Brian's Photo Blog — Article 341
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Alsea Falls and Green Peak Falls Prime
Thursday 26 June 2014   —   Category: Outings

For a few years now I have been wanting to visit nearby Alsea Falls, but you KNOW how hard it is to find those darn round tuits!

Located south of Marys Peak and west of Finley National Wildlife Refuge, it took me just under an hour to drive the 42 miles from my home in southwest Albany. By 7:30 I was at the top of Alsea Falls — about 100 feet from the parking lot — enjoying the early-morning light and crisp air.

Because this waterfall is so accessible, there are numerous locations from which to view it — from the top of the falls to a fair distance downstream, as well as various points in between. There were so many possibilities that I spent the next hour taking shots from quite a few different angles!

As you can tell from the word “Prime” in the title of this article, this was another outing for which I decided to take prime lenses only. Because my primary subjects were two waterfalls, almost all of the photos were taken with either my Olympus 12mm f/2.0 or my Olympus 25mm f/1.8. Once I was further downstream, I was able to get one shot of Alsea Falls with my Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and one with my Olympus 75mm f/1.8. I didn’t have any opportunity to try out my grandfather’s old Tamron 135mm f/2.8, nor my Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro lens.

Finally, I tore myself away from Alsea Falls, and headed along a trail north to Green Peak Falls, about a mile and a half away. Unfortunately, once I arrived at the privately-owned Hubert K. McBee Memorial Park — about halfway to the falls — I took a wrong turn. Or, more accurately, I failed to take the correct turn, and mistakenly kept going straight instead.

Although it was my own stupid fault for not consulting the map closely enough, I had also misunderstood from Bill Sullivan’s instructions in 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range that I could simply follow the signs to Green Peak Falls. Unfortunately, a sign at McBee Park was wrong, leading me to the inaccessible north side of Peak Creek instead of the south side as Mr. Sullivan’s map and instructions clearly indicate.

So I went on a frustrating detour which cost me almost an hour. The one good thing to come out of it was this interesting shot of an abandoned car in the forest. That’s something you don’t see much of in Oregon — in fact, it was a first for me.

Once I got back to McBee Park, I did what I should have done in the first place: turn east into an open picnic area while still south of Peak Creek. If you cross Peak Creek, you've gone the wrong way! On the far side of that clearing is a marked trail leading into the forest. Live and learn! Next time I’ll pay better attention, and not assume I know the way!

Finally I made it to Green Peak Falls, and was rewarded with more beautiful sights and many more photos which attempt to capture that beauty. Because I had allotted myself only half a day for this outing, I felt a bit rushed all morning. If I could have done it differently, I would have taken a picnic lunch and planned on staying all day — there is enough in this area to see and explore.

All in all I took 103 pictures on this outing, with the best 26 ending up in the Alsea & Green Peak Falls 2014 album — including a panoramic photo of Alsea Falls. I was even able to turn an accidental shot I took while moving my camera around into a work of abstract art — view it here.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 341
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