Monday, February 6, 2012

Columbia River Gorge, Part II

Like I said in my last post, yesterday we made a day trip to the Columbia River Gorge. It's only a couple of hours away from where we live, so certainly I'll be making my way there again when the weather is a bit better.

The photo below is another one of Multnomah Falls, this time catching the entirety of the upper falls. These stitches are a bit of a pain, and in this case I'm not sure worth the hassle since the water drops were plainly visible on the lens once the bright sky was included in the photo. But at least everyone has a better idea of what we were looking at!

What family "vacation" would be complete without the obligatory family group mug shot? Good looking group...

And this is punch bowl falls. It was two miles almost all uphill to get here, with two pretty exposed cliff faces complete with steel cable to hold onto and a bad drop on the other side. It was more nerve wracking on the way down with the kids, but we made it. Next time I'll make that trip alone. Once we got there, it was actually at an overlook from above the falls. I made my way down to the river for this photo. The river wasn't that deep, and since I was wearing waterproof shoes, I gingerly made my way out past the outcrop of rock (photo left) that was hiding punch bowl falls. I was mostly successful, but then I slipped and water got in over the tops of my shoes. So now my feet were wet, I didn't have the composition I really wanted, and I had a decision to make. Go all in and stand where I pleased, or just get a photo from where I was with one wet foot and a two mile hike out?

Come on, that's no choice. I stood knee deep in a snow melt river in early February without a change of clothes to get this photo. I'm not all that impressed with this photo, there is still a lot of work I need to do to make it better. Ultimately, I'll go back when it is really green and bring my water sandals with a change of shoes and socks wearing my convertible hiking pants.

We had a nice time on the hike, for the most part. Punch Bowl Falls was totally worth it, and I can't wait to go back again. The trip to the Columbia River Gorge was a pleasant day trip that got us out of the house and enjoying the great outdoors. We were all sore when we got home, and everyone slept in!

Have a great day everybody!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Columbia River Gorge, Part I

We've been having some sunshine lately, so since it was supposed to be a sunny and warm (50's) weekend we made the trip to Oregon to drive the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway. There are plenty of waterfalls along the way to see that are just minutes from the parking areas.

This one below is apparently a very popular and famous waterfall, Multnomah Falls. The interstate that runs adjacent the the scenic highway even has a rest area with parking and a tunnel to get to the falls. The upper falls is several hundred feet tall, the lower is around 70 feet. They both kick up a good bit of mist and spray.

I had to remove one person from the bridge (in photoshop, not physically), but that was a pretty easy fix and I think really improves the photo. I was surprised that only one person was on the bridge when I took the photo, since the parking lot was completely full when we got there. I can't imaging what it would be like in the summer on a weekend when the temperatures are warm.

I'm working on a photo of a different waterfall. More story and photos to come...


Friday, February 3, 2012

Enjoying the sunshine

The sun came out again! We've had a lot of clouds with short breaks lately, but today was a clear blue-sky kind of day.

I managed to finish up early at work, which let me get home and then back to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge to see the sun set. And yes, I've been noticing that the sun stays out a bit longer into the evenings. I love when that becomes apparent.

Anyways, it was in the mid 50's, which felt almost like shorts and t-shirt weather. I wore pants and a fleece jacket to be safe, which was probably the smarter choice.

I'm starting to ramble - so enjoy the photo. Tomorrow we are taking a quick day trip to the Columbia River Gorge, should be fun. Have a wonderful day everybody.