Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Gorge(ous) Fall Afternoon

I've been messing with my readers lately, posting photos out of season (in the northern hemisphere anyway).  I'm almost caught up - just a couple more autumn adventures to share.  For this post, I present to you my annual Columbia River Gorge Fall photo safari!

In early November, autumn colors reach their peak in the Columbia River Gorge.  Although it's fantastic in any season, fall in the Gorge is absolutely spectacular.  Every year, I always make time for a daylong photo excursion to capture the show.

Gorge view from Crown Point

I started this latest Gorge trip climbing the twisty, curvy Columbia River Scenic Highway to it's most famous viewpoint - Crown Point.  Although this particular day was cloudy and threatened rain, a sunbreak timed perfectly to my arrival.

Vista House at Crown Point

Breathtaking Gorge views could be found in three directions.  The foliage below was a delightful mix of oranges, golds, and yellows, with a tiny bit of green thrown in.

Window close-up

I walked around the Vista House, a historic structure built on top of Crown Point that doubles as a visitor center.  It was originally built as comfort station and a memorial to the Oregon pioneers.  This lovely building was completely restored between 2000 and 2005.  And it's never looked better!

Crown Point view from Chanticleer Point

From Crown Point, I motored on a short distance to another jaw-dropping panorama at nearby Chanticleer Point.  The views here are even more stunning - one gets amazing photo ops of the Gorge  spread out below, with Crown Point front and center.  And, man oh man, were the fall colors fabulous!  It looked as if someone had taken a paintbrush to the cliffs below Crown Point.

Fall colors were perfect

This famous scene is a popular spot for photographers.  More images of the Columbia River Gorge are taken from this point than from anywhere else.  Countless postcards from Oregon showcase this very view.

Another photo of this spectacular panorama

One can never tire of scenes like these....I would've stayed much longer, but a sudden furious rain squall sent me running for my car.

Bridal Veil Trail

Time to head back the other direction, down the Historic Highway.  Next stop was Bridal Veil Falls trail.  Although it was still raining heavily as I pulled into it's parking lot, after a short 5 minute wait in my car, things started letting up. 

Colorful trees

The fall leaves here were so bright they practically glowed yellow.  So pretty, I was snapping photos from the parking lot!

Mossy woods below the falls

But I did tear myself away and ambled down the short half mile path to Bridal Veil Falls.  The nearby forest was magical - full of ferns and moss-covered trees.

Bridal Veil Falls

Sadly, about the time I reached Bridal Veil Falls, the sky decided to open up once again.  I managed a few mediocre shots of the waterfall before packing my camera away to protect it from the precip.

Lovely autumn woods

Not all was lost, the walk back up the trail was lovely.  A tunnel of gold framed by a scenic creek.

Railroad track in the Gorge

Some of the best leaf colors can be found adjacent to the railroad tracks that parallel the mighty Columbia River.  Of course, there are signs all over that warn against trespassing on the railroad right-of-way. one was around.  And I just wanted to walk across the tracks for a couple of quick shots.....

Here comes a train!

I'd no sooner crossed the tracks and was happily snapping images when I heard a loud roar.  As I turned around, a freight train came thundering by, not ten feet away!

Trapped by the train

The train was traveling so fast, the wind it created nearly knocked me over.  My car was on the other side of the tracks, and I couldn't move any further away where I stood due to a large pond.  So I was stuck in my present spot until the train passed by.  I crouched down near the blackberry bushes, and willed it to hurry up.  And, while I was waiting, I did what any photographer would do, and snapped a couple shots of the train in action.

Autumn leaves

Although I dodged raindrops part of the day, and played tag with a freight train, it was still wonderful to get outside and capture the spectacular autumn show that is fall in the gorge(ous) Columbia River Gorge!


  1. Great autumn images of the gorge.
    Heading out there in a few days.

  2. Excelente trabalho minha amiga e belas fotografias de paisagens espectaculares.
    Um abraço e uma óptima Quarta-Feira.

