There is no way to briefly cover the wide assortment of adventures and locations I managed to fit in to a 4+ day photography roadtrip to Central Oregon this week. So why not break it all up into many segments to give due respect for every area of the natural world I was so pleased to visit?!
My first full day had me heading south from The Dalles, OR and roaming randomly planned back roads off the main highways with a goal to be hiking and photographing in the Painted Hills unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument some 12 hours later. Lots of time! I found wonderful abandoned structures such as churches and homesteads which I'll share in a later post here. My main first area was to barrel down into the Deschutes River Canyon near Shearer Falls, then up into the Tygh Valley where the White River flows through.
And here also lies a special hidden treasure of the Oregon State Park system, White River Falls State Park (http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_36.php). Here the White River leaves the flat valley land and dives into a stunning canyon on it's final approach toward the Deschutes River. What a joyous location to be lucky to have morning clouds to give nice details to the water and canyon walls.
The short hike down 1/4 mile to the river below the falls takes you to a wonderful relic of history, an abandoned old hydroelectric power plant which was built in 1910 and supplied Sherman and Wasco Counties with power until 1960. I could have spent a full hour just photographing stuff around this old building! But I had plans for heading east to both the Clarno and Painted Hills units of the fossil beds...so I'll save those for next and leave you with previews of White River Falls, my first main stop!
Next up, Clarno after a nice drive to Maupin, up Bakeoven Road, down through Antelope, and east across the John Day River to the Clarno unit!