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Thursday, April 30, 2015

More From the Ranch

Now that I'd photographed the heck out of that old car, it was time to point my viewfinder elsewhere. Lucky for me, the Dalles Mountain Ranch doesn't lack for photo subjects.


Old wagon and flowers

Oh yeah - this place was a photographer's paradise!  The next items garnering my camera's attention were the ancient, weathered ranch buildings.


Predawn light hits the barn

The Dalles Mountain Ranch is located on the site of an 1869 homestead, the first recorded in this area.  For the next century, it operated as a working cattle ranch, until 1993, when the current owners deeded it the state of Washington.


Weathered mailbox

Ancient barns, corrals, and farmhouse still stand, slowly deteriorating from the wind and weather. 


Dawn is breaking

On my way to the auto's flower field, I captured a few images of the old barn in pre-dawn light.


Low clouds hanging over the valley

A few wisps of fog rolled over the adjacent hills, making for some interesting scenic shots.


Flowers everywhere

Weathered fences abounded!  There were rotting wooden corrals, and rusty, tumble-down barb wire enclosures.  Wildflowers popped up everywhere, providing a little of Mother Nature's decor.


Broken-down barn

Visitors were free to roam around most of the old buildings.  But no one was allowed inside.  Seeing the poor conditions of these structures, I wasn't about to venture in!


Gravel road leads to the old house

Wandering down the main gravel road, I decided to check out the farmhouse.


The porch has seen better days

The house was in very poor shape - all it's windows boarded up, the porch sagging, siding peeling off.  But I wondered what stories this place could tell - if only walls could talk!


Floral carpet

There was an old cemetery uphill from the house, with a few gravestones dating from the 1880s.  (You can see photos from last year's post)


Tumble-down fence

I'd heard reports of a marmot family living under one of the old corrals.  Not sure the exact structure, I was rounding the corner of one weathered building, when I stumbled upon them.


Marmots peeking out from under a barn

They were adorable!  I stood motionless, and the marmots peeped their little heads out from under the foundation.  I didn't have the most powerful zoom lens on my camera, but made do the best I could.


Barnside view

Trying to move in closer, I scared the marmots back into their dens.  I hung out nearby for several minutes, hoping they'd come out, but there were no more signs of the critters.  Oh well, at least I got to see them - and was able to get a couple good shots.


Mt Hood watches over the ranch

From the parking area, high on the hillside, gave the best ranch views of them all.  Not only all the buildings were in view, Mt. Hood rose her glorious snow-capped self over the horizon.  I could see why the first settlers decided to homestead here.

But...there were more flower fields to explore farther up the road.  I'm not done yet - check my next post for more fabulous scenery!


Sharing with:  Good Fences and Wednesday Around the World and Weekly Top Shot

34 comments:

  1. Linda, too bad the marmots went and hid! To be honest, I had to look up marmot in Google, as I wasn't sure what they look like. They look like the groundhogs that I see here in Montreal in nature parks sometimes...and the groundhogs are just as elusive as your marmots. LOL! I love the rustic look and feel to the place in your photos, and the views are spectacular!

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  2. Darn it Linda. You are soooooooooo making me want to fly to Oregon tomorrow to visit this ranch. I could spend days here.

    I too can see why they homesteaded this area....it is super gorgeous.

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  3. Wow.. Great captures. You even got Mt Hood!
    Next time we stay in The Dalles we'll check out the ranch. Didn't even know it was there, and we go often... Love the land and its ghosts.
    Great post, Linda!

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  4. Hello Linda, this is an awesome place to photograph.. I love the barn shot with the low clouds.. The Marmots are cute. And the wildflowers are gorgeous.. The last shot of Mt Hood is just awesome. You picked a beautiful day to be there, great collection of photos.

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  5. Beautiful country and photos, Linda. I find places like this fascinating. I hope something is being done to preserve the ranch.

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  6. what a neat place! the wildflowers are dressing up everything so nicely! great old fences, old buildings, and a few surprise critters, too. great shots. enjoyed these!

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  7. Great pictures Linda - I can't pick a favorite today because they are all so good. I'd love to have some of that old barn wood for projects tho.

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  8. It's really beautiful there, so I don't think I'll be disappointed by more of the same tomorrow! Those marmots are cute, aren't they? :-)

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  9. Love the fence and barn pictures this morning, Ida.

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  10. Love the fence and barn pictures, Linda. Have a great weekend.

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  11. Love those low clouds, and wildflowers, and Mt Hood, and, and, and.....so much to love!

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  12. Beautiful series. I love the wildflowers.

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  13. What a gorgeous place Linda. It's really is a photographer's paradise. The marmots are adorable. It's great that you got a shot of them before they discovered you.

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  14. Photographer's paradise and you made the most of it.

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  15. I'll miss the wildflowers, probably... but I'll make sure to visit this summer. I love photographing old farm and ranch buildings, and the vistas are absolutely beautiful! You captured so many wonderful images; can't you just imagine living on this ranch, with that landscape spread out in front of you every single day? I'd be in heaven!

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  16. Nice series - lovely colors

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  17. Looks a special place. Thank you for capturing it.

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  18. What a view of Mount Hood, I can see why they picked that spot too! All of your photos are beautiful! :)

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  19. I love marmots! Great photos.

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  20. You're right Linda a whole bunch of neat subjects waiting for you to shot. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  21. What wonderful photos - it would be nice if the state or a group would undertake to restore some of the buildings - to recapture that part of history. All the buildings are so interesting - love the shot of the mountain.

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  22. Awesome shots! So many interesting photo subjects.

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  23. I love those clouds hanging on the mountains.

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  24. What a great place for a photo shoot! The setting is just lovely, and I really like that old farmhouse. And all the flowers - so pretty!

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  25. What a beautiful place - photo opportunities galore!

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  26. Rural charm! Photographers delight!

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  27. What amazing photos Linda. The last one with Mt Hood is just stunning.
    We don't have marmots - they look sweet but are they a pest?

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  28. Your balsamroot and lupine are blooming - lucky gal! What a view from that old homestead. I enjoyed walking with you, Linda.

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  29. Wonderful scenery! The wagon and other things make such great shots and, of course, the marmots are adorable.

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  30. Very cool place...I love the textures...but I hate to see these places fall into decay. I see it all over Wisconsin too, these beautiful barns falling into disrepair. What a loss for the generations to come.

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  31. Top shots Linda, love the wildflowers!

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  32. Fabulous photos! i love the flowers, but the old stuff is interesting too.

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