Series Kickoff: Explore all of Oregon

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My feet in a picture of a dock on Lake Odell

I am currently working on a project to Explore All Of Oregon. It’s ambitious. I’ll be gathering content for my photopigs articles along the way. These travelogues will appear rarely, only about every 6 weeks, but will give you a look into what it’s like to travel around Oregon. You will see shots of some strange things I come across, where I stay and some of the roads I wander down.

Either this cabin is slanted or the lake is. Since this is Episode 0, I am using some examples from my Washington trip. This is a cabin I rented in Olympic National Forest.

More than half of Oregon is public land. We have forests, mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, deserts and more. Long stretches of road go through sparsely inhabited areas. Abandoned railroad tracks have been converted into trails, and more railway track hikes are coming. Some towns and cities has seen massive growth because people move here to be near all the outdoor activities, and some areas are becoming forgotten and lined with shuttered diners and rest stops. Some lodges from the car touring era of the 1920s still exist, and some people are building offbeat places to stay to cater to the modern Instagram crowd. Lots of people come to my state to see amazing things and I want to get out and see more of it for myself.

Why do I mean by Explore All Of Oregon?

I’ve driven down some dodgy roads. My tiny car has been through a lot.

I hung a map of Oregon over my desk. I’ve marked every route and interstate I’ve been on. I intend to go on all of them, with lots of stops to hike or snowshoe along the way. I had originally been working on a project to do every hike in the Columbia River Gorge. Due to the Eagle Creek Fire, many of the trails are badly damaged. The heat of the fire destabilized the southern wall of the gorge.

We don’t even have a timeline on when we can get back onto the trails again. Since many of the nearby waterfalls, overlooks and historical sites are closed, I am going to start hitting up the places I’ve never been. Filling in the map sounded like a good starting point to seeing a lot more cool things. It’s been great so far. Without this project I would never have gone to Vernonia.

Where I’m going and what I’ll do

My cat getting in the way of me exploring Oregon.The first few of these posts will be retro reviews. I’ve already done a few trips out to see more of my state. If you’ve seen any of my articles to date, you likely know I’ve been to Crater Lake down in Southern Oregon a few times recently.

Every place has a unique feel to it. I love trying to capture what gives place their particular flavor. Some times it is grand views, sometimes it is small details. Finding ways to express what places are like has driven me to become a better photographer. It is why I process my landscapes the way I do, trying to be as close to the experience as possible instead of going super HDR.

Most of my trips will be somewhat near Portland at first. My cat is old and objects to me being away from home for too long. She used to come with me, but she’ll be eighteen years old in a few months and retired from traveling.

I hope you enjoy my trip reports showing cabins, trains and broken bridges! If you would like to follow my adventures in somewhat real time, you can find me on Instagram. I don’t always have cell coverage when out exploring, so some postings get delayed. Let me know what things you want to see! Chat with me here or on Forumbee if you think I need to be shooting more bookstores and VHS rental places. What aspects of rural and small town Oregon should I be documenting?

 

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