The Waters of Larch Mountain

Larch-Mountain-Stream
Flowing Waters of Larch Mountain Canon 5D II 21mm, F16

When I drove into the Columbia River Gorge area from Portland it was quite late at night. I could still see the immensity of the gorge even though it was so dark. Instead of taking the freeway, you still have the choice to take the historic highway that runs along the side of the steep cliffs that start the mountain range.

Along the road there are a number of pull outs that have great majestic waterfalls running down and under the road. Almost like they were put there on purpose.

I rolled up and grabbed one of the last remaining campsites near Multnomah Falls. Probably the most recognizable one of them all!

In the morning I started at the crack of dawn and hiked up the trail. I know I say it a lot, but I’m used to flat ground. This is anything but. The trail heads straight up with no place to rest really until you reach the top of the falls. And there’s always that one guy in the morning running the whole thing. Makes you feel so crappy about yourself ;(

Along the trail, which is long and very winding, there are so many other amazing waterfalls. Each with their own dynamics. Very cool to walk under a bunch of them. Not to mention the greenest place I have ever been.

My goal that day was to reach the triple falls on the way up to Larch mountain. Unfortunately some kids got there before me, presumably from the other side, and would not get off the top. So I knew I was going to have to wait to get a good pic. So I went further down the trail and found this amazing little bend in the river. It was so quiet and amazing, with fallen logs and moss growing everywhere. So I stopped and got out all my equipment and started to set things up when I heard a “Hello” come from behind a huge boulder behind me.

I guess I didn’t get up as early as I thought. Because behind me there were two couples in about their 70’s set up for a picnic! With a table cloth and everything! It was like a mad tea party in the middle of the forest. Very cool, and super strange at the same time.

So I had a little chat with them, as every time you take a picture in the middle of nowhere, people always want to know what your doing. Not my favourite thing, but in a place like that, and no rush, it can be fun. Plus they had beer 😉

 

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The Patient Forest

Asep-Wide-Pano-(1-of-2)
The aspen stand tall Canon 5D II 21mm, F16

There is a moment when you are out taking photos in the wilderness, that’s still. Quiet, patient, waiting for that photo to present itself. This is what I love about nature photography. There is no one telling what you should be doing. You need to discover the best course of action for yourself. What is interesting, and what drives you. And from this, the beauty of the world becomes all to clear. Realizing it has been staring at you your whole life, but you never bothered to look back. Thankfully I have had this moment many times in my life. And it has had a profound impact on my self as a whole. I am able to silence the pressures of the world and focus on something simple, pure, and reflective.

One such place that this rings all to true, is Aspen Colorado. Sure it’s probably wonderful in the winter. But I am not the best skier you’ve ever seen. As you can imagine I don’t get that many chances to practice in the prairies ;). So I decided to go in the summer! And I’m glad I did. The mountains and forest of the Aspen highlands can be a humbling experience. The ever changing weather, and forests that are dense and never ending.

There are few trees in this world that spark a true sense of grandeur like the mighty Aspen. They’re shear number alone is daunting. And given the fact that most of these trees come from the same family root, is amazing. Nature’s version of a hustle occupation into the forest. They have totally taken over, pushing out all other trees taller than themselves. Leaving nothing but a silent army of soldiers, waiting…