Weekend Adventures

A few recent shots to share with you from last weekend. This first one of the helicopter dipping in the turtle pond is during the recent Memaloose #2 Fire on the Oregon hills along the Columbia River between Mosier and Rowena. The fire was in mop up the last few days which has been a slow process because of the steep terrain and cliffs. Evacuations have all been dropped and the fire was knocked down.

By the way there’s no smoke in the picture because I’m looking south away from the fire.

I started out the morning on top of the world. At least that was the name of the aid station along the route of marathon set up by the Columbia Gorge running club. I had the pleasure of running radio communications at aid station two. My view included a glimpse to the north of Underwood Mountain in Washington state.

The Marathon started here:

On my way up the hill to my station it was misting/raining lately which was so refreshing after a long dry spell. Did not amount to much but it sure felt good. It also provided me with a rainbow. A great start to a beautiful day.

Here comes one of the runners through the aid station.

The end of the 50k

it really was the top of the world, and this is even on the way back down

This next image was taken After the race, Clear across the valley. Looking across the Hood River Valley towards the west and Binn Hill from Fir hill area on the east side of Hood River Valley.

Driving up over the hills and down the valleys to Mosier and upstate road I stopped and took the first photo of the helicopter picking up water. Along the way I stopped to take the photo of the tree because it grabbed my attention.

Here was the view of the backside of Memaloose #2 fire, although this iPhone shot doesn’t capture much. To the far right of the red circle there is smoke and a burned area that has come up over the hill from the north. Fortunately it did not spread much more than this.

After I watch the helicopter I drove back down to the freeway and up to the Dalles and back down to the Lyle rest area where I took a few more photos.

I visited the Klickitat River which is very murky from the glacial run off.

I even found a place to park out of the way somewhere and slept in my car because I knew I was too tired to drive home.

The next morning I stopped and grabbed a couple more shots from the Lyle rest area, happy to see that the fire across the river had calmed down considerably

I chatted with some tourists at the rest area and gave them plenty of information on my way to work at the Mt. Adams Chamber visitor center in White Salmon, Washington. Just doing my job!

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Rainy Day Beauty

Even in the midst of Rainy days there is beauty…  although at times I just stand there and watch the rain fall, in a bit of a trance.  The gentle or fierce sound of the rain, leaves blowing in the wet wind, the smell of fungi beginning to grow, it all washes over me like a cool bath of nourishment.  At times I can feel my skin drinking in the moisture like a thirsty summer day.

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However soon enough I feel inspired to move, and areas of blue sky return after the passing squall… the light calls my name and a rainbow waits for me somewhere north, so off I go to Husum, Washington.

Arriving in the tiny town known for agriculture and rafting companies, I received a text with the bad news… my cousin’s daughter had unexpectedly passed away in England.  Somewhat shell shocked, I wandered for awhile around my childhood hangouts along the river, in tears but trying to find positive things and beauty to hold me steady so I can send strength to my cousin Camille.

The White Salmon River is now brown with runoff and as light and shadow dance with fall leaves and clouds, and I feel the spiritual cleansing of heart this river always brings to me as it washes away the tears.

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The White Salmon River and Husum falls.

This is when I finally found a rainbow, and I felt it was a sign of hope in the darkness.

All around me the light danced, and plants and rocks glimmered in rain coated jewels. Through a doorway in the darkness I saw a soft and beautiful world

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Getting back in my little freshly repaired old truck, Ruby Red Rattle Rocket, I headed on north to Trout Lake as the light continued to dance on the fall leaves along the way. In a large clearcut along highway 141 the vine maples have been growing and carpeting the ground, and I realized just how many had grown when I saw the color as light burst through the clouds.

Following the light on uphill to Trout Lake, I found more pretty colors around Trout Creek by the bridge in town.

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Sunset was coming on, so next I drove out to the Lake for a refreshing sunset recharge, and This next photo made me think of a bird flying free, or in this case a spirit or soul flying free of this physical restraints.

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Flight of the Soul Trout Lake Sunset

After this the rain came back for awhile, and i went to visit my brother Roger and his wife Connie in their home in Trout Lake.

