Three months into the New Year and, as usual, life is busy. I started the Multimedia program at Portland Community College in January and am about to finish my first term next week with a 4.0 GPA. I’ve been loving everything about the program so far and have already found multiple ways to use what I’ve learned for my photography website and even at work. A video editing project in one of my classes sparked an interest in aerial photography and videography so I consulted with someone at work who is knowledgable about video drones and am happy to report I’ve purchased one for myself. I’m looking forward to exploring that in more depth and sharing some videos of magnificent Oregon soon.
At the beginning of this year I signed up to do a 52 Hike Challenge but so far the weather has been less than cooperative and with my busy work and school schedule, I’m officially 8 hikes behind schedule. I feel fairly certain that I’ll be able to catch up this summer and fall though when the weather is more predictable. So far though I have managed to do a hike at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, at Beacon Rock State Park and at Eagle Creek.
It was a windy day and parking was a bit hard to come by but Cole and I managed to meet up with a friend at the trailhead only a few minutes behind schedule. At first there was not much wildlife to be seen but about halfway through the hike, we came across a body of water that attracted lots of ducks, geese and other types of birds. We saw a beautiful Red Tail hawk perched high above on the top of a tree and even a brave SUP-er in the Willamette River.
This hike almost didn’t happen. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, a friend and I drove along highway 14 on the Washington side of the Gorge toward Beacon Rock State Park. The first parking area we stopped at showed us that we actually wanted to be at a different spot to access the trailhead. We drove to what we thought was the correct parking lot only to find out it was not the one we wanted either. We then drove to the correct trailhead and found that it was closed due to storm damage. We gave the park one last try by driving to yet another parking area and accessing a different trail. Alas, that one was a success, albeit a bit muddy. We slowly worked our way up the elevation gain and took in some beautiful views of the gorge far below. Soon we came across several waterfalls that took some treacherous navigation through extremely slick, muddy paths. Once we had our fill of that trail, we headed back to the parking area and then over the Bridge of the Gods to the Oregon side of the Gorge to make a quick stop at Crown Point to capture some sunset photos.
With another friend, Cole and I hiked the Eagle Creek trail. This is a popular trail so we had to share it with many other people. It soon become clear why it was so popular though. It runs along the side of a cliff, parallel to the creek below. Although somewhat dangerous at points due to the steep drop off on one side of the trail, it was well worth it for the views. Small waterfalls dot the hike, larger ones across the creek. After several miles, we came to the popular Punchbowl Falls before turning back toward the trailhead to make sure we made it back before sunset. I’m happy we did that hike when we did for I recently saw that the trail is now closed for a year for repairs due to a bridge that was damaged by a falling tree.
My pet photography page is finally up and running on my website and I am using what I’ve learned in my classes this winter to build a virtual room application for the site as well. In other photography news, one of my photos made the top 25 in the Coast Weekend Annual Photo Contest and another one won an honorable mention for the adult division, Judges Choice category in the Wallowa County Chieftan photo contest. Even more good news, I was recently approached to submit a couple of prints to ShelterCare’s annual art auction, which of course I am more than happy to do.
Spring has arrived in Portland and among many other trees, the cherry blossom trees along the waterfront as well as the tulip magnolia that I love so much by Union Station are in full bloom. I ventured out last weekend to capture some shots before checking out the eagerly anticipated reopening of the Saturday Market.