Saturday, November 7, 2009

Washington Road Trip

I decided I needed to see some different parts of the Northwest, parts that I haven't visited before for photography purposes, so I loaded up the car one day and headed north from Portland.

My first stop was in Woodland Washington to refuel and take a short detour to the old Cedar Grist Mill. This is a preserved grist mill that was originally built in 1870 and is the only mill in Washington that retains its structural integrity, grinds with stones and is powered by water. It is a designated National Historic Landmark. A quaint mill building overlooking a flowing river, framed by foliage makes for a fantastic image. This is the first image that I have posted of this beautiful location. Click here

Backtracking my route to Woodland, I headed east towards Mt St Helens. What a beautiful drive this is, especially when the road is framed by trees in rich shades of orange, yellow, red and greens. A colorful drive for sure!

Continuing past Mt St Helens, I turned south towards the Lewis River. I have seen a few images from this area, but not many, so I thought I would scout it out and see if I could return with some original images. As I travelled on two-lane and eventually one-lane roads, I started to understand why I don't see too many images from's quite a commitment to reach this location located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

After about 3 hours total driving time from Portland, I reached the parking for the Lower Lewis River Falls. Having climbed in elevation, the biting cold wind hit me as I got out of the car. Thank goodness I came prepared with gloves and hat. It was about 38 with a blowing wind in the middle of October. The lower falls are spectacular at lower water levels. Ribbons of water cascade over a drop to a beautiful blue pool of water. At higher water levels, much of the cascading effect is hidden. See my image from here... click

Leaving the lower falls, I headed to the middle falls along the river. A fairly steep 3/4 mile hike on a muddy trail led to the falls (remember, this is Fall with lots of rain). The middle falls were not as dramatic as the lower, but presented some nice compositions. Click this! Hiking around on the wet, algae and leaf covered rocks made me really think about this crazy passion and commitment (and also questioning my insurance policy)

Leaving the middle falls, I headed back down the road and made a quick stop at Big Creek Falls. This is a beautiful falls that drops about 120 feet through a narrow channel. The Forest Service has done a great job of building great trails and viewing platform. However, they haven't trimmed the trees in a while so the view was obscured and I couldn't get any good images.

So, I started the drive home. However, before I could put the pedal to the metal, the narrow winding road is graced with numerous little waterfalls cascading along the side of the road. I made ample opportunity to stop and photography these intimate little scenes, trying to capture those little roadside attractions we see as we're zipping by but never stop to admire. Here

A long, beautiful drive through the National Forest deposited me in Carson Washington and eventually back to my home to review the images I had captured this day.

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