The Drunken Snake

14 Jun

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King

While King may have been referring to writing, I believe the quote can apply to a variety of situations when a person is faced with doing something new.

Today, I decided to venture through Portland and down the Columbia River to check out the gorge. According to the locals, it’s simply a site that cannot be missed.

So, I set out around 10:30 this morning, and after getting lost (yes…again) in Portland, I managed to make it to the gorge area about an hour later.

I wasn’t seeing any spectacular places that I could get a shot of the river, so I decided to veer off on an exit and see where it took me. To my surprise, I ended up on the historic scenic drive through the mountains that was headed to all of the points I wanted to catch. After driving up what seemed to be 90 degree inclines and roads that Mr. John described that wind like a drunken snake, I found myself at an overlook of the Cascade Mountains.

As you may notice, the picture above shows an small observatory to the bottom left – that’s Crown Point, which happened to be my next stop along the road.

I hopped back into my car, hoping to reach Multnoma Falls. The sun glimmered between slats in the trees, and I rolled my windows down to breathe the crisp mountain air, to hear the birds and the rustle of the leaves and hush of the water. Wait, water?

At this point, I was nearing a narrow bridge, and a bunch of tourists were gathered, looking somewhere in the dense forest at what was probably the coolest waterfall that I couldn’t seem to spot. With no parking left, I drove on, though the sound of water continued around me. After passing a couple of smaller waterfalls beside the road, I finally pulled into a spot entitled “Bridal Veil Falls.” Though it would be a short hike to get there, I was excited to finally have my chance to capture a waterfall of some sorts.

I passed through beautiful trees in which my pictures do absolutely no justice. Who knew nature photography could be so hard?

After walking a ways, I finally spotted a glistening creek, and hidden behind trees and rocks was the double waterfall. Simply gorgeous. The air was filled with fluffy white particles from some plant or tree, making the whole scene feel magical.

During the entire time I was in the mountains, I couldn’t help think that I felt like I was living in one of Hayao Miyazaki’s films. Watching “Spirited Away” gives me this out-of-body experience when I watch it, as he creates these beautifully mysterious worlds that beckon us to believe it’s taking place in real time while twisting reality just enough for you to not completely understand where you are. Going to the gorge today was like that – both earthy and ethereal at the same time. I guess it’s something you simply have to experience. Words do a poor job at recreating what you feel in these moments.

While I’m happy I got to explore the area and see amazing views, I did choose to shoot in some pretty harsh sunlight. That, combined with being pressed for time today to make it back through Portland before traffic jammed, made for a lot of lousy shots. I’ll be making another trip hopefully soon, and this time will spend all day (and possibly evening) driving the drunken snake and enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty.

Until next time,



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