I’m officially too sick to go running today. But I felt like getting out of the house without expending any energy and being around people. So the Mister & I went for a long drive around Mt Hood. Highway 84 was reopened yesterday and I was curious to drive through the Gorge to see the Eagle Creek Fire damage. I took a bunch of drive-by photos with my phone but they really don’t show much. It’s really pretty devastating. Especially the area around Eagle Creek.
Regardless, the Gorge is still breathtaking. It’s still The Gorge. I am looking forward to documenting how Nature takes its course. I am looking forward to seeing what new plants will grow and how the landscape and view will change. But for now I morn the terrible destruction that has taken place to one of my favorite places.
Here are my photos. The fire got really close to the freeway!
The Columbia Gorge is on fire. It started on Saturday in Eagle Creek by teens throwing firecrackers over a cliff. The state of Oregon is basically a tinderbox right now, with record breaking high temperatures all summer and no rain. So, you see, this was a bad choice. It didn’t take long for the Gorge to go up in flames. Because of the east winds, the ash of our beloved forest is raining down on the Portland Metro area as I type this and it is breaking my heart. The Columbia Gorge is a national treasure. And now it is forever changed. I can’t even imagine what it will look like when this is all over. I am really, really hoping that slight chance of rain predicted for Thursday happens. I want to see an epic Oregon rain. I want to see the sky open up.
The Gorge has been one of my favorite places to photograph and visit over the years.
Here are some blog posts I’ve written about the Gorge:
It’s funny how things work out sometimes in ways you don’t expect. Sometimes this happens in big ways and your whole life may change. Sometimes it happens in little ways and your day changes. Today I had the latter experience.
We decided to drive to Wahclella Falls on the Columbia Gorge for a short jaunt, just to get out the house. When we got there the parking lot was completely full and cars were lining the street outside the park. Ugh. We had completely forgotten that It was 4th of July weekend (essentially). We decided we needed to change plans and pulled into the nearby fish hatchery’s parking lot to consult the hiking book I brought: Curious Gorge (highly recommended btw). Instead of opting for another hike nearby we decided to explore our surroundings. I am so glad we did. Were there a ton of people and was I tempted to get irritated by them? Yes I was. Did I? No I didn’t. I made a choice not to and decided to go with the flow to see what the day would bring.
As we wandered around I was reminded of my Grandpa Ed and how much he loved to fish. He used to catch Rainbow Trout and would smoke them in the smokehouse behind my grandparent’s house. He built this smokehouse himself! I thought about how incredibly cool that is. I never appreciated it before now. The salmon that he smoked there was utterly, out-of-this-world amazing. I miss it. And I miss him, very much. It was really sweet to think about him today.
We found ourselves in the gift shop and I bought some smoked salmon. I am enjoying it right now as I type this. It is nowhere near as good as my Grandpa Ed’s. Doesn’t come close. But it will suffice.
My friend and coworker, Susie, and I go on hikes on federal holidays together. We don’t usually have the same days off so holidays are the only time when we can actually hang out. She is an avid hiker, like me, so we usually hit the trail on these holidays. Last time we got together we went show-shoeing up at Trillium Lake. This time, since I didn’t have my Jeep yesterday (and, thus, no snow vehicle), we decided to avoid the snow and hike instead. We went to the Sandy River Delta. Neither of us had been there so we thought we would check it out. I am really glad we did! It was flat, which I loved. I am not good with hills, so I appreciated a flat hike for once. It’s a great place to bring your dog. I think it is actually a dog park. It was really fun to see all of the happy dogs running around.
We ended up hiking 6 miles. We wandered around the trails, not following the hike that we originally planned on taking. Our trail took us through the Sandy Delta where we saw where the river overflows. We ended up at the Columbia River across from Vancouver.
We had lunch afterwards at McMenamin’s Edgefield (in Troutdale) at the Black Rabbit. I had never been there and we were close by. Susie and Danny decided I needed to go there. It is amazing! Murals everywhere. We didn’t even wander the whole campus. I need to go back, for sure.
I brought along my Holga and a roll of black and white film and am looking forward to getting it developed. I will post them here when I do.
Here are some photos from the day. These were all taken with my iPhone using Hipstamatic. A couple of them are Instagram.