  3. Awesome Linda! You haven't been having much luck with the rain and your photography, but we are still impressed by your determination and the results.
    I had zoomed in on the screen and as I slowly scrolled the screen it was as if your waterfall was cascading. I've played it several times!

  4. Hi! I would fall in love with your Fall season's photos and dynamic Falls's photo.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hello, gorgeous post with beautiful views and colors. I love the views of the river from the Vista House. The trail to waterfalls is beautiful, love the falls too. Awesome photos!
    Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

  6. I can never have enough of autumn. My favorite season. That was a really great outing and you came back with some amazing photography.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  7. Amazing photos! What a breathtaking place. That image "Vista House at Crown Point" Wow. How wonderful that it was restored. You must have snapped many images of it! And the last image of the autumn leaves is another favourite. So pretty with its earthy tones.

  8. Love the yellow in the leaves. The building is very interesting architecture.

  9. We have not visited Crown Point...yet! I can see we need to visit the Gorge in the fall, it's beautiful!

  10. Great photo's.
    Spring and Autumn are two lovely seasons.
    The Bridal Veil Trail is stunning.

    All the best Jan

  11. I need to make another trip to Portland.

  12. Linda these are just amazing and stunning shots. I love the Vista house although I haven't visited there for several years. You really captured it's beauty and the Gorge perfectly. Man that must have been scary having the train zip by you that close but you got some great action shots of it.

  13. The scenery is magnificent. I just love all those shades from yellow to brown. Sooner you than me standing that close to the train.

  14. Superb photography Linda. I enjoyed everyone of them.

  15. That sure is a big river. Reminds me of Loch Ness here in size and shape, The UK's deepest and largest loch. Our main rivers are fast flowing trickles by comparison.

  16. What a great hike with those fall colors. And there's something wonderful about standing next to a thundering freight train!

  17. More wonderful scenery and waterfalls! But you are beginning to confuse us with fall posts in the spring!

  18. I love the lovely fall colors on this post! Thanks so much for the comments on my blog. Have a great weekend. cheers.

  19. You did get me rather confused Linda when I saw FALL, however, loved the shots. Such amazing views in this area, and the forest is so so beautiful. Bridal Veil falls is gorgeous, and also the bridge across the river. Made me a bit nervous about the train..... Did you hear it coming/? 10 feet away is not very far... Gotta watch those train tracks. You photos always make me want to come back to your area again in the near future!

  20. When ever I visit you blog I find I new place I 'need' to visit. The train must have been a bit of a shock!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  21. Linda, you have so many great adventures, and so many pictures that it matters not. Bring them on any old time. :-)

  22. Gorgeous shots from our intrepid rainy day photographer. Love the rail shot - however, I'm glad I was standing there to take it!$

  23. Beautiful photos! Autumn doesn't last long enough; glad you brought it back.

  24. I love autumn! Every time I see your Oregon photos I yearn to visit your state. We have hopes of continuing a trip we made of driving the Pacific Coast highway. We made the ride from San Diego to San Francisco, a few years ago, and want to return to San Francisco and drive all the way up to the end of Washington state. It is definitely on our bucket list.

  25. Beautiful!! What no ear to the tracks first before crossing:)

  26. Beautiful!! Stunning Autumn scenery.

  27. Another wonderful adventure you've shared with us Linda. Great view from Chanticleer Point and I'd love to follow that Bridal Veil Trail. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous region.

  28. Autumn is my favorite time to wander with camera in hand. These photographs are stunning, Linda... how nice to live so close to the Gorge with all its scenic beauty, and get to visit anytime you want!

  29. I have always loved autumn colors and you captured them so well. How great to have this wonderful place for photos each year.

  30. I love the shot of the train, it's always the unexpected that makes a day memorable.

  31. I love the autumn colours and the mossy trees. The winter landscapes were beautiful too, but I'm glad we have spring right now.

  32. your Gorge is truly spectacular. beautiful images.


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