Columbia River Gorge – Day 5 – Eagle Creek and Punchbowl Falls

Thursday, April 26

Punchbowl Falls, Eagle Creek Recreation Area, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA (Brad Mitchell)

Punchbowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Another rainy day … perfect for photographing waterfalls, streams and wildflowers again.  Today’s adventure:  hiking up Eagle Creek to shoot Punchbowl Falls, a classic Pacific Northwest shot.

Extra tennis shoes and hiking socks my backpack, I headed up the trail 1.9 miles to a rocky beach just downstream of Punchbowl Falls.  You can’t actual see the waterfall from here yet as the view is blocked by a huge rock buttress.  You actually have to wade out into the river to see it around the corner of the buttress.

Being that Eagle Creek is running high due to spring snow-melt and heavy rain, I zipped off the legs of my convertible hiking pants and started to wade out using a ski pole and my tripod for support against the current.  I ended up at about mid-thigh, my hiking shorts about an inch above the waterline.

I must say that the water was cold, but not shockingly cold.  It wasn’t till I was back on shore toweling off my legs that I noticed why.  My skin was actually numb.  I couldn’t feel the towel on my legs as I was drying them off!

What silly things we photographers do for a shot.

In the end, only a few of the photos I took were sharp.  This is likely caused by vortex-induced vibration from the river’s current flowing over the tripod legs.  I guess I should have turn on image stabilization.

Eagle Creek Trail cut into cliff, Eagle Creek Recreation Area, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA (Brad Mitchell)

Eagle Creek Trail cut into cliff, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

Chocolate Lily found along Eagle Creek Trail, Eagle Creek Recreation Area, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA

Chocolate Lily

Stream Violet found along Eagle Creek Trail, Eagle Creek Recreation Area, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA

Stream Violet

Rockslide Larkspur found along Eagle Creek Trail, Eagle Creek Recreation Area, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA

Rockslide Larkspur

Shooting star found along Eagle Creek Trail, Eagle Creek Recreation Area, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA

Shooting Star

Eagle Creek and mossy maple trunks, Eagle Creek Recreation Area, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon, USA (Brad Mitchell)

Eagle Creek and mossy maple trunks, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon

 

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