One last image… a friend just shared this photo with me of a mountain lake near Mount Adams.  How quickly it moves from fall to winter!

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Snow at Bird Lake October 27, 2014 photo by a friend

Adventures on the Bickleton Highway

I had a sudden and rare opportunity to be gone overnight on May 27,  so I threw my bed in the truck with a cooler and other assorted necessities, grabbed all my camera gear and hit the road going east.  A sweet lady in Glenwood told me how beautiful the road to Bickleton from Goldendale, Washington was this time of year, and suggested  the east county should be in my repertoire (and sweetened the pot with some gas money!) so off I ran in the afternoon that day.  Coming home again by 10:30 pm on the 28th, my cards all full and my batteries all empty, I had around 40 GB of new images to download and process!  Here are a few, and for now I need to get back to some other projects for people, but you will be seeing more from here over time.  Enjoy!

To get to this area, head to Goldendale on Highway 97.  Coming north on 97 from the Columbia Gorge, go to the second main exit for Goldendale and turn left.  Go approximately 1-2 blocks and turn left on a small road with a green sign for Bickleton, right before Amy’s Attic on the left.  Gas up before you leave Goldendale though… it is 35 miles to Bickleton and the next gas station!

This batch of images is all from the 28th after I woke up in my truck off on some little side road.

Along the road I found masses of Lupines in hidden places off side roads

Along the road I found masses of Lupines in hidden places off side roads

As I drove along,  this big thunderhead began to build in the NE sky.

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You know me and my clouds… soon i was really looking around for special things to put under the clouds for photos!

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Coming around the corner suddenly the road drops off the plateau and switchbacks rapidly down into Rock Creek Canyon, crosses the creek, and just as rapidly climbs again back to the next plateau.

Coming around the corner suddenly the road drops off the plateau and switchbacks rapidly down into Rock Creek Canyon, crosses the creek, and just as rapidly climbs again back to the next plateau.

Through the Rock Creek Canyon on Bickleton Highway

Through the Rock Creek Canyon on Bickleton Highway

Eventually I made it to Bickleton itself, immediately after the rain and hail hit town leaving the roads wet and shiny.  I had a wonderful Salmon burger and salad at the Bluebird Inn, and Melba, the owner, was really fun to talk with.  I learned that this place is well known in the area for its Burgers especially… and while I was there a couple had lunch after driving over from Goldendale.  I also learned there is a great photographer who owns the Market and cafe across the street, but sadly for me it was closed on Wednesdays, so I shall have to return here another day!  There is a Carousel museum in town as well, and bluebird houses and bluebird trail maps AND bluebirds everywhere!

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Melba also told me about the lovely old church in town (more images of the outside will come along later), and about a driveway with lovely flowers further up the road.

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There are a good many more untold stories from this one day, and they will have to wait for another post another day, but I just could not wait to share these with you now!   Hope you enjoy as well.  This last image from Wednesday was taken along Dot road, which heads south from the Bickleton Highway out of Cleveland just west of Bickleton.  This is one of about 3 routes a person can take back down to the Columbia River, and it was a lovely drive through the windmill farms and then a drop down through a canyon to a section of Old Highway 8, which then takes you to Highway 14 near Roosevelt, Washington.

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Thank you for your time, and feel free to click on the images… many of the best ones will take you to my gallery page where the prints will be available for purchase, while the stuctural shots of the Bluebird and the church will simply take you to an attachment page on this blog.

I hope you take the time to check out my galleries, the link is also in the sidebar menu near the top.   Come find me on Facebook or Flickr, as well!

Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Me Away!

I had the opportunity to drive over Satus Pass and see some herds of Wild Horses, with nearly as many colts as adults. They are so beautiful to watch, and the herds were made up of all colors. What a great treat! My one zoom lens, an EF 55-250 IS just was not up to the challenge and the detail is not great on the shots… I had to crop them hard to show the horses big enough, but they are still worth seeing!
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This next two shots  brought back happy memories of childhood… my favorite book was The Black Stallion!  This might be a mare, I could not tell for sure at that distance.. but it really made me smile!

 

 

 

 

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And a zoom in on a colt with a mop top bristle of a mane, they were so adorable!

