Sweet Creek

Monday, September 12
We put off venturing out to Sweet Creek, one of our favorite photo hikes, until today. It is a 1.1 mile hike immensely popular because of the many small waterfalls and cascades. We’ve done this short trail twice before, so I thought I wouldn’t want to spend all that much time along the creek. I was very wrong. Once again, we spent more than 4 hours making images and only stopped because the sun eventually got high enough to shine down through the trees onto the water.3160-swcreek1 3167-swcreek3We were there by 8:30 AM and there was only one other car in the lot. This was bright sunshiny morning, but the creek runs through a fairly deep gully with tall trees and heavy foliage on both sides, so we had full shade and no wind. The trail runs right alongside the creek, with quite a few places to branch off down to the water. In some places, a catwalk has been erected in the rock around edges where a trail could not be built.3195-swcreek4 3205-swcreek5Along the way we photographed all styles of waterfall. From punch bowl to horsetail to cascade, all can be found here. None of the falls are higher than maybe 20’ but I’m more inclined to emphasize the motion of the water than documenting the falls.3223-swcreek5a 3227-swcreek6 3250-swcreek7 3258-swcreek8 3268-swcreek9 3280-swcreek10One of the best spots along the trail is this double punchbowl waterfall. On this trip we found a large log had washed over the edge of the top waterfall completely obscuring it. A little disappointing, but it still is a compelling view.3285-swcreek11 3290-swcreek12 3301-swcreek13 3307-swcreek14 3324-swcreek15We stopped for lunch at this spot above and really didn’t photograph much beyond it. Sunlight had reached the gully and created hotspots everywhere. We had less than a quarter mile to the end, so we just walked it to the final waterfall, had a little rest and zipped back in about 30 minutes. A full morning and a fun time.

Cape Perpetua
Wednesday, September 143340-capeperpet1aWe decided to move up the coast 30 miles to the Cape Perpetua campground for just a day. We’d wanted to do some night work photographing from the farthest-out point on the trail at the Stone Shelter. The shelter sits 900’ above the shoreline and looks south down the coast. It should be dark enough, even with the full moon, to capture stars over this compelling viewpoint if we can stay out here long enough.3343-capeperpet2aWe were at the point about 30 minutes before sunset and took our time on the short trail out to the overlook. The light was getting very warm and soft so we stopped often at various points to view the waves and rugged shoreline.3351-capeperpet3a 3354-capeperpet4a3368-capeperpet6aOnce the sun went down, the few people who had come out to the shelter for sunset walked back to the parking area. The day use area is supposed to close at dusk, but there is no gate and no official around to boot us out, so we just stayed. It was unusually warm this evening. Balmy actually. We were out there until around 9 PM – long enough to record stars in the sky.
3407-capeperpet7aThe rising moon began influencing the scene before us. It illuminated the fog that had formed in the distance, adding another aspect. I also use a flashlight to “paint” light in the foreground, otherwise it would be a black hole. As we headed back, we were suddenly hit with the sea breeze. It went from calm and balmy, to very windy and cold in the period of about 30 seconds. We were surprised at how quickly the fog was moving. At this point, it was just plain cold, so we called it a night and headed back to camp.3416-capeperpet8aWhile I was happy with the images I got. Mary’s photos came out better. She caught better tail/headlights and her exposures seemed better. An interesting evening. Tomorrow, we head to the Astoria a little further north for a few days before moving up into Washington.

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