Saturday, October 20, 2007

Columbia Gorge... part 1 1/2

Stardate 2007. Saturday, October 20. Bonneville Dam. Columbia River. Oregon.

(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

I can't really call this entry "Part 2", since I'm not actually able to get out and explore the Gorge. The rain has been constant since last night, so I'm catching up on my research, and taking advantage of the internet connection while I still have a sky unblocked by trees or mountains.

I shot at the Bonneville Dam all morning
yesterday, taking my time, composing, thinking… being creative as opposed to reactive. As I might have mentioned, I've been slowly drifting away from my artwork and find myself shooting more and more "picture postcard" images to help illustrate my blog. But, since Fine Art is what I'm best at, I'm trying to turn that creativity around and focus more on my artistic images.

was getting some great shots at the Dam (finally!), but around 1:30pm, a slight storm (slight for Oregon) began to move in, so I took shelter in the RV. As I sat there writing, a howling wind was rocking the bus back and forth, like a sleeper car on an old cross-country train. It sounds scary, but it was really no big deal, and very soothing. I couldn't put up the satellite dish because of the high winds, so took a brief nap while I waited for the storm to pass by. After things cleared up, I headed across the freeway to the Old Historic Highway where there are old remnants of the 1930s-era highway: stonework, bridges, trails, tunnels, etc.

And, if the weather holds out this weekend, I may make it to Mosier, near the Hood River, where there are highway and train tunnels with some great history -- two of the tunnels were used as shelter by travelers who got stuck in a snowstorm. Some even left inscriptions on the walls (sort of an historic graffiti).

While waiting out the storm, I finished checking the shots I took at the dam. Great compositions! Boy was I happy. But wait, there's more... Unfortunately, many of them had motion blur due to the high winds. They look great at 5x7 or smaller, but when they get larger than that, you can begin to see the lack of detail. Now, I'm shooting with some of the biggest and best gear available, but even the best of tripods can’t stabilize the heaviest of cameras when the wind picks up. So, it looks like I may have to go back and reshoot. And, reshooting was what I was hoping to do today. But the rain hasn't let up since last night, so I doubt I'll be getting out of the RV.

Yesterday, after the rain stopped, I drove under the freeway to the Toothrock trailhead parking lot and hiked up the trails to find the remnants of the old highways. There were several trails to choose from, but no directions or maps, so after a little wandering around and exploring just like I did back in Alpharetta as a kid, I came back to the RV to do a little research on the trails. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a satellite signal there in the lot, so my research had to wait until I got back to the Dam today, where I sit awaiting a clear sky.

So, that's what happened yesterday.

Today, Sunday the 21st, it finally cleared up enough to get my tail out and shoot. And shoot I did! I finally found the right trails, met some great folks, and thoroughly enjoyed my day of hiking, riding, and shooting. I have to edit the images tonight, but I'll post them either tomorrow or Tuesday.

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