Portland

6500 miles after leaving New Jersey we arrived in Portland – having driven across the entire continent, east coast to west coast. Portland also marked the (almost) halfway point of our road trip. Taking a break from national parks, we had an AirBNB as accommodation, indulged in pub visits and finally got to see Wonder Woman in theaters (wow!). Also, we invited Dylan up to stay with us, after getting to know him as our camping neighbour in Yellowstone. The three of us had a blast hopping from pub to pub, exploring Cannon Beach and scrambling across logjams to access hidden waterfalls!

Upper Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge - just couldn't resist posing in this green oasis!

Upper Latourell Falls in the Columbia River Gorge - just couldn't resist posing in this green oasis!

Photography wise we had planned on exploring the Columbia River Gorge – famous for its countless waterfalls lining the cliffs. Among the highlights were Latourell Falls, Bridal Veil, Oneonta Gorge, Upper Horsetail Falls and the world famous Multnomah Falls! After having realised how much I enjoy waterfall photography back in Glacier National Park, this was pure heaven for me! The highlight of the waterfalls definitely was Oneonta Gorge! To access the waterfall, we had to climb over a logjam, wade up-river through waist-high ice-cold water! Severely overcrowded during the day, it cleared out towards sunset and allowed us to get some sweet shots!

Bridal Veil Falls are located a few minutes off the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway!

Bridal Veil Falls are located a few minutes off the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Highway!

Since drone operation is strictly illegal in national parks, my drone had not seen much usage. Time to change that! We headed to Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park on the west coast to capture the sunset with the drone. What fun! Accessing the beach was a bit sketchy – to say the least – and I’m glad I came away with only one scraped shin and muddy boots after sliding/running/falling down the dusty cliffs.

A rock formation in front of the coast at Ecola State Park - complete with seagull colony and tunnel!

A rock formation in front of the coast at Ecola State Park - complete with seagull colony and tunnel!

On our way out of Portland, we headed over to Mt Hood National Forest, to shoot the Milky Way behind Mt Hood, reflected in Laurance Lake. Sadly, the lake wasn’t still enough for the reflections, but it was still a sight to see the centre of our galaxy behind Mt Hood.

The climb over a logjam, wading through waist-deep water and waiting for the crowds to clear out are absolutely worth it at Oneonta Gorge!

The climb over a logjam, wading through waist-deep water and waiting for the crowds to clear out are absolutely worth it at Oneonta Gorge!

After sleeping in the following morning, going for a swim in the lake, having our weekly skipping-stone-competition (I lost this round…) and having some breakfast, we headed out towards Crater Lake National park. 5 weeks done, 5 weeks still to go. The climate will definitely be a lot dryer in the upcoming parks – not that we’d been having lots of rain. The weather is sticking to its trend: dry, hot, no clouds. We still would wish for a little more clouds at dawn and dusk, but I’m not complaining about the lack of rain at all!

Talk to you after we hit midway point of this road trip!
Until then,
David