A Simple Place

A Simple Place

This image was taken on a rainy day along the McKenzie River in central Oregon. It is one of my favorite spots to go to when I just want to unwind – and it always is produces a calming felling in my sole.  

This hidden gem is located is just a few feet away from a busy trail south of the powerful Shalie Falls. The booming sounds of the falls combined with the peaceful presence of the river drown away all cares in the world.  You can sit here for hours and never miss the busy world around you.

Spirt Falls

Spirt Falls

Sprit Falls is a magical spot hidden in one of the many ravines in the Columbia River Gorge just north of the Oregon Border. I visited here with a great photographer and new friend Mark Metternich. Easy to find, but hard to get to – the falls are an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the busy world around them.

As mentioned, to get to these falls is hard but to get to the place I took this photograph was downright scary. What you don’t see - to the immediate right - is certain death as the powerful water drops another 30 ft to jagged rocks with no escape.

I would have NEVER considered climbing down this slippery narrow perch without Mark navigating (that boy is flat out crazy). But once get there - the amazing beauty, serenity and cool water mist makes the falls a place you can never forget.

Cape Kiwanda at Dusk

Cape Kiwanda at Dusk

The Oregon coast can be food for the soul with its distinctive sea stacks, lava rock shores and laid back communities. Of all the great Oregon coastal locations this would be my favorite.

Cape Kiwanda is an almost mystic spot just around the bend from the little town of Pacific City. People are drawn here to experience the never-ending sounds of the waves crashing into the rustic red sandstone cove and the howling as the waves fill and retreat from the sea caves (located in the center of the picture where the waves are highest). The sea cave are only accessible during the lowest of tides and no I did not try to reach them.

My time at the Cape was more adventurous than most – while scouting this shot I was hit by a rogue wave that threw me about 30ft landing on the lava rocks at the bottom left of this picture. A few more feet and I would have been in the ocean - and as you can see it would not been a pleasant experience. Lesson learned…

If you ever visit this delightful little town stop in at the Pelican Pub & Brewery – great food and better craft brew.

The Underworld

The Underworld

This was the most afraid and most excited I have ever been taking a photograph. What you are looking at is a collapsed sea cave on the central Oregon coast just south of the town of Yachats. The area around the hole is sharp volcanic rock and I am standing about 15ft from the center, perched on 2ft mound of wet rock. Getting swept into the hole is certain death. 

At high tide, about every 10 seconds a wave comes in and fills the chasm and creates this wonderful affect. Where the fear comes in - a rogue wave can completely sweep you away and potentially back into the chasm.  

My good friend Jim Kegley is about 50ft behind me alerting me to incoming waves. Just as I am taking this shot Jim is yelling at me to "get out" as the 15ft wave (seen on the upper left) is heading my way. Immediately I grabbed my tripod and ran as quickly as possible (on wet volcanic rock) toward the shore before getting totally drenched.

No need for caffeine the rest of the day.

A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It

Fall is my favorite time of year with the cool temperatures and brilliant colors replacing the hues of summer. And one of my favorite places during the Fall is along the Eagle Creek trail in the Columbia Gorge in northern Oregon. 

It is hard to imagine, but within a couple of short miles from the trailhead – you get to witness three of the most beautiful waterfalls in the northeast. Metlako Falls is one of them.

I have been to this spot several times, but this morning was special - standing here soon after an early morning rain waiting for the fog to clear – it simply took my breath away. 

For those who saw the movie “Wild” – the Eagle Creek trail is part of the Pacific Crest Trail – and is only a few miles from the Bridge of the Gods – where Cheryl Strayed ended her journey.

Speechless

Speechless

This stately Japanese maple is over 100 years old and can produce some of the most beautiful colors found in nature. At first glance you would think you are looking at a very large tree tucked away in the middle of a hidden forest.

In reality, the “tree” as it is known, is only about six feet tall located in the beautifully manicured Portland Japanese Gardens near the Portland zoo – across from the city tennis courts. I walked by the tree three times before realizing this was the famous tree I had seen in so many photographs. Sitting on the ground looking up reveals this majestic scene which inspires peace and serenity in an otherwise busy world.

Proxy In Paradise

Proxy In Paradise

Lower Proxy Falls – an easy ¾ mile hike off of a narrow county road in middle of nowhere Oregon brings you to one of the most beautiful waterfalls you will ever see. 

I was there with my friend Jim Kegley all morning and we never saw another soul. My heart slows down every time I think of this peaceful place. 

44 09 42.43N 121 55 40.18W – You should visit it sometime.

Early Morning Blues

Early Morning Blues

On a rainy morning during a recent trip to Oregon I stumble upon these uniquely shaped sea stacks along the central coastline. Standing there with the tide rolling in brought back memories of a simpler time.

This very long exposure helps to capture the movement of the tide as it goes in and out. If you look closely you can see several sea birds coming and going. 

Early Morning In Wonderland

Early Morning In Wonderland

Punchbowl falls is one of three iconic waterfalls along the Eagle Creek trail - located just a short 1/2 hike from Metlako Falls.

Standing in this spot, you have to wonder “how did this happen”? A perfectly placed waterfall in this perfectly placed bowl carved into the steep gorge that is Eagle Creek.

I was able to capture this picture on the same morning as "First Light In Wonderland" - it ended up being a very good day.

Peaceful, quiet, and serene – an absolute must when in the Portland area.

Breathe Peace

Breathe Peace

Oregon is a photographer’s paradise with miles and miles of beautiful seascapes, majestic volcanic mountains, plush forest and never-ending trails. But my favorite part of Oregon is the endless water falls, some of which will stop you in your tracks. This is one of them…

At the end of a very long day of hiking 15 miles miles through the Columbia Gorge I ran into a fellow photographer that asked if I had seen Elowah Falls. He said it was only a modest 2 mile hike over the next ridge and it would be worth the effort. 

He was right. As you approach this peaceful spot your heart slows down and the world around you seems to disappear. To get this shot you have to slide down a 40ft ravine, but the glow of the florescent green wall and the soft sound of the water breaking over the large stones makes it worth the extra effort. 

My time at Elowah Falls was short on this day but next time I go to Oregon it will be one of the first places I visit. Hopefully you can too.

Proxy Falls

Proxy Falls

This image was taken at the base Lower Proxy Falls. The dreamlike experience of these falls is both gentle and spirited.

I have visited here many times and always leave wondering how someone stumbled upon this enchanted place in the middle of absolutely nowhere and if it has changed at all in the past 1,000 years. 

44 09 42.43N 121 55 40.18W – You should visit it sometime.