to wash off the tripod legs in freshwater as soon as possible. A couple of helpful pointers for you photo bugs.
This spot is from a massive lava flow, surrounded by volcanoes on all sides. I wouldn’t want to be here when the next one blows.
Living in Florida, it’s easy to forget there is a healthy amount of volcanic activity in the pacific northwest. It wasn’t my plan to visit volcanoes, but little did I realize, most of the mountains in Oregon are.
If I recall, Oregon and Hawaii are in the “ring of fire,” and we all know Hawaii is quite active. When I first arrived at this spot, I was struck by how fresh the flows looked; I thought maybe they were ten years old. It was more like fifteen-hundred years, which, as we all know, is just a blink of an eye in geological terms. As amazing as it was, I was still glad to leave before mother nature decided to blink again.
The water from this fall runs year-round and is fed by a spring. I would have gotten closer, but Instagramers were posing in front.
I Photoshopped out the Instagramers because I kind of like it without them, maybe it’s just me. Last year on the same day, I was at Mount Rushmore and encountered the same thing, hundreds of them. I need to start an Instagram of Instagrammers.
Nevertheless, it was quiet and pretty here, which was at the top of a steep hike from the Columbia River. I had water but too much heavy camera gear, but I didn’t realize I was going to climb the trail until I got there. As all of my hikes in Oregon, it was well worth it, and I’m looking forward to going back for more walks, Instagram notwithstanding.
This photo is a little brook on the trail to Dutchman Falls. It’s about as idyllic a trail as you could hope to find.
The midday light through the overhead branches created a latticework of shadows, which is slightly confusing to the eye.
The brook feeds Multnomah Falls, which is perhaps the most photographed waterfall in the Pacific Northwest, if not the country. I came here on holiday and found crowds of people visiting at the base. So I hiked up to the top of the falls and found a quiet trail with this stream.
I recommend hiking to the top, although it’s strenuous with many switchbacks. But once you get there, you’ll be glad you did. From there, I walked up to Dutchmans Falls, which is another picture for another day.
Here’s a shot from Crescent Beach, which is just north of Cannon Beach and mostly inaccessible. It was a hike but well worth it.
I saw folks on the trail that looked like they shouldn’t be there, I had boots, and they had flipflops. Some people looked like they couldn’t make the steep inclines, it made me wonder if rangers rescued hikers here. Nevertheless, I made it despite hesitations of my own and arrived at this rugged, isolated beach.
I placed my tripod low and took this as the water receded. I used an ultrawide 12mm lens from Venus Optics. It mostly stays in the bag, but times like this I’m glad I have it because of the perspective it affords.
Driving up Highway 126 along the McKinzie River, the temptation is to pull off at every little bridge or vista. On one near Fin Rock, I found this lonely lane.
I’ve heard so much about the forests in the Pacific Northwest, and seeing them for myself was worth the trip. An old utility road through the forest is an invitation to explore. It was blocked off, so maybe it’s better I didn’t drive it in my little rental car.
I imagine that, like the Mangroves of the tropics, these conifers constitute a significant source of CO2 sequestration for our planet. Not only that, the forests are the habitat for mycelium which we are just now discovering can lead to cures for pollution and disease. (Check out this website for more on that!) Let’s hope these forests remain protected as vigorously as our Florida mangroves.
Cannon Beach reminds me of Carmel by the Sea; only it’s about eight hundred miles to the north. A little more unconventional, perhaps, but that’s a good thing.
Actually, this is a view of Crescent Beach with Cannon Beach in the distance; but the whole area is known as Cannon Beach. I drove here to Ecola State Park from Portland in the morning, and getting an early start was vital. After I returned from a hike, the roads and parking lots were full of holiday travelers. The July temperature is in the upper seventies.
There used to be a direct path to Crescent beach from here, but it got washed out in a storm. The alternate trail is about a mile and a half and is rather arduous. Even so, it was worth it, and because it was harder to reach, there were very few people. So I walked the whole beach, took plenty of photos, and skipped the crowds.
The Oregon Coast Highway is probably better done in an RV so you could stop and take it in for long stretches before moving on; I was in a Ford Fiesta. I took plenty of stops but not nearly enough. Sometimes my wanderings would pay off with something interesting to see, other times not so much. But as they say, it’s not the destination but the journey.
Scott Lake was a detour of a detour I took while driving through Willamette National Forest. I took so many detours its surprising I made any forward progress at all.
I figured as long as I had gas and some trail mix I was probably not going to have problems. The only real dilemma was deciding when to turn back. If I didn’t need sleep, I’d have driven all night, and that would have been just fine.
I could see setting up camp here and exploring for a few days. As its the pacific northwest, I’d half expect to see a bigfoot. This area is so big and untamed that it would not surprise me in the least. At least this is where I would be if I were a bigfoot.