Great Oregon Steamup 2017

If you have been on this site before, you know that I tend to follow old rusty machinery and old equipment.  I’m always curious as to how some of the jobs we do now were preformed in the past.  Many of the old jobs were very labor intensive and it is interesting to me to see the machines were used to do some of that work.  With that in mind, this years allotment of images from the Great Oregon Steamup 2017 follow.  It was advertised as the 47th annual edition.  More people show up each year, many more never having been here at all, or just now hearing about it.  The grounds fill earlier each year it seems, so if you like to photograph as of this equipment, you need to be early if you prefer not to have a lot of people in your images.  The morning is more fun (at least for me)  because you get to see all of the start-up procedures that take a lot of time, and are not apparent later in the day. As the day wears on and warms up and the machines are brought to operating temperature, all of the sights and sounds from the morning wake-up are gone.  These old machines are temperamental as old machines tend to be, (many were that way from the beginning, age had nothing to do with it) but this was how you started the day.  Some of these machines were very clever and inventive, and many times better at their job than the new replacements.  Even though I’ve seen most of these machines before, it is still fun to see them work.

Cape Mears Lighthouse

They always suggest to photographers that you return to places numerous times, the idea being you could improve on the images you got the last time around, or the conditions will/could be different, thereby giving you another perspective on what you already have. Sure, why not?  Plus, I like going to most of those places anyway.  I think I have shown this lighthouse before, but its been awhile.  So to keep you from searching through all of those old files, here we go again.  The road out to this lighthouse has not improved, but then most roads along our coast are high maintenance anyway.  It used to be a loop road, and you could take in other sights on the return trip, but mountain roads being what they are, it has caved off and fallen away in spots making portion impassable.  There is one way in and out now.  It is still a nice location, and if you like birds, there are about 4 or 5 different kinds that frequent this area.  Puffins, cormorants and other sea birds not normally sited along the beaches. There are guides on the weekends to explain everything and provide binoculars and telescopes to watch the neighbors.  And being high above the water, you can usually see more.  One family was able to see some whales swimming around below the lighthouse.  They are always gone by the time I get there, so I do not have any images of them playing.  There is no charge to site see or park at this park.

Rivers and Fields

I’ll by-pass the water falls for a bit (there is another in line)  and head over to the rivers and fields department.  I went camping with family members a couple of weeks ago to the southern part of our fine state.  We got there early enough to pick a really nice site to put up the tent, we were right next to the river.  So while everyone was still  sleeping the next morning, I left to get some early morning shots.  I had to get permission from the local residents to check out their field, but after a bit of discussion, they said it was alright as long as did not interrupt their breakfast.  I added their photo as well.  We will be going back next month, so I may be able to add something a bit different later.

One more time around

I took this trail a few months back when it was all wet everything was still in its winter coat. Everything being all brown and tired looking.  This trip, after a bit warm weather and some spring seasoning, everything is looking healthy and ready to go.  Upper McCord Creek was the only trail open before, so I was only able to get photos from the upper trail.  Now the trail down to Elowah Falls is passable and the falls look good.  One of the images looks back up to the upper portion of the trail. The falls are 213 feet high.  McCord Creek Falls, the double falls are 64 feet high.  The water goes over the double falls then narrows back down and goes over the higher falls. All in all, a good hike and lots of fun.  Best to get there early as the parking lot is not large.


I took off early in hopes of catching a nice sunrise, but the clouds that catch all of the color and drama decided to sleep in. I arrived at the location, this time being the Women’s Forum site along the old Columbia River Highway.  As early as I was,there were a few before me already lined up.  None were at the spot I usually like, so I set up  my gear and waited for the light show.  It was a nice morning, cool and crisp.  One of the other photographers was taking engagement shots for a couple.  Just the right amount of color for that.  With only a few shots to keep, I stopped at another favorite place on the way back.  The Sandy River Delta usually has some good opportunities as well,  and there was a lot of ground fog.  Some of these images are similar to ones I have posted before.  Not to many folks were out yet at just past sunrise, so the few that were out, had the place to themselves.  I saw the local coyote, but not soon enough to get a shot of him. He was bounding through the tall grass and brush probably looking for breakfast.

Sorry for not posting much lately, we have been working on  a photo exhibit and other projects.  I have not been out taking as many photos as in the past.  I will work to remedy that in the future.


More Water – Punchbowl Falls

Punchbowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge.

