Live Updates from Portland, OR
First of all, I won't dance around this: I'm only 10 weeks in on my 52 Week Project. Which I began in January. We're 17 weeks into the year, and I'm lagging behind! However, that's why I decided to break down a yearly photographic challenge into weeks, not days. I can spend more time on each project and have the luxury of falling behind. Plus, it gives me a chance to go on a photographic rampage and make several projects out of it. The first such opportunity for this is coming up tonight, as I'll be hopping on a plane to Portland, Oregon.
The short answer here is 'often'. The longer answer is that Portland -- and Oregon at large -- is one of the greatest parts of the country if you're in any way inclined to step outside every now and then. Plus, no, it does not rain all the time -- the summers (and luckily, this week) are always quite nice! I won't bore you with a history lesson, nor feed you with meaningless facts like what a Benson bubbler is, but any cursory image search will clue you in: it's a haven for a landscape photographer and hiker. And automotive enthusiast.
Without further ado, I'm going to be updating this blog post with the occasional photo here and there from throughout the week, thanks to the awesome Squarespace Blog app. Off I go!
Despite the fact that my rental car is a Chevy Sonic (no offense to Sonic owners), I led off my trip with one of the best drives I've ever taken. I left Portland bright and early (REALLY early) thanks to jet lag, and was treated to an extremely quiet stretch of Highway 26 straight from Portland to the coast.
I couldn't have asked for a better day to see the Pacific ocean for the first time. More photos to come!
Instead of fighting to rid myself of jet lag, I think I'm going to fight to keep it. The payoff is that I'll be able to keep waking up very early - as I did today - to avoid the majority of fellow tourists. It worked out wonderfully for a visit to Multnomah Falls, the second highest waterfall in America and all-around amazing location in the Columbia River Gorge. All of my waterfall shots are on my Fujifilm and will be edited upon arrival home. I gotta say, though...they came out great. There really isn't a very humble way to say that.
The Portland Japanese Garden was next, and man...I need a Japanese garden in my life every day (insert cliche 'modern life is so hectic' rant here). I picked up a book on Zen because, well, why not. Learning new things (and 'all profits go towards Garden maintenance') is cool. As above, I got a few neat shots on my dedicated camera and I'll have them up in the coming weeks. Part of me wants another Macbook Pro to edit and share these photos on fly, but part of me doesn't. I didn't come here to spend hours color correcting and editing in my hotel room.
My "outdoors" checklist is wrapped up! I drove an hour and a half each way to Mount Hood, which looks deceptively close against the Portland skyline. Being from the comparatively flat New Jersey will do that to you, I suppose. The drive there is largely unremarkable until Route 26 begins cutting through the Cascade mountain range; suffice to say that it gets MUCH better looking at that point. The GoPro was set up against my windshield, capturing the entire drive up, so I really can't wait to get home and begin editing it together into a timelapse.
The above shot was taken on the "Magic Mile" ski lift, located right next to the famous Timberline Lodge, which is already 5,000 feet in elevation. The ski lift reaches another mile up the mountain, planting you at 7,000 feet and in the reaches of some serious wind. Bring chap stick.
And, finally, one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever had.
There likely won't be many updates for tomorrow; Friday may bring some new photos, though. We'll see! The trip is already beyond the halfway mark. Unreal.