Sometimes a photo brings back a great memory

I had taken a trip to Hood River back in December 2008. Typically, you get down to the Portland area in December, expecting mid-40s and soft gray cloud cover. That year on December 14th, a massive cold front pushed down from Canada. It settled into the Willamette Valley, dropping temperatures into the low teens in the interior and sub-zero with the winds along the Columbia River. For days, the temperature held. Then the snow started and seemed never to stop. Eventually, over 30 inches would fall that week.

Photography is a lot about dealing with the unexpected. While my friend Erik (who was along for the adventure) and I had planned for some level of cold weather, we were not prepared for the bite and snap of the arctic blast. Most stores were closed, but we eventually found an open Wal-Mart. We loaded up with extra blankets for the car, food, and warm layers. Erik also purchased one of the ugliest hats I have ever seen. Uneven and lopsided ear flaps of faux fur made quite the reverse fashion statement.

As we got out onto the very icy and slow-going roads, we pulled into Multnomah Falls; an amazing 620ft fall waterfall. By the 16th, most falls have frozen into a magic land of rock and ice. Standing in the freezing cold with a wind chill pushing sub-zero, I made a few clicks before heading back to the warmth of the car.

I found this image during a clean and purge of some older photographs. As the memory of the trip came flooding back, I knew a world black and white treatment would speak better to the experience and feeling of standing there in the cold, mesmerized by the ever-changing landscape of ice and snow.

May 11, 2022

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