Oregon greeted me with my first rain storms of the trip. Unfortunately, I had dilly-dallied along this wonderful little canyon on Hwy 86 a bit too long, photographing a turn-of-the-century steel truss bridge and a very old suspension bridge with a wooden deck. Having a bridge design background from a previous life, I find it difficult to pass up an interesting bridge. At any rate, I found myself on a mountain road in southern Oregon, a heavy rainstorm, dusk, and I had not yet found a place for the night. Furthermore, I got distracted for a few minutes by a couple of mule deer next to the road. It wasnít too far to the nearest town but I had no idea what was ahead and had no signal on my Blackberry. I found an obscure dirt track into the forest and a site most likely used by locals that appeared to luckily be a good place to spend the evening. I always worry a bit when using dispersed camp sites outside of Arizona in unfamiliar surroundings, but the rains made me feel a little safer.
Oregon is an absolute superb State for photography. I had never been to Oregon Caves so that was my first objective and the continuing rain didnít seem to matter so much. My primary targets in Oregon were the covered bridges, they have over 50, a quick visit to Crater Lake, Silver Creek Falls State Park, and anything else that got in the way. I can never avoid a trip through the Umpqua River Gorge as I consider it in my top 10 roadways to drive. And I equally have a difficult time avoiding Multnomah Falls and Ecola Park. I wanted to enjoy maybe four or five days in Oregon and move on up to Washington. As it turns out my time in Oregon was much like that in California. After zigzagging thru the state photographing all but two of the covered bridges, hunting slugs with a couple of new-found friends on the Oregon Coast, hiking several waterfalls in the Umpqua gorge, and wandering through Silver Creek Falls, I found myself backtracking from Multnomah Falls to Ecola Park and my time in Oregon was into its eighth day. I promised myself - - A quick visit to Ecola Park, cross the Astoria Bridge, find Greys Covered Bridge in Washington and get to Rainier by nightfall. Oregon had left its mark however. In the Umpqua River, I got to see where Shrek lives. At least if he doesnít, Iíll always think he shouldíve. The waterfalls were extraordinary. Mareís Tails over Crater Lake were delightful. And the best Stellar Jay photograph I have to date; a beautiful in-flight photograph. The starfish in the tide pools at Cannon Beach were way cool, as was Haystack Rock. The panoramas from Ecola are among the best coastal views available on either coast. The blackberries were under almost all the covered bridges and were ripe, sweet and luscious. I ate them by the handfuls. And I got my Van washed by heavy rains on several occasions. Oregon deserves your attention. Itís a destination you should plan on, but for me itís on to Washington.