Sunday, April 13, 2014

Columbia River Gorge

I was in Washington and Oregon for a week.  I landed in Seattle and was going to drive a loop from Seattle, to Yakima, to Portland and back to Seattle.  I always bring my camera on these trips hoping I might get a chance to make a few photographs along the way.

I was looking forward to the drive from Yakima to Portland as the highway follows the Columbia River Gorge.  This was an area I had read about in the Journals of Lewis and Clark, seen in National Geographic and always wanted to visit.

As luck would have it, I was able to get an early start from Yakima leaving at 5AM to have plenty of time to make the drive along with a few stops for images.

When you meet the eastern edge of the gorge, it is very dry and the surrounding land is a high somewhat arid area on the dry side of the state.

I marveled at the rocks and the river of the area.  I drove on the Washington side for a while, it is the quieter side of the river as the Interstate is on the Oregon side.  

As I drove west the gorge began to get greener and at that point I crossed over to the Oregon side of the river.  I knew there were a great many waterfalls, and I planned on seeing a few of them as time permitted on the drive.

I noticed on the map that the old highway had a few sections left that were more winding than the Interstate and decided to take one of those.   Here the road drove more along the bluff, up and down.  It was here I found a great view upstream taking in the entire valley.

One thing I noticed as I drove was that this was both a very scenic and very well "used" area.  Much like the Mississippi River, the highway runs on one side and railroad tracks run on both sides of the river.  Both are major arteries of commerce.  It makes taking purely landscape images difficult but the sheer beauty of the place made it a great drive,

Farther west, the gorge kept getting greener and here I found another section of road I was able to get an image looking west into the heart of the gorge where the waterfalls would be.

By the look of the map, they were all very close to the road and I knew I would get a few opportunities to stop and see a couple on my way.

I drove west looking forward to what it would bring.

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