Normally, I’m not a water falls photo person. I like water falls, they are great. I can sit and watch them for a long time; like watching a campfire. You can set and watch for what seems like hours and just stare at it. and listen to it. Yes, you have to experience the sound effects as well. So the rushing water flowing over the rocks, the cool breeze along the creek, the bright green foliage nearby, it all adds up. But taking photos of all this has been a bit of a challenge for me. I’ve seen others do it, and their images turn out well. I’ve just not been one to want to hang the images on my wall. Mine were just not quite up to what I thought they should be. So, I now have a new project. Find what I think a waterfall image should be.
This all came about a week or so ago when I set out to hike to the top of Multnomah Falls. I arrived at the lodge/trailhead early in the morning (to avoid crowds), and after getting all ready to go, boots, water, snacks, layers, I found the trail closed because of work on the Benson Bridge. They had a large rock fall last winter and took a large chunk out of the bridge. For safety they have closed it off to travelers until it is repaired. Work is in progress, but obviously wouldn’t be finished today, so I had to find another trail. Returning back on the old highway, I stopped to check out Wahkeena Falls. It ended up being a great hike, and a few images. I then decided I would work on some waterfall photos, and see if I could make this an opportunity to improve my experiences for better images. It may take a few more trips, but that makes it more fun. The little dude gathering fluff for the nest was not taken near the falls. He (or she) was less than 100 yards from a very main highway.
This will likely be the last one for this journey. Fun place to visit, but good conditioning plays a part in adjusting quickly to the altitude. Once we had acquired all of the local gadgets to stock our suitcases with, we loaded on a bus and headed back to La Paz to the airport. We did not have to work around a “blockade” this time, so the trip was smoother and a bit quicker. If I did not mention before, there are no designated bus stops. You stand and wait for the ride to come along. Same goes for when you want off. You just tell the driver. He stopped to let these two ladies off out in the middle of nowhere. We could not see any place for them to go, go they did. We did run through a hail storm that left a major amount of hail on the road. There was an inch to an inch and a half of hail on the road. The image was taken through the windshield, so it may be hard to see. Plus the driver didn’t use the right side wiper. His side looked like it should have been changed about four seasons ago. It was good to get back down to an altitude where we could breathe. Even at 8400 feet. Along with all of the traffic. Just enough time to settle a bit before we pack to return to the states. I’m considering making calendars for next year with some of the images. I’ve been “altering” some Photoshop and other programs. Please leave a note if you would like to see the results.
So after leaving El Alto and La Paz, we start to climb some more to the ridge road at the top. It is nicely cut into the side of the mountain and rides along smoothly. The lake starts to show up along the horizon, then filling more and more of the scene. At one point we drop down into a little village whose main industry is transportation. They transport your bus across the channel. Then they transport you across the channel. The bus empty’s out, gets loaded on a barge and makes its way across the channel. They load you into a launch and take you across the channel. You load back onto the bus and climb back up to the ridge line and continue on to Copacabana. Then the bus drops down near the lake edge and unloads all of you and any gear you thought you should carry along. Lots of interesting tourist items to check out or take home, if you still have room in your suitcase. Very idealistic setting for a vacation. Pretty laid back atmosphere, a few things to see, fishing in the distance. Warm air (thin, but warm in the afternoon). Nice place to relax. Fresh fish when you need something to eat. Its all good. You do get to travel on foot for the most part. A taxi is available, but what’s the fun in that? Does seem the only flat, level area is down along the lake front. The rest is pretty much like the streets of San Francisco. (up and down, not flat) All in all, a very nice place for a vacation!
Because of “blockades” (strikes, protests, demonstrations) we needed to take a side road to go around the blockade. Our bus driver was quite good at piloting the road meant more for a four wheel drive vehicle. We did finally find a paved road to smooth out the ride. This is a small glimpse of what we saw. El Alto is like a large high plains, at 13,300 feet. You definitely feel the altitude.