 

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WOW, HUH???

On the same day I also saw a Black Bear sniffing along after a Cinnamon Bear… I can guess what he wanted! She was PURTY! lol

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Then he noticed us watching from the road

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But his chosen Lady was calling his name and leaving scent for him

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So on down the hill he went after her

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After one more glance to be sure we were not coming any closer they both disappeared down into the draw

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We waited around for a few moments, and sure enough they came back up closer to us, but the Bitterbrush and Sage was so tall along the slope all we could see was the tops of their backs moving, until the big Black came to a Ponderosa Tree and stood up in the shelter of its branches to better see what we were up to.  When he threw himself back down I think the ground shook… his fur rippled heavily.  Needless to say we were staying right in by the truck ready to jump back in if necessary.

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It was also a lovely wildflower day, but I will save that for another post!  Thanks for looking, and PLEASE DO FEEL FREE TO SHARE MY POST AND MY PAGE ON YOUR FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE PLUS, DROP ME A COMMENT AND LET ME KNOW SO I CAN COME VISIT. I LOVE COMPANY!

Also check out the links in the sidebar for prints and calendars and books, and there is even a donation button for those who just enjoy seeing my work online and wish to help me be able to continue sharing. I would not EVEN be able to take all these photos or have sharing sites without the support of those who believed in me and helped me out to this point.My heart is full of gratitude!

 Thanks so much for your visit!

Fire Helicopter Calendar available now!

At the request of some of the Helitack crew at the airbase in Trout Lake (here for the Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams) I put together a calendar of Helicopters (and one plane used for Air Attack Platform coordination). These are custom design and I am only making a very limited quantity You can email me at starlisa.black@gmail.com if you want to order one. They are $25.00 each, plus $5 for shipping if you need it mailed, and tax if you are in Washington.

This album of photos represents the pages of this 2013 calendar

Cascade Creek Fire on Mount Adams

September 8, 2012 while the Highway 141 fire near White Salmon was beginning to wind down, a Lightning storm swept through the area and started at least 40 wildfires in Washington and another large amount in Oregon.  Some of the fires were put out quickly, but others like the one on the south side of Mount Adams 9 miles out of Trout Lake continues to grow. Smoke fills the valley making it hard on locals with allergies and asthma. 

Most of this fire is in the Wilderness area, and much of what is burning is dead diseased trees that have accumulated in recent years creating a dangerous situation.  In reality the fire, while deadly to slower moving wildlife, will in the long run provide a much needed cleansing in the forests.  When we thought we were saving the trees by stopping all forest fires and cutting in our wildernesses, we actually created a tinderbox waiting to burn!   In the natural scheme of things, fires caused by lightning provided an important function in the Wilderness, clearing out diseases and pests, opening up space for new growth, and in the case of Lodgepole Pine providing the catalyst needed to open the cones and prepare the seeds for growing.  Sadly, at this point things have gone too far and now a fire causes a great deal more harm on the way to creating good!

In any case, We have an awesome crew of Fire personnel at work in Trout Lake and the forest hard at work in containing the fire and keeping Trout Lake Valley safe.  I slept in my tent near the airfield for a couple days at my brother Roger’s place, and the sound of the helicopters coming and going was actually comforting, knowing they were working to protect us. 

 

This first image was on the first evening of the fire, in Trout Lake at the School.

 

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The inciweb site below is updated daily, and an afternoon update today had some good news about the cars trapped by the fire.  Unfortunately a few days ago 2 of the cars left at Morrison Creek camp were torched… another one had melted paint and such and a 4th was untouched. 

todays update in part:

“1700 Hr Update: 10 cars were brought down from the South Climb trailhead to a safety zone where they will not be burned. Increased fire activity prevented moving them all the way down. Chances are good that they can be brought down to base camp tomorrow. The fire was active today, but no major runs.

 

FIRE STATUS & RESOURCES

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Acres Burned: 6,467

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 4%

Total Personnel: 578

Serious Injuries: None

Crews: 17

Engines: 7

Dozers: 6

Water Tenders: 14

Helicopters: 5″

Inciweb Link 

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