Saturday, November 16, 2019

NEW 2020 Wall Calendars!

 I'm excited to announce my NEW 2020 wall calendars!  I've been working feverishly on these for some time now, and am very happy with the results!

The first one is my Western Landscapes calendar.  It includes images from all over the western U.S. and Canada, including Bryce NP, Bugaboo PP, Glacier NP, Grand Canyon NP, Mount Rainier NP, Redwoods NP, Mount Robson PP, Mount St. Helens NM, Yellowstone NP, Yosemite NP and more!

The second one is from my home state - Mount Rainier! It includes images from throughout Mount Rainier National Park including, Paradise, Mazama Ridge, Spray Park, Emerald Ridge, Christine Falls, Tatoosh Range and more!

You can now order these calendars online in time for the holidays!  I hope you find these calendars as fun to look at as I did making them!

As always, thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Columbia River Gorge, After the Fire

Multnomah Falls amidst fall colors in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA.
Multnomah Falls
I recently visited the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area this fall for the first time since the horrendous Eagle Creek Fire.

The Eagle Creek Fire was started in September 2, 2017 by a 15-year old boy lighting fireworks during a well-broadcast burn ban.  The fire took off at an unbelievable clip.  The fire was reported at 4:00 pm on this day, and by the next morning it had already burned over 3,000 acres.  On September 5th, it actually jumped the Columbia River into Washington near Archer Mountain!  153 hikers were trapped in the backcountry, 6 miles up the trail.  When all was said and done, the fire had burned over 50,000 acres and took three months to finally contain.  It would have consumed Multnomah Lodge if it weren't for fire tenders.  The damage was devastating.

I really wasn't sure what to expect.  Though a totally different event, in my head I was expecting the same type of recovery as Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument after the eruptions.  To a large degree, I think this is true - at a much quicker pace due to the lower elevation.

Latourell Falls amidst fall colors in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA.
Latourell Falls
In some places, if one is unsuspecting, it can be hard to see the signs of the fire.  In other places, not so much.  The underbrush has grown back quickly.  But the charred stumps still remain.  Trees that are continuing to thrive have the black scars on their lower half to remind them of the ill-fated event, yet proudly display their resiliency.

The signs are first noticed while driving along the scenic highway.  Fences that were not previously present have been erected above the road to catch any debris that may come skidding down the mountainside.

The trail from the lower Multnomah viewpoint up to the Benson Bridge has such fencing immediately above the trail.  Signs of the burn are everywhere, including very uncomfortably close to the lodge.  Along this trail are signs of darker times, as well as hope.  Many trees are charred on their lower half, yet stand stoically with their full health up high.  Other trees weren't as lucky.

The good news for people wishing to visit this area is that most of the waterfalls I visited are not affected for photography or simply enjoying from the traditional observation areas.  Of all the waterfalls I visited, only Wahkeena saddened me to sea a large charred stump at the based of the falls, much too large to disappear anytime soon through the course of nature.

Latourell Falls amidst fall colors in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA.
Latourell Falls
The bottom line is that the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is still a very beautiful place to visit.  Don't put it off!

To see more images from this area, be sure to visit my Columbia River Gorge Gallery at

As always, thanks for looking!  Hope to see you on the trail!