“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile. Climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean”

Every now and again it’s good to reset; start fresh and clear the cache. I had always wanted to see the Pacific Northwest. Hearing rave reviews from not only photographers but friends and family alike. With enough vacation time saved and a great opportunity available I decided to book a flight to Oregon. No hotels, no bed and breakfasts; just a rental car and a tent. Kelly and I planned out our week, the goal to make a semi circle and hit major landmarks around the whole state. Making time to handle “business” if you will by gathering images for various companies we partner with while taking time to cram as much nature as we could into 4 1/2 days.

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Mt. Hood as seen from the above

The first day consisted of getting into Portland just after 10 and picking up our rental. Let me start out by saying that the food in Portland is pretty damn good.  Now I’m not a food blogger or photographer by any means so I won’t get into that too much but the breakfast sandwich I had from Lauretta Jean’s was a great way to curb my travel crabbiness.

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The first day was spent mostly checking out the city, i.e thrift stores and antique shops.  Moseying around and trying to blend in and take in the cities culture.  The one thing I really noticed is a lot of people in Portland tend to keep to themselves; not much for smiles or random conversation.  A few of the boutiques we stopped in were friendly and talkative but that’s about it. Maybe it goes along with the “Keep Portland Weird” campaign or something.  Who knows…

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The day was finished up by heading into the Columbia River Gorge to set up camp for the evening.  We needed a few supplies and headed across the bridge over to Washington; while over there we decided to just set up camp there to get a fresh start in the morning.  The plan for the second day was to hit up some of the waterfalls through the Gorge.  First stop of the day was Multnomah Falls.

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There was one thing that someone had mentioned about shooting in Oregon that really stuck with me; a lot of really good attractions are right off of the road.  Multnomah Falls is literally off of the parking lot, maybe 200 yards from where the car was. You can see the walkway bridge and falls from the freeway. Visiting this place in person I can see why people get so many good shots.   It reminded me of how the Maroon Bells are in Colorado; absolutely beautiful but over done because of the easy access to get there.

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The fall colors were just about to peak during our time there.

After exploring around the Multnomah we had a little breakfast and prepared to keep moving.  The next stop was Starvation Creek Falls.  This was another one of those amazing view that is just a 5 minute walk from where you park the car.

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Two falls down and a total of maybe a mile walked.  I could get used to this easy photo opportunity thing Oregon. Might as well go for the three-peat right?  There was one location that I kept seeing in photos of the Gorge that was a shallow river between the canyon walls leading down to a waterfall. After doing some research we thought we had it narrowed down.  Which brings us to Wahclella Falls.

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This location turned out to be a happy mistake.  It wasn’t the location we were looking for but it was my absolute favorite that we got to see.  Its about a 2 mile hike in with not much elevation gain.  Once you get near the end of the hike you find yourself surrounded by the canyon walls with a large, high flowing water fall right in front of you.  After spending probably an hour here snapping photos and relaxing we headed back to the car to make the 5 hour drive down to Crater Lake.

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To be continued…

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