Brian's Photo Blog — Article 353
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Drift Creek Falls and Cascade Head Doubleheader Outing
Thursday 17 July 2014   —   Category: Outings
To celebrate the 4th of July, my daugh­ter, wife and I went to a doubleheader — no, not two baseball games, but two hikes! On the 3rd we headed out at 6:00 AM on the 75-mile, 100-minute drive from Albany to the Drift Creek Falls Trailhead, not too far from Lincoln City.

Unlike the amazing diversity of the Tah­ken­itch Dunes, this 3.7-mile-roundtrip hike has only two real attractions: the 240-foot-long Drift Creek Falls Sus­pen­sion Bridge, more than 100 feet above the canyon floor, and the 66-foot Drift Creek Falls itself. Each of the 28 photos in the resulting Drift Creek Falls 2014 album, except for one, has one or the other, or both, of these grand sights as the subject. I could have stayed in this enchanting location, soaking in the wonder, for a long time, but we had other places to go and other sights to see.

Once we had returned to the parking lot and had devoured a well appreciated lunch, seated at the solitary picnic table, we were ready for the second half of our doubleheader. We headed northwest for a short drive to Cascade Head — about 4 or 5 miles north of Lincoln City, Oregon and just north of the Salmon River.

This four and a half mile round trip hike has a gain in elevation of 1,200 feet. In other words, if you go all the way to the upper viewpoint, it’s pretty darn steep! This should be apparent from the black and white photo to the lower right. After parking at sea level, we got a taste of what was to come when we encountered 105 wooden steps ascending the first hillside — the trail makers would not have used steps if it wasn’t too steep for a normal trail!

A couple of hours later, by the time we reached the top of the final 1,200-foot hill, my heart was pounding, my head was very hot, and I felt like I was going to collapse! Nevertheless, I suppose I have to admit that the view was worth it. Even though it was not a hot day, it would have been much better to be on the trail in the cool of the morning rather than in the afternoon.

Photographically, it wasn’t such a good outing. The weather was overcast and somewhat hazy, resulting in muted col­ors, yet there was still a lot of contrast between the whitecaps and the forest trees. Not wanting clipped highlights, I compensated too much by un­der­ex­pos­ing most of the photos, which muted the colors even more. The images I brought home were a yucky, muddy mess.

It took a lot of work in Adobe Lightroom to wring some decent exposure and colors out of them. But as I discovered quite a while back, converting pictures to black and white can really save the day! The new, modestly sized Cascade Head 2014 album contains 21 photos. There are six monochrome images — four which are black and white only, and two of which I have made both color and monochrome versions. This album also features two panoramas, plus a number of macro shots of flowers. So even though the photographic conditions were challenging, things turned out halfway decent in the end.

Slightly less than 13 hours after we had hit the road, our doubleheader photographic-hikes outing came to a close. But the effects on our muscles were evident for days to come!
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 353
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