Grand Flying Adventure, Lady Washington from above!

I got blessed this week to be able to FLY over my home turf, a new experience for me!  Can you tell I am still thrilled?

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There is a wonderful pilot tour and training company in Hood River, Oregon called Classic Wings Aero Service  (if you click on that blue name it will open a new page for their website).  Scott took me up on an exhilarating tour over the Lady Washington, a tall ship that starred as the British ship the Interceptor in the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

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She ( the Lady) was sailing near Hood River, Oregon on one of her stops along the Columbia River as part of her educational tours.  Sailed with a largely volunteer crew, the tours allow time for dockside tours (by donation); they also do evening sails in many ports, with tickets costing only $35.00 for a couple hours on the river on this historical replica. As you can see by all the people on board, the sails are popular!  Click on the blue link Lady Washington for their official website.

Here are a few detail shots from the tall ship

Meanwhile back on the small plane, up and away we went, circling back and forth across the Columbia River.  Scott seemed to know instinctively what I would find fascinating to shoot, and making sure to position the plane in various angles to the subjects, including Lady Washington.  What a joy, an exhilarating feeling being far above the hustle and bustle of towns and cars and people; all the cares of the world fade away and there is only the moment.  If you get an opportunity, save up for a tour with these folks in Hood River, Oregon called Classic Wings Aero Service  (if you click on that blue name it will open a new page for their website).

Here are a few more photos from above, all cell phone shots… and I will be doing a second post later with more images from the big camera.

Peace be with you!  Starlisa

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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

Life on the Lewis River, Memories of Youth

Lower Falls on the Lewis River

Lower Falls on the Lewis River

 

Lower Falls on the Lewis River is a place full of happy childhood memories.  Where as most people who go there are most familiar with this viewpoint and the nearby campground, I remember a time this campground was brand new and small, and very few people came this way.  90 road did not go all the way through back then, and upriver aways there was another campground that is now inaccessible by car. The old Sheep Bridge Camp was our family hangout.  Mom was fond of saying that I camped there even BEFORE I was born.  To get to this falls we would have to climb and wade downriver on the other side, and it could only really be done safely in lower water times.   As an adolescent I was already wading across this river in many places, with a walking stick bracing me against the rugged current, and water up to my chest.  I proudly followed my Daddy everywhere, even places Mom did not go herself.  Of course my Mom was 45 when I was born, and now that I am dealing with arthritis myself I understand better why she did not rush into the icy water as quickly as I did!  Dad had it made… he just wore his chest waders.

Happy days, peaceful nights… sometimes we would camp for a couple of weeks at a time up in this paradise.  More often we hiked upriver to the Middle Falls, or across the old Sheep Bridge (before the ends were pulled off for supposed safety considerations), up the trail to the Lewis River trail to the Upper Falls. When the 90 road started getting built on through to connect the Lower Falls with the 23 road to make a big loop, it tore up this gorgeous deep forest trail, so we walked up the road part way and then down the hill through the trees to Lower Falls.  One time several of us found our way through the woods above the Upper Falls and discovered yet another waterfall which we simply dubbed the “Upper Upper Falls”.  We used a rope to climb down to the river to fish.  Dad and I wandered downriver to stand in the middle of the river leaning on the huge rock that has been at the top of Upper Falls for many years, where we could look over this lovely waterfall from the top, for the first time.  Things sure looked different from that point of view.

As the years went on, and my brothers and sisters had child after child, the camps grew bigger and bigger, until there would be wonderful times when the campground was full of the Black and Kyte families, and kids with bikes made trails through the woods and campground.  I miss those days so much… when our home was on the Lewis.

this was our wading pool and swimming hole when the water was higher.  We got water here for the campsite.  The green is heavily influenced by a smooth green shale on the river bottom.

this was our wading pool and swimming hole when the water was higher. We got water here for the campsite. The green is heavily influenced by a smooth green shale on the river bottom.

My brother Boyce fishing near the camp

My brother Boyce fishing near the camp

I love the emerald waters.

I love the emerald waters.

Lower Falls near the top

Lower Falls near the top

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on a hike in return visit, I and my dog Rio sat on this rock in the middle of the river and played my flute.

on a hike in return visit, I and my dog Rio sat on this rock in the middle of the river and played my flute.

Lower Falls on the Lewis River  at Dusk, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington state

Lower Falls on the Lewis River at Dusk, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington state

Emerald Roads Call My Name

Have you had moments in life when the sun suddenly pops out from behind the clouds and grabs you attention, telling you “GO THIS WAY NOW!!!”? I had one of those Monday morning.

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I headed out early in hopes of a good sunrise, and although sunrise fizzled I still got to spend a couple hours in a magical green kingdom far above the busy world below. Rolling on moss beds taking photos of Grass Widows and moss, and River far below, in a world apart. Yes it was a bit cold, but I was well prepared.. Sure the wind was a lot to take while shooting flowers, but there were calmer moments. A perfect morning simply discovering the details in a place not far from home that i had never seen before.

Grass Widows along the bluff above the Columbia River

Grass Widows along the bluff above the Columbia River

THere were bits of history laying about too, parts of life from long ago.

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and across the river I can almost see my home among the many homes in White Salmon, Washington.

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and there was even a hint of a rainbow in the distance on Underwood Mountain!

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ALSO a reminder before I go… I have my gallery show at the White Salmon Community Library until the last Saturday in March.. not much time left to go check it out if you are in the area!  Turnout has been amazing, and feedback has totally surprised and recharging to my spirit, thank you to all who have given me such lavish feedback!

You can also check out my side bar links, under Calendars and Books tab, to find galleries detailing my available photo books.

Thank you!

Darlisa Black

Starlisa Black Photography