Thursday, June 21, 2012

Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

Cool places abound in the Mt Hood NF!

It seems everywhere you go, there are fun things to do and great places to explore.  And once you think you have found them all, you turn down a new road and "bam" there is something new to check out.

As a case in point, I give you the foot bridge in Rhododendron OR at the base of Mt Hood.

While out adventuring around one day taking the back road up to Trillium Lake, I drove through a little area of cabins just outside of town. As the road dead ended I saw what looked like a trail head so I hopped out to check it out. What I found was this cool foot bridge that lead from the cabins over the river and right into the center of town! As I crossed the bridge I couldn't believe I found my self standing practically right on HWY 26.  I had drove by this bridge well over 100 times over the years and had no idea it was there.

Well, the light was really bad but I went ahead and shot a few pics anyway. While the bridge was very interesting and unique, no matter what angle I shot from or what lens I used, the light  and the conditions were just to poor.

So after I worked it as much as I could, I gave up, telling myself I would need to come back when the conditions were better.

A few months later I had a day free and had dedicated it to shooting some new stock images. As the shoot day came closer, the weather conditions were looking prime for some great fresh snow shots and as I started to lay out a plan for where to shoot, I remembered that bridge.
Perfect I thought. Easy safe drive to the base of the Mt, and with Green River Canyon and "The Old Salmon River Trail"close by, I would have 2 locations to shoot that would offer totally different looks.
While it snowed heavy over night and was forecast to snow more throughout the day, I did not want to chance getting there and have the sun come out and have the same harsh light as before. Plus, the earlier I got there the fresher the snow would be with less chance of others messing it up.

So.......... at 0 dark thirty, I was loaded up and on the road. And as it turns out, it was a good thing I did.
I arrived just as it was getting light enough to shoot and the bridge looked perfect.
Grabbing my camera and leaving the tripod behind, I rushed out onto the bridge and shot a few quick shots. It was so pretty and the conditions were just amazing but I new it wouldn't last. Earlier, as I was driving out, I had passed some people walking towards the bridge and I wanted to make sure I got some shots before they got there. And, sure enough, just after I shot a few frames and was reaching in my bag to change lenses, two kids came running around the corner and proceeded to run across the bridge knocking off all the fresh snow, totally ruining the shot in a matter of seconds. BUT, by getting there early, and shooting quickly, I had got the shot that just moments later was ruined forever.

How to get there.....

Rhododendron is located near the base of Mt Hood, about an hour east of Portland OR.
The bridge is located on the SW side of HWY 26 just before you get to the Dairy Queen. There is a small gravel parking area just off the road and the bridge sits just a few yards back in the trees.

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