Often with nature photography, untold hours go into creating a shot. You scout locations, you get up early and stay out late; you wait and wait, sometimes for days until lighting and conditions come together just right. With the August photo in my 2014 calendar, this was anything but the case.
The picture was taken some years ago when my now wife and I were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It features Tunnel Falls, along northern Oregon’s Eagle Creek Trail (a favorite PCT alternate.) This scenic route is the preferred path for most thru-hikers as they descend from Oregon’s high country to the Columbia River gorge. Its lush green vegetation and phenomenal collection of waterfalls make it hard to pass up for the simple sake of sticking to the comparatively subdued Pacific Crest route. Many hikers consider this area a highlight of their 2,650 + mile journey, and I had spent weeks in eager anticipation of its approach.
An unfortunate chain of events, however, would ultimately dismiss any hopes for casual exploration. Cris had twisted her ankle while crossing a lava field a day or so before, and this slowed our pace considerably. By the time we detoured toward Eagle Creek, it was early on a Friday afternoon and we had to make it to Cascade Locks to pick up some much needed gear by 5:00, or be stuck waiting until Monday for the post office to open again. With only a few hours to go and twelve miles from town, it was decided I should race ahead to see if I could make it to the post office in time.
In hindsight, this might have presented one of the greatest dilemmas of my entire hike. I had a chance here to be the hero, to impress this pretty girl I’d been hiking with who incidentally I’d become rather fond of. Then again, I’ve never been very good at passing up photo ops, and was now venturing into a verdant wonderland like no place I had ever seen. Decisions, decisions…
I tried to just go for it. I really did. I hiked along as fast as I could, trying not to get distracted by the scenery. But then I’d see a waterfall, and stop… only for a second; just to take a quick picture. And then came another. And another. Each time I lingered a bit longer, just trying to capture some little part of this magical realm before racing on. By the time I hit Tunnel Falls I was nearly on a run, trying to make up for the previous delays. By the time I left it, I had twenty more minutes to account for. But come on… how many times do you see a trail contouring along high cliff walls disappear behind a ten story waterfall? I couldn’t resist.
I made it to the post office at 4:47. The final two and a half miles were spent in a dead run, bounding along beneath the weight of my pack down a riverfront bike path. But I made it. I got the packages, I got some photos; and in the end, I even got the girl…
It just goes to show that while usually a lot of work goes into capturing nice photos, sometimes you get lucky; and other times a place is so beautiful it’s just hard to take a bad shot- even on the fly. All the same, I can’t wait to get back to this gorgeous natural area and have another look; only next time at a more leisurely clip!
-Don’t forget, it’s not too late to order a calendar of your own! Click HERE for a preview and to order direct from the printer, and remember to use one of these promo codes for further discount. You can-
Enter PIC4U in the promo code to buy one calendar and get a second at half price (one for you and another for a friend!) Or…
Enter SHIPSHAPE14 to get free standard shipping (don’t be fooled into paying for expedited shipping, these tend to arrive faster than they say.)
Enter the selected code in the promo box at checkout and be sure to use all caps. Unfortunately they won’t let you combine offers, but it’s still a great deal!
A) Enter PIC4U in the promo code to buy one calendar and get a second at half price (one for you and another for a friend!) Or…
B) Enter SHIPSHAPE14 to get free standard shipping (don’t be fooled into paying for expedited shipping, these tend to arrive faster than they say.)
Be sure to enter the codes in the promo box at checkout and use all caps. Unfortunately they won’t let you combine offers, but it’s still a great deal!