New Panoramas of Oregon

(March 10, 2008)

With two years of catching up to do, this update increases the number of panoramas of Oregon on the site from 257 to 375. Let me tell you about it guidebook by guidebook.

The Oregon Coast:
In June of 2006 I finished my long trip to the northwest with a couple of days on the southern Oregon coast. I came over the mountains from Corvallis to Newport on Yaquina Bay, then worked my way south. There are new panoramas in the following localities: Newport, Alsea Bay and Yachats, Heceta Head, Cape Blanco, Port Orford, Rogue River, and Boardman State Park.

My favorites are one taken late in the day at Whaleshead Beach in Boardman State Park, and a scene with local people crab fishing by the big bridge at Yaquina Bay.

Portland and the Willamette Valley plus Southern Oregon:

I have added several new views of Oregon City, including the John McLoughlin House National Historic Site. See the Oregon City localitiesfor both the upper town and the lower town. This was the first incorporated city in the west, along with many other firsts, and was the official end of the Oregon Trail.

New panos of historic Champoeg, the birthplace of American Oregon in the Willamette Valley, Canyonville and Grants Pass in southern Oregon, and the new Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument near the California border. Once again I had to skip Salem because of a lack of time - but next year for sure.

The Columbia Gorge and Oregon Cascades:

In the Columbia Gorge section I have added some much-needed spherical shots of waterfalls, such as Latourelle and Multnomah. There are new panos in every locality except Bonneville Dam, just start at Crown Point and work your way east. I particularly like the shots of Wah Gwin Gwin Falls at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River.

In July 2007 I spent a week in the Oregon Cascades, enjoying a long day hike in the Marion Lake area, despite the fact that most of it was through recently burned forest, another day seeing waterfalls and forests on the upper McKenzie River and Willamette Pass Highway, plus the dramatic lava fields of McKenzie Pass.

I planned to spend two days on Mount Hood, but had to cut it short when heavy smoke from a fire on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation cut visibility and made breathing difficult. All I managed to see before beating a strategic retreat was Timberline Lodge. But there was an unexpected bonus - it was Smokey the Bear's birthday, and he posed for a picture with me! (Smokey is the one on the left).

I also finally got around to taking the boat tour at Crater Lake. The views of the lake from the rim drive viewpoints are beautiful , but the lake level perspective is very different.

Only two tours a day go to Wizard Island, which I have always wanted to visit, so I had to get up early to stand in line (no reservations taken). We only had two hours on the island, just enough time to hike to the top of the cinder cone, around the rim, and have lunch. Fast-moving clouds made panoramic photography difficult, but it was a very satisfying day's outing. Recommended. My favorite shot features one of the silvery snags on the crater rim.

Eastern Oregon:
In summer 2007 I targeted a few previously overlooked areas east of the Cascades. First, the lower John Day River and John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, which consists of the Sheep Rock unit and the Painted Hills unit. I particularly like an other-worldly shot of the boardwalk at Painted Cove.

Back closer to the mountains, I documented the charming town of Sisters, including one of my periodic personal appearances, in a delightful campground in the ponderosa pine forest east of town. Further south, I added a few shots from Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the interesting area around Fort Klamath.

There are a lot more panoramic opportunities waiting for me in Oregon and I plan to visit there every year. I need to revisit the Kalmiopsis area in the southwest corner and Smith Rock near Bend. I love the river canyons on the west slope of the Cascades, and need to get back to the alpine meadows on Mount Jefferson when they are summer green and flowery. The Oregon coast always beckons, and I need better panos of the Seaside and Cannon Beach area, and the Cascade Head preserve.

But most importantly I need to spend a few days concentrating on the charming city of Portland. It was on my itinerary in both 2006 and 2007, but got rained out both times.

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