Two weeks ago I made it down to the Columbia River Gorge (on the Oregon / Washington border) to photograph some of the waterfalls and fresh spring foliage. The Columbia River Gorge is home to the highest density of beautiful waterfalls in the world – almost any creek you hike along will have several spectacular drops. This is largely due to the geology. The rock there is mostly composed of basalt, which has a tendency to form straight vertical walls – perfect for waterfalls (and rock climbing, as seen in my previous posting)! The greenery in the Columbia Gorge, like in the rainforests on the Olympic Peninsula, is just unbelievable. Being in the middle of it all is a wonderful refreshing experience, something I hope comes through in this image.
Unfortunately every (photogenic) waterfall there – even the ones off trail! – has been photographed to death. In some cases, quite literally actually. This first little waterfall, which I photographed a few years ago as well, has started receiving more foot traffic than it can handle and the vegetation along the stream is suffering. It’s a sad sight to see, so please be careful when you visit fragile places like this.
Click for larger view!
One of my favorite waterfall views is from along Eagle Creek, which is a popular – deservedly so – trail in the Gorge. This is a dangerous view point, as one wrong step (on the slippery volcanic rock) could send you tumbling down 200 feet into Eagle Creek below. Of course, it’s this exciting perspective that makes the image so interesting. To stay safe I brought my rappelling gear and roped up with a prusik knot as a self-belay system. While I was at it, I figured I would take a portrait too, so here’s one of the rare times you get to see a photo of me.