Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Photos

That time again already??

After spending the past week in Montana celebrating Christmas with my son, I'm hurriedly scrambling to get my annual "year in photos" post together on the final day of 2017.  It's been a year of the unexpected - freak winter snow and ice storms, a banner skiing season, visiting a "new to me" state, being sidelined way longer than expected by a broken toe, massive wildfires destroying huge swaths of Oregon, including my beloved Columbia River Gorge.

As long-time blog readers know, I have a tradition of compiling a year-end post highlighting a favorite photo from each month of the year.  These photos are not always my very best work.  Some are chosen to represent a particular occasion or event that was meaningful to me.

Looking back at the past 12 months, it's been kind of a "meh" year.  It seems more bad than good has happened, not just in my little corner, but worldwide.  But now that 2017 is sliding into history, I'd like to start 2018 on a positive note.  So for this year-end post, along with each month's photo, I'm also including a positive sentiment to match the image.....something I'm thankful for.

Enjoy my "2017 in photos." 


Interesting ice formations

Winter weather hit early and often this month, with rare low-elevation snowstorms and freezing rain, that cancelled ski bus days, kept me home from work (yippee!) and turned waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge into icy works of art.  A photographer's paradise.

I'm thankful for..... being able to photograph these breathtaking examples of Mother Nature at her finest.


Snow day!

The unusual winter weather continued into February where I spent an unexpected day off work cross country skiing around our neighborhood park.  I'm not the best at taking selfies but this is one I really liked.  A great capture of the joy I felt that day.

I'm thankful events that force me to slow down and enjoy the outdoors.


Ski friends are the best!

One good thing about winter 2017 - all those storms made for an amazing ski season.  I tallied 33 days on the planks, many of those with my buddies from the midweek ski bus.  This photo is of me and my friends Glen and Brian from our last bus day of the season.  What can I say, ski friends are the best!

I'm thankful for.......many friends I've had an opportunity to share the slopes with this winter.


Love it when the balsamroot blooms

Once April rolls around, it's time to dust off the hiking boots and hit the trails in search of spring wildflowers.  I have my favorite spots, and most of them are located in the Columbia River Gorge.  This year I discovered a "new to me" area, the gorgeous Memaloose Hills.  Always fun to discover a new hike, this one had amazing vistas and slopes chock-full of colorful blooms.

I'm thankful for.......vibrant spring wildflowers that brighten the world just as I'm getting tired of dreary gray skies.


Sunset in Hawaii

My big trip of the year, in May my husband and I traveled to someplace we'd always wanted to visit - Hawaii!  We had a wonderful time exploring the big island, and I enjoyed capturing it's sights with my camera.  I especially loved the colorful ocean sunsets.  This one, taken on our final evening while killing time waiting for our red-eye flight home, became my favorite.

I'm thankful for........a job that provides adequate leave time and salary to allow travel.


Tunnel Falls, Eagle Creek Trail

This is a bittersweet photo.  Taken on late spring hike, I decided to traverse the Gorge's famous Eagle Creek Trail to the final waterfall, Twister Falls, 6 1/2 miles from the trailhead.  Little did I know it would be the last time I'd see this fabulous green wonderland as it was.  A Labor Day wildfire destroyed this special place.  It won't be the same for many years, possibly not in my lifetime.

I'm thankful for.......the many photographs I have of Eagle Creek Trail so I'll always remember this special place.


Wildflower explosion on Silver Star Mtn Trail

Summer treks to high elevation places always produce some of my favorite images.  It's always hard to chose just one photograph from a month of hikes, but a visit to Washington's Silver Star Mountain at peak wildflower bloom was hands-down one of the year's most memorable hikes.  I think you can see why.

I'm thankful close to such amazingly beautiful wild places.


Burroughs Mtn Trail, Mt Rainier National Park

August was a month of trying to hike despite a very sore toe (later I'd discover it was broken).  Not one to let an insignificant little digit stop a planned Mt Rainier trip, I went anyway, and hiked three days in a row.  One of my bucket list trails, the amazing Burroughs Mountains were just as spectacular as described.  Another memorable hike from 2017.

I'm thankful for........the beautiful National Parks in my country.


Smoky Mt Hood from Paradise Park Trail

September was a month of many downs.  Learning of the injury to my toe, hiking trips were curtailed.  A huge wildfire swept the Gorge, destroying many of my favorite trails and cloaking Portland and Mt Hood in thick smoke.  I didn't have a lot of photos to choose from this month, but this one from a trek to Paradise Park stood out.  From the Zig Zag Canyon overlook; a hazy Mt Hood appears through the smoke

I'm thankful for.........still having places to hike despite the many wildfires that plagued the Pacific Northwest this year.


Fall colors on Clear Lake Trail

Fall is my most favorite season to hike.  There's so many wonderful places to see autumn colors, it seems I never have enough time to see them all.  I tried to pare this month down to one photo, but  I  had favorite photos from two very spectacular hikes and just couldn't choose.  So as a special bonus, I've included them both.  The top photo is from an early October visit to Central Oregon's Clear Lake (best fall color ever!)

More fall colors, Wilson River

And this bottom photo is from a spur-of-the-moment late October trip to the coast range's Wilson River.  I most certainly hit the fall color jackpot that day, not only with peak leaf color, but also perfect sunny weather.

I'm thankful close to so many areas of beautiful fall color.


