Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Colors at Silver Creek Falls

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I know a lot of you consider fall to be the best time of the year.  I'm not quite convinced that any time of the year is better than any other, but I'll allow that fall is beautiful and has a lot to offer.  I think it's probably the best season for photography, since it offers great colors, more rain, and a much better selection of evening skies.

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Since Fall is really kicking in here in Oregon, I decided last weekend to head down to Silver Creek Falls.  It was supposed to be raining all day with no wind, so I figured it would be perfect for some great wet shots of the trees and creek and whatnot.

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It rained for a lot of the drive down, which was fine. I like driving in the rain, I feel so warm and comfortable in my car, and it's always like "Take that nasty weather!  I'll show you."  I'm not sure what I am showing, other than my ability to make a car payment.

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I always seem to think I can find a better way to get to Silver Falls, and inevitably I end up getting lost.  There are a lot of back roads crossing the valley between Portland and Salem, and it seems like I have determined that I will drive down each one of them.  On this trip, I wanted to replicate a drive I had taken the last time I visited, and planned out with a map before I left.  I was to take Hwy 213 from I-205.  It's so simple, I didn't even need to write it down.

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I'm not really all that familiar with the exits on I-205, since I basically only use a small section of it to get around town.  So I was trying to pay close attention, in the rain, in somewhat heavy traffic.  Suddenly there was a slew of highway offerings.  212.  224.  So many to choose from.  But no 213?  I must be confused and need 212.  224 is too big.

Then, as I get off the freeway onto 212, I see a sign for 213, just the next exit up... since it's about impossible to get back on the freeway, I figure I can just drive south on surface streets.  Ah, to be so optimistic...

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I won't bore you any more than I already have, suffice it to say I spent a half an hour longer than I wanted driving around some very pretty back roads before I finally found my way back to 213.  It was beautiful and frustrating at the same time.  I didn't arrive at Silver Falls until almost an hour after I had planned, and of course by then the rain had all dried up.

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I quickly revised my plans for the hike based on my late arrival.  It didn't really change much... I've hiked along the North Fork of Silver Creek plenty of times and know how far I can get in what period of time.  I also know all the spots from which to take photos, so it didn't require a lot of critical thinking on my part.  I just had to hustle.

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So I hurried down the path and made it to my turnaround point at just the right time.  I know I keep mentioning it, but 365 has really shaped the way I think through my photography, and I found it second-nature to make specific plans for each of my shots as I was walking down the path.  That was really cool.  All of these were planned out as I passed through the first time... and they all came out!

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I even learned from previous trips and made it to the north end before it got too dark for any photos.  As you should be able to see, it was a close call!  I probably should have moved a little more quickly, or skipped one or two of the more boring shots.  I think there was one vantage point from which none of the shots made the final cut.  Should have skipped that I suppose.

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As it is, I was very happy with the results.  I hope you are too!  Happy Fall!

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3 comments:

zenmasterlauren said...

these are gorgeous! I wish we got more of a color change here...we go from green to the ground!

Sean G said...

Thanks Lauren! That's the beauty of four seasons here in Oregon, we actually get to enjoy all the varieties there are.

Still, I'm super jealous of your thunderstorms, so I guess we can't have everything.

The Spicy Vegan said...

I've hiked Silver Falls before and I swear it was nowhere near as beautiful as your pictures imply. Your shots are simply stunning. Thank you for sharing.