Two weeks ago on Sunday we were on our way….six retired guys, in two vehicles, with a stack of camping gear and bags of camera gear. Our destination: Silver Falls State Park just east of Salem, Oregon. A long discussed trip had finally materialized.
We arrived at the park Monday afternoon having stopped for the night at Ellensburg, Washington. After checking in we found our accommodation, three yurts. I hadn’t heard the word ‘yurt’ before. My first guess was that it was some sort of goat. Rather it was a small manufactured log cabin. The driver and co pilot of each vehicle chose a yurt each leaving the last one for me and our other back seat passenger. From then on we were known as the ‘back seat boys’.
Rain fell steadily as we unloaded and moved into our yurts. And I believe that this damped our expectations. As it turned out rain fell mostly in the late afternoon and at night. This cramped our style for cooking, eating and long chats around the campfire. Daytimes, however, were cloudy and quite pleasant. We were thrilled with the resulting light quality.
After breakfast on Tuesday we headed off to the Silver Falls State Park trail head, a 15 minute drive. Low expectations were quickly upgraded. The park, a narrow gorge with a rushing creek and 8 waterfalls the highest being almost 200 feet high and in my opinion the prettiest with around a 50 foot drop, was serenely beautiful.
More so than just the falls, this was an area of old growth rain forest. The trees were magnificent! Some, I guessed, would parallel the size of those found in Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island. I’m not overly religious but when I’m in the midst of a forest where the tree are so ancient I find the feelings I hold to be very spiritual.
While we hiked through and saw many parts of the park I could have spent the day along the trail to the Upper Falls, a short distance from the parking lot. There was so much to photograph. The falls was our first objective. The fall colours accented the greens and browns of the forest. Rain had left the landscape wet and vibrant. So many compositions were there to make. Leaves and small mushrooms challenged our microphotography skills.
The collection of images below is but a small sample of our day at Silver Falls State Park.
Next edition, The Oregon Coast.