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!

Memories….. tangled in Clover Bokeh

That is all I have to say about that! 🙂

Rosy Pussytoes,  Antennaria microphylla Eastern Washington wildflower

Rosy Pussytoes,
Antennaria microphylla
Eastern Washington wildflower

Wild Horse herd in Eastern Washington

Wild Horse herd in Eastern Washington

Wild Bear in Eastern Washington

Wild Bear in Eastern Washington

Wild Horse in Eastern Washington

Wild Horse in Eastern Washington

Wild Bear in Eastern Washington

Wild Bear in Eastern Washington

 

Wild Colt in Eastern Washington

Wild Colt in Eastern Washington

 

Big Head Clover Trifolium macrocephalum

Big Head Clover Trifolium macrocephalum

Grass Widows at Catherine Creek

Last year on January 30… wonder if they are back!

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I now have another Gallery Show set up at North Shore Cafe in White Salmon, Washington for February and March, come on by and visit!

Come see my best images  by clicking the image in the sidebar that says purchase Prints.  If you contact me directly to order a larger image I can get  you a better price than listed on that website. Use the contact form below.

 

 

Summer Joys on the Mountain

Yellow Water Lily and Damsel fly at Mirror Lake near Mount Adams, July 2013

Yellow Water Lily and Damsel fly at Mirror Lake near Mount Adams, July 2013

Yes I am going back to summer now, since it is brighter and warmer than what is outside!   These are all from my July 2013 folder from camping and hiking up in Bird Creek Meadows on the SE slopes of Mount Adams in southern Washington State.

Please share my work with your friends using the buttons at the bottom!  and check out the links in the sidebar and my calendars and books.  I am still working on my calendar for 2014.

Trail to Hellroaring Viewpoint from Bird creek Meadows.  This image can be seen in my galleries by clicking on the image.

Trail to Hellroaring Viewpoint from Bird creek Meadows. This image can be seen in my galleries by clicking on the image.

Valerian and Buttercup along the shores of Bird Lake

Valerian and Buttercup along the shores of Bird Lake

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sunset at Mirror Lake

sunset at Mirror Lake

underwater stump relic looks like a creature in Bird Lake

underwater stump relic looks like a creature in Bird Lake

 

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Heart Lake and Little Mount Adams in Tract D

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Bear Grass along the Bird Creek Road, Tract D

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Mount Adams is now visable from above the bridge and falls on the Bird Creek Road, thanks to the burned scar left by the Cold Springs Fire of 2008.. WIldflowers such at this Penstemon and the Bear Grass are becoming prolific in the previously desolate burn

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Dancing Cirrus uncinus clouds over Mount Adams brighten up a photo nicely!

Bear Grass was thick this year around Bird Lake and along the road in, as well as up in the meadows.

Bear Grass was thick this year around Bird Lake and along the road in, as well as up in the meadows.

 

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Native Columbine around Mirror Lake and Mount Adams

Yellow Avalanch Lily along the Bluff Lake Trail, blooming as the snow melts off the trail in late June to Mid July.  This trail is part of a wonderful loop starting and ending at Bird Lake that wanders up through Bird Creek Meadows, past Bluff Lake and Crooked Creek Falls.

Yellow Avalanch Lily along the Bluff Lake Trail, blooming as the snow melts off the trail in late June to Mid July. This trail is part of a wonderful loop starting and ending at Bird Lake that wanders up through Bird Creek Meadows, past Bluff Lake and Crooked Creek Falls.

 

Heather along the shores of Bird Lake in Tract D

Heather along the shores of Bird Lake in Tract D

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There are many deer that visit at Mirror Lake, I have watched their babies grow up

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Along the Heart Lake trail in Hellroaring Meadows, a view of Mount Adams

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This waterfall along Hellroaring Creek near Heart Lake is pretty low in this photo, but in the spring it roars.

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Spider on a Lupine around Bird Lake near Mount Adams

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Marsh Marigold in Bird Creek Meadows on Mount Adams

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Indian Paintbrush along the Bluff Lake Trail in Tract D on the East side of Mount Adams Wilderness. Tract D is on Yakama Indian Nation reservation and is managed by the Tribes, as a public access area for camping, fishing and hiking

Glorious sunset at Mirror Lake near Mount Adams in August 2013 This sunset image is available for purchase in my Smug Mug gallery which can be reached by clicking on the image.

Glorious sunset at Mirror Lake near Mount Adams in August 2013
This sunset image is available for purchase in my Smug Mug gallery which can be reached by clicking on the image.

 

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Part of my Tin Cup series, this is an old cup of my father’s. Dad, Claude Black, passed away in 1996 at age 88, and had carried this cup camping and fishing for many years. I carry it now and it brings me pleasure to drink mountain stream water from the cup and remember my Father.

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Another shot of a Yellow Violet with my Tin Cup… see previous shot for more information.

