I was standing on Mt Hood alone at twilight. It was 2009. I had just applied for my job at Sandy Library – or maybe I hadn’t applied for it yet. I think I was thinking about applying for it. Raf and I decided to have a getaway vacation in late August so we stayed at the Timberline Lodge for a couple of nights. The first night there we went for a walk behind the lodge up on the trails. Raf went ahead of me on the Timberline Trail to see what was up there and I stayed behind, taking pictures of lupines. The sun was setting and the light was beautiful.
I was in a stressful place in my life at that time. I was really unhappy where I was. I hated living in Spokane and so did Raf but we felt stuck. When I was on Mt Hood that evening all of that stress and unhappiness melted away for a few moments while I stood there. I shot my photos and stood up and took a breath. I was alone on the trail. I looked around at the beauty around me and was in awe of it. I let the beauty sink in. I felt the cool breeze. I looked at the carpet of purple before me that I was photographing. My senses seemed to be tuned in – superpower style – to that moment. My sense of hearing kicked in and I heard a strange sound. I heard the sound of thousands of bees buzzing. It was an amazing sound and I tuned in a bit more. I just sat there and listened to the bees for what seemed like an eternity. I was in awe. I was in this amazing, beautiful place, listening to thousands of bees going about the mundane business of pollinating flowers. In that moment I realized that I was happy. I felt happiness. I felt pure happiness.
It is a strange thing when you realize you are feeling happiness. I don’t feel pure happiness very often. I can probably count the times I have felt this feeling on one hand. Each time has been special and I remember these times with great clarity.
This particular time was accompanied by a sense of peace. That everything would be fine. Everything would work out.
It still blows my mind when I think about the fact that I had no idea I would be moving to Mt. Hood two months later. It is amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time. My whole life changed from that moment.
Finally, after getting the color film out of the way, I tried the Tri-x. As you might recall, I had a mishap with this film in my 35mm camera. I ended up making a mistake with the 120 roll, as well. I metered the entire roll of film at the wrong ISO. SIGH.
However, when I got the film back it looked fine.
I took these shots around the Mt. Hood area.
This one was taken on LoLo Pass Road. We tried to drive to Lost Lake but were thwarted by the closed road. This was the end of the line.
I dig the tones in this one. This was taken on the Salmon River Trail.
I love this film. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when I actually use it correctly.
Currently, my favorite park is Wildwood in Welches, Oregon. It is nestled in the foothills of the Mt. Hood National Forest. Foothills is kind of the wrong term. The “hills” are actually mountains in and of themselves but they are dwarfed by Mt. Hood. Wildwood is one of the most peaceful, magical places I have ever been.When I am there, wandering the boardwalk on the Wetland Trail, or hiking through the cedar forest, all of my troubles melt away. I go running there at least once a week.
The Salmon River cuts through it and is beautiful any time of year. My favorite times are when it is barely raining and there are wisps of fog that hover over the river.
This was taken when I was 8 (I think) years old in Victoria, B.C. My mom is in the picture with me. This is the only picture of us together from when I was a kid because she was always the one doing the picture taking.
This would be the last vacation we took together as a family. My parents would divorce not long after this. I remember bits and pieces of this vacation. We went on a road trip from our home in Spokane.
Our first stay was in Kelowna B.C. I remember swimming in the motel swimming pool and I vaguely remember visiting Flintstone City. I rode a scary rollercoaster in Vancouver in which I screamed the entire time.
Victoria was beautiful. I loved the Buchart Gardens. This photo was taken on the ferry ride from Victoria to Seattle.
We stay overnight in a hotel on the ocean. I remember waking up to a foggy morning and walking on the rocky beach.
We drove to Portland to visit my Uncle Will. This might have been the trip where my mom’s suitcase flew off of the top of the car in the middle of the Interstate 5 bridge (crossing the Columbia River), which scattered all of her clothes all over the highway.
We stayed at our friend’s cabin in Rhododendron on Mt. Hood. This is the part of the trip that I don’t have any memory of. And this is weird because I live near Rhododendron now and have been there many times yet my memories of being there are still locked away somewhere in my head.
However, Mt. Hood and Oregon in general had a huge impact on me. I came home from that trip with a love for this place that is still there.
I tried scanning negatives with my new scanner and it works! I am so stoked!
This is a photo of Mt. Hood and downtown Portland that I took from Pittock Mansion, taken a month ago. The film was very expired. It was around 15 years old, maybe older. It turned out pretty grainy. It was also a bit overexposed so I fixed the brightness a bit in my photo editing software.