Columbia River Gorge, Oregon, USA by Earl Robicheaux

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Picture Story

About every year I get together with a group of 3 to 5 fellow photographers for a trip to a photo spot, mostly in the US. In November 2013 we got together for a visit to the Columbia River Gorge to work the waterfalls on both the Oregon and Washington side of the Columbia River. With over 50 waterfalls just on the Oregon side of the river, there are lots of opportunities for great images with the combination of fall color, clouds, rain and green undergrowth. The image here, is one of my favorites from the trip, the Elowah Falls and it captures most of the 228 feet of the primary falls in the background. I had to climb down the bank and get to the other side of McCord Creek to capture this image of the small rapids and to set the frame for the primary falls and its siblings.

Elowah falls lies within the John B Yeon State Scenic Corridor and is one of the gems of the Columbia River Gorge. It is a relatively easily 2.4 miles round trip from the John B. Yeon trailhead to the falls with around 260 elevation gain. McCord Creek also includes the Upper McCord Creek falls which sometimes gets included in the total height measurement of 289 ft. A local mountaineering group, the Mazamas, gave the waterfall its current name in 1915. There is no known meaning to Elowah but it is interestingly close to the Hebrew name for God, Eloah. The tragedy of the Eagle Creek Fire of 2016 burned a large section of the gorge and made getting to the Elowah falls not possible for several years and now with the COVID-19 virus, access is one again closed off until the all clear is given.

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