Thursday, July 29, 2010

National Creek Falls

A few days ago I hiked to National Creek Falls.  At 1/2 mile, all downhill in and uphill out, I knew it was pushing my limits, but I rested the day before and planned to rest the day after.

When I got there, the falls were dazzling, strongly lit by the sun, sparkling with the explosion of droplets from the water hitting the rocks forming shining diamonds falling through the air.  I was captivated but tired.

Another serious photographer was there.  He had set up his tripod across the stream, the best angle for composition.  I wanted to cross but did not have footgear to wade, and was uncertain about my balance to cross a fallen log.  I settled for a few shots from my side. 

I was NOT happy with the result.  Rather than accept what I had, I went back yesterday.  I crossed the log successfully and set up my tripod where I wanted it.  The result was what I was after. 

This first shot is to give you a sense of scale.  Note the size of the log in the falls compared to the size of the boy.

The second shot is what I went there for.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Sunset

With clear blue skies and surrounding mountains, colorful sunsets have, so far, been prety unusual in Oregon.  Last night was the exception.  There were spectacular clouds to give form and color, and I am camped at a reservoir that opens up the skyview.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Back to the Upper Rogue Area

The last evening I was at LaPine (I will be back there in 2 weeks) I drove up to the Newberry Caldera.  The late afternoon sun gave me a nice shot of Paulina Lake

and of Paulina Peak.

Then it was back to Crater Lake.  If possible, the lake was even more blue.

All the roads were open so I was able to get a better shot of the Phantom Ship, a rock formation I erroniously labeled previously as Shiprock.

In the southeastern part of the park are some formations called the Pinnacles.  I can't figure out if the trees are trying to look like the rock, or if the rock is trying to look like the trees...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mt Bachelor Ski Lift

Today was a beautifully clear day, so I headed up to Mt Bachelor and rode a chair lift about half way up.  The view was spectacular.  To the north was the 3 Sisters and, just out of frame, Broken Top.  I hope you are not getting tired of hearing about them.  The 4 peaks form a fantastically beautiful setting.  I sure am not tired of photographing them.  They are set in the 3 Sisters wilderness, an area roughly 15 miles by 30 miles that contain lots of hiking trails, a few roads, mostly dirt, no logging, no structures, just wilderness.  Niiiice...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth!

It was my hope to photograph and post the fireworks that will be happening here in an hour, but it was not to be.  I was told there would be a crowd at every viewing spot.  Needing a tripod for the shots, I gave up on the idea.

Instead, I went back to Crater Lake.  The East Rim Drive is open about half way around.  The west side tends to have steep slopes dropping into the lake.  On the east side, I saw more cliffs.

I thought the moss on this cliff was really neat, injecting green into the austere rock face.

Normally, to see Ship Rock, it is necessary to go much farther around the lake.  My 500 mm lens let me get this shot from a few miles away.

This person really had it right.  She was on a road that was less heavily used than the others on this holiday.  At most overlooks there was a crowd.  She was all alone, at least until I came along and bugged her to take her picture.

The Upper Umpqua Area

The Umpqua River begins in the Cascades north of Crater Lake.  There are 6 waterfalls within its upper drainage basin.  Yesterday I got to two of them.

Whitehorse Falls is set in a glen in the woods with a tent camping area and picnic area alongside.  It is wheelchair - accessible and is a cute little waterfall.

Further down the drainage basin is Toketee Falls.  This is a 0.4 mile hike on a path with a lot of steps.   The falls themselves are in two drops.  Most people seemed to focus on the main or lower, larger drop.

While I thought that was really nice, I was much more captivated by the upper drop, tucked back in a hollow in shadows and almost hidden from sight.

On the way back to the campground, there was a great view of Mt. Thielson.  Described as "the lightning rod of the Cascades, this basaltic remnant of a volcanic core is marked with streaks and trails from lightning strikes (or so the sign and photos at another viewpoint said).