Dog Mountain Trail

Although the Oregon side of the Gorge remained off-limits for hiking (no Gorge fall color tours for me this year!) the Washington side was very much open for business.  In the span of two weekends, I hit the highlights - Cape Horn, Hamilton Mountain, and finally, Dog Mountain.  A place I usually only visit during spring wildflower bloom, I learned that it can be just as beautiful in autumn too.  A great hike with good friends, this trek was one of the surprise hidden gems of 2017.

I'm thankful for.........hiking buddies that will join on the trail me no matter the weather.


Ghostly bare branches in the Columbia River Gorge

In early December, I learned a small portion of the Gorge spared by the fire was once again open.  Eager to revisit favorite places, I made a small trek around Latourell Falls.  Although plagued with camera troubles, I was able to capture quite a few good images, such as this one of the moss-covered, ghostly tree branches in a foggy forest.

I'm thankful that..........some of the Gorge trails and waterfalls were spared from the fire and able to be reopened.

A big thanks to all my faithful readers who keep coming back year after year.  I appreciate all your comments, page views, and likes on my Facebook page.  You are the reason I get out there with my camera and continue to share these outdoor adventures.

Onward to 2018!


  1. What a wonderful photo recap of some of your favorite places! Well done! Happy new Year to you and your hubby:)

  2. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, A wonderful post from all your favourite places to hike and it is so good to be thanksfulto have the health to be able to pursue these activities. Gorgeous photographs and memories for you.

  3. May this New Year be special in every way… bringing you the gift of love and excitement.
    (01/01)From Japan to friends all over the world; Happy New Year! ! @Sakamoto2Ryouma

  4. was a great year, thanks for taking me along! Let's keep doing it.

  5. A terrific selection for 2017. I like your positive slant to take forward into 2018.

  6. Hello, except for the broken toe you have had a fabulous year. Your photos are all just beautiful. I love the Hawaii photo and the Tunnel Falls. It is sad that the area was destroyed in the wildfire. Gorgeous wildflowers. Well done. Looking forward to your 2018 post. I wish you all the best in 2018, a very happy and healthy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year Linda! :)

  8. From your photos, you've had a great year. All the best to you for 2018. Awesome photo for July. Yes, I like mountain flowers. Very few people get up high to experience mountain flowers. to me the flowers are something you only sense by being there. Keep on blogging.

  9. What a wonderful collection of photos! Happy New Year!

  10. Happy New Year, Linda. Thanks as always for sharing. I'm putting on my hiking shoes this morning to start the new year correctly.

  11. Happy New Year, Linda. Keep posting your amazing photos. I've enjoyed them all.

  12. What a lovely retrospective for the year, Linda. I enjoyed every single last drop of your pictures! :-)

  13. Great photos and nice positive thoughts to go with them. Best wishes for 2018.

  14. You sure have an amazing group of memories from 2017! May 2018 be even better!

  15. Linda my friend, what beauty you see in your lovely Oregon! Hubby and I love traveling there. Not being a lover of the cold, your summer photos are my favorites. Especially love June and July. I love moss and wildflowers!! I do love the four seasons and am thankful that I get to see them here in UT. We have had zero snow this winter, and we sure could use some! Hubby and I headed to the canyon today just to get a look at some of that white stuff. :) I enjoyed your thankful thoughts and am wishing you a new year of wonderful adventures!!

  16. Despite the set backs, both personal and environmental, you had some wonderful experiences this year!

    Happy new year to you and I hope we are able to cross paths this year!

  17. Wonderful photos! Sad about the fires, but glad you recorded these scenes so we can see them.

  18. Somehow the seasons all seem to be different to mine? How can that be!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  19. Hi Linda! Yes, this past year had some real "downs"...I have yet to visit the Columbia River Gorge and want to very much. We would have gone when we made that trip up to Portland, except it's all closed off. I am hoping it springs back ok, and that we can make a trip this year or next. Your photos of the Fall color really encouraged me to get out there this coming Fall, which we did not do in our first year here in OR. I only got Fall pictures as I passed it on the Ranch, in Terrebonne, Redmond and Bend. Even that was glorious, but I knew from your shots that I missed out on a lot! :-) I wish you a wonderful new year! And I pray for no more disasters here in Oregon and elsewhere! Take care!

  20. What a nice recap of 2017, Linda... I look forward to tagging along on your adventures in 2018.

  21. Awesome selection. So looking forward to 2018's adventures with Linda's Lens.

  22. Happy New Year, Linda! I hope 2018 will bring many wonderful adventures your way, filled with beautiful nature, and the love of family and friends.

    Your retrospective of 2017 in photos and thoughts is beautiful! It may have not been the best weather year, but it certainly did not slow you down.

  23. Lovely look back through the year! Nice to see your Eagle Creek photo!

  24. Today is the day I finally try to catch up on some blog reading having missed at least 6 months worth of everyone's lives. Sad to hear the Gorge was part of the wildfires out west, I only kept hearing about California. Like you I'll be thankful not all of it was devastated and keep hoping I'll get out there some day to enjoy it in person. Here's hoping 2018 has less natural disasters, Boy, that sounds depressing instead of hopeful! ;)

  25. Hiking and skiing - a good year. Have a great 2018!

  26. Some very interesting places you visited

  27. A beautiful year in pictures. so sad about the wildfires in your area.


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