So yesterday was a bright sunny warm day, something new to us this year.  We have not had any nice weather since last summer, for more than a day at a time.  We got about three this time around.  We enjoyed every minute.  I took off for a falls that was new to me, left early in the morning.  It is about a four mile walk round trip.  Some of the trail can be a challenge, some of the spots are narrow, one person narrow, but there is a cable guide anchored to the rock face if you need support.   There is not a lot of elevation gain, according to a map I found, no more than 700-750 feet.  I connected up with a couple of other photographers on the way in and we had a good time discussing the good day and the available photo conditions.  To get the shot of the falls dropping into the bowl, it is necessary to be in the middle of the river.  Well, there is still snow patches on the other side of the river, so i was not about to wade out into the water.  One of the other fellows did.  He spent more than a half hour in the water, with no boots, just waded out out into the river.  The other fellow and I found a way to “walk on the water” and  managed to move from rock to rock and found a dinner plate sized rock to stand on and get images of the falls. The falls themselves are about 35 feet high.  All in all, a good day.   There is a day use fee of $5 to park in the surrounding lots, so if you wander up the river, be prepared.  There are numerous falls on this route, and if you travel farther up the trail, you can take in one that has a tunnel behind the falls, and many others if you have the time.

Spring saw the light

It appears spring has finally arrived in full force.  I went for a walk/hike and took my point and shoot just to keep in practice.  It was a nice warm day, at least for this time of year.  I say walk/hike because although I live in a city, the experience was not on level ground.  As I have mentioned before, Mt. Tabor is an extinct volcano.  Moving around its grounds can become a challenge for some.  Many go here for their workouts and just to get out to prevent “cabin fever”  (maybe “cubicle fever”)  from setting in to deeply.  It was a good time for whatever reason.  Even got in a couple of bees doing their thing for the program.  It is now raining off and on, washing away all of the winter mud that has been carried in and  around.  I suppose the term “April Showers” is in order?


Lots of Water – Upper McCord Creek Falls

The weather cleared for the first time in many days (for us, anyway), and it was on the cold side.  Frost when I left home, 37 degrees at the trail.  We have had record amounts of rain this year. That and taking up other projects has kept me away from my camera.  With the one clear day and another not predicted for many more days, I decided to take a trip out to a falls I had not been to before.  It seemed to be somewhat off of the beaten path, so I figured I might have it to myself for a bit.  That worked out well as I did not run into anyone else until I was almost off of the trail to go home.  Early morning is always the best for trips like this.  The trial was only a mile or so long back to the falls.  The condition of the trail was damp (wet) and muddy, but we were still in the last day of winter.  I was glad I took my work boots and not just my hiking boots.  As you can see in the images, one section of the trail actually has guard rails.  250 feet or so to the bottom.  The trail to the lower falls has been washed out for now, or I would have images of the upper and lower falls. Maybe later in the year.  One of the images shows the lower falls as viewed from above.

I had mud scattered on everything when I got back to my vehicle, but that’s part of the fun, right?  My camera bag top was soaked because of all the runoff from the cliff face where the guard rail is. Naturally that would be where I needed to take a photo.  The layers of rock with which the mountains and valley’s are formed around here are very interesting. Must be time for a geology book.  I will return to this spot, maybe when it is more green and not still in the winter brown camo colors.  And the parking lot was full when I left, with a couple of cars cruising for a parking space.

So with the weather bad (wet, soggy, muddy, swampy, still more wet, or cold and frozen), I stayed inside longer and worked on other art projects. I’m not opposed to the wet, soggy, muddy, swampy stuff, but the cold and frozen takes it’s toll now days.  My daughter and I are getting ready for an art show next month, so matting and framing have been at the top of the list.  I dug around and found some photos I have probably used here one time or another, but not all at once that I could  track down, at least within the last year.  The panoramas are fun to do, and show off an area in a whole new way.  They should enlarge well enough if you click on them, and they all looked good on my screen (that always seems to be the case). Hopefully, they will look good on yours as well.   Have fun!

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Chinese New Year

We have a good sized Chinese community here, and they have celebrations throughout the year.  A couple of years ago, they brought together all of the parts to present a dragon to celebrate the new year.  I have missed previous years, but this year I found out about the parade just in time.  So as we all collected to watch the fun on our cold morning,  they started off with the ribbons of firecrackers and the drum and cymbals.  The dragon and the lion dogs all started across town.  Most of the people that came up for the show joined in the procession and we all followed them on the journey.  It took about an hour, and everyone got their exercise; especially the folks with the dragon.  So if no one has said it yet,  Happy New Year!!