The Columbia River Gorge! - Michael Burke

The Columbia River Gorge!

May 15, 2019

Waterfalls and wildflowers. That was the plan. My friend Eric and I would spend five days in the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington - Oregon state line, first photographing the stunning waterfalls in the western end and then driving to the eastern end to photograph the spring wildflower bloom.

We knew we weren’t breaking new ground; it’s a popular destination for photographers in the spring. But then, something almost predictable happened: I was reminded that this place is much bigger than the box I tried to put it in.

By scenes like this evening view of blossoming fruit trees filling the Hood River Valley.

Or by stars spinning in the night sky over a rusty old car in the middle of a pasture.

But did we find waterfalls and wildflowers? Oh, yes.

The Gorge is a beautiful place any time of the year, and an easy day trip from Portland, Oregon. It’s a fascinating stretch of the Columbia River some 90 miles long: influenced by cool, moist air masses at the western end and semi-arid plains at the eastern end. This area is so geographically unique that it creates its own weather.

One of the things I love about photography is the way it encourages one to experience a familiar place with new eyes. Nature is a complex, dynamic, ever-changing force that is predictable only in its unpredictability. This trip to the Gorge gently reminded me to look for new ways to see and capture its natural beauty.

To see more images from the trip, click hereA good website for information about the Columbia River Gorge can be found here.

I encourage you to share these photos with your friends - and to visit this scenic, uniquely Northwest wonder.

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