Friday, February 28, 2020

Oregon: Latourell & Bridal Veil Falls

The first waterfall you see as you drive into the Columbia River Gorge is Latourell Falls, and it makes quite an introduction (I guess you could say it’s Gorge-ous?). The falls plunge 224 feet over a massive wall of black basalt that has a large patch of bright yellow lichen growing on it.

Latourell Falls

It’s an easy walk to the falls, and since there we were there on a weekend there were quite a few people standing around taking selfies and pictures. This is the view looking up at the falls while trying to avoid getting too much spray from the falls on the lens.

Latourell Falls

And looking back at the bridge over the creek below the falls.


From there we headed back onto the Historic Columbia River Highway, a stretch of road constructed between 1913 and 1922 that was the first planned scenic roadway in the country. The next stop was Bridal Veil Falls, which is reached by a short but slightly steep trail that drops down the hillside and crosses Bridal Veil creek on a bridge.

Bridal Veil

Even though it was winter, the area below the falls was green with moss and ferns.

Bridal Veil

The creek plunges over two tiers creating a waterfall that is about 118 feet tall. At the very top of the falls you can see part of a bridge for the Columbia River Highway that was constructed in 1914.


For a few decades these falls didn't really run, the water was diverted away to a nearby mill. You can see traces of the mill complex along the trail.

Of Moss And Men

One thing that I love about this area is how green it is, and how much moss covers everything (like rocks, concrete and trees).

Mossing Ingredient

And one last shot before heading up the hill, looking back up the creek toward the falls:

Under The Veil

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Oregon: Vista House

We recently went on a quick trip to the Pacific Northwest, spending a few days in and around Portland, Oregon. It’s a beautiful area, and one of my favorite cities to visit. Both the coast and massive waterfalls can be reached via short drives, and Portland itself is home to tons of breweries and great restaurants. It was also good timing for a visit, since we just found out that Caroline is pregnant and we won’t be able to do much traveling soon.

So we left Jonah in the loving care of his Grandmama and we flew off to Portland, arriving at night but with enough time to get a great dinner at Laurelhurst Market. The next day we got breakfast at Fried Egg I’m In Love (amazing, btw), and then made our way into the Columbia River Gorge. We arrived at an overlook when I realized I had made a devastating mistake....I left the tripod behind in Portland.

There And Back Again

We were about to enter the Columbia River Gorge, which is home to numerous and spectacular waterfalls. So a tripod was a bit necessary, but would require driving back to Portland. Thankfully Caroline was ok with us making a quick return trip (luckily traffic wasn’t too bad) so I could retrieve the tripod that was still sitting innocently in the suitcase.

Soon enough, we were back and with a tripod in hand. We stopped first at Vista House, which has a commanding view atop a bluff 733 feet above the Columbia River. The stone Art Nouveau building was constructed in 1918 and was built as a centerpiece along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The observatory was proposed as being a place “from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite.” And also a place to buy postcards and use the potty.

Vista House

The inside has a domed rotunda and lots of marble and bronze and stained glass windows. It’s unfortunate that we don’t make buildings like this anymore.

Vista House

And the view is amazing as well. The Columbia River passes below, ringed with the tall mountains of the Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, and the seventh longest river in the US (it’s about 200 miles shorter than the Arkansas River, for comparison). This is the view from Vista House, looking east.


A few hours later we passed back by Vista House after spending the rest of the day in the Columbia River Gorge. We just happened to have gotten there right around sunset, when golden light was flowing across the canyon.

Curious Gorge

Lit Up

And the view looking west, towards Portland.

At The End Of The Day

And then one last shot of the Gorge after sunset, before heading back into the city (I didn't manage to forget the tripod again).

Gorge Washington

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Tripod Test

I needed a new tripod since the legs of my old tripod had a tendency to randomly fall off (which isn't a great quality for a tripod to have). So when I got my hands on the new one, I needed to head out to test it out to make sure it works (which was just an excuse to go take a few pictures). I drove downtown and ended up at the top of a parking deck, sticking the camera on the new tripod and pointing it towards this view of the old Albert Pike Hotel (which was built in 1929).

Albert Pike

And another view from the parking deck, looking west towards Main Street.


From there it was the quick drive over to the Clinton Library, where a short bridge crosses the Arkansas River onto a small island. The island was covered in sand, which I'm guessing was deposited there after the big flood last year. But all that sand made it seem like you could go and build sandcastles here in the shadow of the Clinton Library building and the old Clinton Park Bridge.

Mind The Gap

And some views of the Clinton Park Bridge, which was built 1899 for the Choctaw and Memphis Railroad.


I Am A Rock, I Am An Island

And the view looking across the little bridge onto the island, which was submerged last year during the floods.

Purple Haze

Two Bridges

And one last shot, as the tripod proved to do a pretty good job on a cold and rainy night (which was good, since we were about to go on a quick trip and it needed to work well).

By The Bridge

Monday, February 10, 2020

Another Rainy Night

It was another rainy night, so after putting the kid to bed I grabbed the camera and headed downtown to get a few more pictures.


Low clouds were flowing across the sky, reflecting back the city lights below. Here the clouds were streaking above the Junction Bridge, and by a sculpture named "The Center" by a California artist named Chapel.



I headed up to the bridge, which has one of the best views of the Little Rock skyline.




Since it was getting late, I started to head home but made one last stop at Union Station...


Thursday, February 6, 2020

In The Fog

I love foggy days and nights, since they can make for some interesting pictures. The atmosphere is so unique and changing and you're never sure what you're going to get. So the other night it was foggy, and after tucking Jonah into bed I hurried out to get a few pictures. I ended up in downtown Little Rock, where the city lights were shining onto the fog and low clouds.


This was taken from the top of a parking deck. And even though I felt the siren calling of the Flying Saucer, but I resisted and got a few more pictures.



I drove down Capitol Avenue and stopped to get this shot of the Simmons Bank Tower, shrouded in fog and standing above an old building that is currently being converted into a hotel.


I sort of aimlessly drove around for a bit, looking for something to get pictures of. I ended up stopping by the new Broadway Bridge, which didn't have all that much traffic on it.


I walked by the Robinson Center Music Hall, which was bathed in deep blue LED lights.



The historic Art Deco auditorium first opened in 1940 and underwent a massive renovation that ended in 2016.


Across the street is the Pulaski Courthouse, which was built in 1914.


And the view looking back towards Robinson Center from the courthouse. This was the last shot since it was almost 11:00 PM and I had to go to wake up bright and early for work the next morning...