Oregon Trip – Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

At 3:30 in the morning the alarm went off. At 3:35 in the morning the second alarm went off. At 3:40 in the morning the third alarm went off and at 4:05 we were out the door and on the way to the airport. Such are the rigors of air travel with a paranoid traveler who images the chaos of missing a flight.

Despite all the paranoia was still managed to board the first flight late since we missed a last-minute gate-change made by the airlines. Eight hours of children with annoying toys, children travelling alone who had no end of stories, cramped seats and 2/3 of a book (something about air travel always makes me a voracious reader) we settled our rather tired selves into the Portland airport.

Easily accessible from Portland we made our way to the Columbia River Gorge for a rather brief tour. It should be noted by any observers that our travels seem to be much more about breadth than depth. One could very easily spend a month exploring the falls of the Columbia River.

the first thing that leaps to the forefront of attention is just how GREEN the world is up here. The dustbowl of the midwest is as brown as any L. Frank Baum tale this year so the Columbia river is like a Munchkin’s dream by comparison.

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge
From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

And the critters that live in the dark recesses here are a thousand times more entertaining than those musty mites we must endure back home.

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge
From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

Walking along the trail to Angel Falls, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my strong sense of vertigo when it enters my awareness that one missed step and I’ll be plummeting down a cliff like Homer Simpson trying to jump the Springfield gorge.

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

But oh the eager reaching of nature here.

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

and her humbly bowed head…

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

These are among the shorter trees of the region. In the next couple days we’ll head south towards the Redwoods, the real old men of the forest.

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

Through a quirk of misnavigation (but then, when you don’t really have any plan for where to go, how do you tell when you misnavigate?) we ended up walking half a mile to Multnomah falls while the rest of creation parked 10 feet away. (Oddly, according to the signage it was .25 miles to walk TO the falls but .5 miles to walk back) It’s about all my 8mm fish-eye can do to actually take it all in at once

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge
From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

Worth mentioning that it’s not exactly an intimate location though.

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

One can’t help but be struck by the forces at work here. Tiny erosive forces from a thousand tributaries meet up with an epic one in the form of the Columbia River. Of course the river wins leaving the tiny tributaries chip, chip, chipping away at their own foundations one flake of rock at a time. These will go on long after we’ve ceased to be.

From 6-29-2012 Oregon Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

In a search for hotel options, we found it 50% more cost effective to take ourselves back to Portland rather than try to find an overpriced spot near the scenery. One local purveyor of such things boasted, “it’s got a big TV, if you’re into that sort of thing.” It’s easy to see why in such an area one might not exactly partake of the Farnsworthian muse with much regularity.

That was yesterday and so today we’re up bright and early (as the locals would judge it anyway) and since Oregon seems to be under rather a cloud today we’re betaking ourselves unto the south. Crater Lake and the Redwoods beckon. The weather promises to be less oppressive later in the week.

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10 Comments

Filed under Landscape photography, macro photography, nature Photography, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Oregon Trip – Day 1 – Columbia River Gorge

  1. Sounds like a great experience. I will be doing whitewater rafting on Clear Creek next week.

  2. Fun to travel along with you

  3. I really like your word useage in this post – I especially like your Oz analogies.

  4. Gorgeous! I’m from Oregon- born and raised in Salem, and this truly made me homesick! Thank you for sharing these!

  5. Diana

    Beautiful pictures from a beautiful place.
    Enjoy your trip!

  6. Half my children were born near Crater Lake – enjoy this magical place. Please give the southern part my regards. Can’t wait to see your photos…

  7. Wow. I will follow your progress with pleasure. Oregon is on our list!

  8. Gorge-ous! I too hope to visit Oregon some day! Thanks for sharing.

  9. WOW! really, really awesome!!!

  10. Beautiful! Looks like it was/will be a great trip! (‘was’ for you, ‘will be’ for me), but wouldn’t Munchkins dream of… the dust bowl? Where they live it’s just green, green, boring green all the time. Boring! I mean, if you live in Hawaii, where do you vacation? Detroit.

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