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Many of these little waterfall and wildflower shots are from along the Bluff Lake Trail not far from the campground at Bird Lake near Mount Adams. Again, part of the Tract D area

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I think this might be a Hoverfly but am not certain, but I know the flower is Arnica… seen on the Round the Mountain Trail, also known as Bird Creek Meadows trail

 

Hoverfly on a Mountain Bog Gentian along the Bird Creek Meadows Trail.

Hoverfly on a Mountain Bog Gentian along the Bird Creek Meadows Trail.

Hope you enjoy the sunshine on flowers, and have a happy feeling!

As I said above, check out the links in the sidebar.  Many of these images are going in the 4th edition version of the book “Trout Lake and Beyond” which is now up to 46 pages on this remodel! I will be displaying pages from there soon… as well as my 2014 calendar.

Thank you for your time

Darlisa Black

 

Views along the Climber’s Trail on Mount Adams

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One of my favorite places on Earth is up on the South Eastern Alpine slopes of Mount Adams in Bird Creek Meadows.  Part of Tract D, this area was part of the original Mount Adams WIlderness that was returned to the Yakama Nation in 1972 as per original Treaty of 1855.  More information on that story can be found here on the website for the

Yakama Nation Mt. Adams Recreation Area

Also you can find DIRECTIONS to Bird Creek Meadows below in the comments.

Recently I made the hike up the Climber’s Trail from the parking lot for Bird Creek Meadows, about a mile past Mirror Lake.  This is a steep rocky trail, about a Mile up to Hellroaring Viewpoint where it becomes a crossroad where you can continue upwards on the Sunrise Trail to a high altitude camp on the East side of Mount Adams, on Yakama lands (which does require a back country camping permit from the pay station at the parking lot) .   Here are a few scenes from Climber’s Trail:

midday light through the forest can be inspiring and uplifting.

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Coming through the woods I startled a Blue Grouse

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Along the way in late summer are many brilliant blue  Mountain Bog Gentian wildflowers, mingled among mountain Huckleberries, Corn Lilies, and other plants that turn red, orange and yellow.  Hoverflies and Bees and Butterflies flit about in the meadows.

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Mountain Bog Gentian by Starlisa Black Photography

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Rock formations along the way can be fascinating

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Climbing further up out of the forest, the trail winds along the ridge to the southwest of Hellroaring Meadows and Bench Lake and opens up to increased views of the surrounding  land, and many fascinating tree skeletons that get ever more fanciful as a person hikes up the sunrise trail to treeline.

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Mount Adams begins to show her face as the trees become sparse in this higher altitude.

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while looking to the Northeast you can see the red rock Little Mount Adams

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in the distance you can see Bench Lake down below Little Mount Adams.

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Looking far below you can see Bench Lake shining like a jewel among trees that looks sadly damaged from the infestation of Pine Bark Beetle or Spruce Bud Worm.  Bench Lake has a 41 site campground and is favored among fishermen and boaters, with a 3 mile loop trail down into Hellroaring Creek from the Lake.

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This is a view on another day from Bench Lake towards Mount Adams

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While from the Trail Mount Adams peeks through the trees

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And a DIstant view of Hellroaring Falls pouring down off the Mazama Glacier and a little hidden Tarn (lake)

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Soon the trail winds out into the open on a ledge overlooking Mount Adams, the Sunrise Trail, Hellroaring Falls and Meadows, Glaciers, and sometimes herds of Mountain Goats.

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While I was hiking I could hear loud echoing SNAP and rumble of an avalanche or slide , or perhaps a crevasse opening up.  I can see several new cracks and such from this hot weather.

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This Rock formation is called the Castle

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At this Viewpoint you can also choose to take the trail  0.8 miles down through the meadows to connect with the top of a  loop trail through Bird Creek Meadows.  This Loop is just over a mile in total length,  connecting on the bottom end with the #9 Round the Mountain Trail.  Take a left turn to travel back to the Parking Lot.

Here are some scenes along that upper Meadows trail and the Viewpoint Trail

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Not long below this stream, you run into the #9 trail, and it is about 3/4 -1 mile back to the Parking Lot and downhill all the way.  If you want a longer hike, there are several more possibilities, that include Crooked Creek Falls on the 100 trail, or more waterfalls and a lake on Bluff Lake Trail, both of which end at Bird Lake and can be done as another loop.

I hope you enjoyed my presentation, and please take time to check out my links in the sidebar for my books and such… I am working on 2014 Calendars and will be doing some presales on those, so email me at starlisa.black@gmail.com if you are interested in knowing more.  When they are finished, I will post an album showing the pages of the calendars.

I also recently came out with the 3rd edition of my Trout Lake and Beyond Book, 12 x 12 with 4 new pages of this years Aurora photos and others. They would make wonderful Christmas Presents!

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!

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