The Fruit Loop
Today was our big day in the Mt. Hood area. We planned to shoot sunrise at Trillium Lake, drive the Fruit Loop to check out the orchards between Mt. Hood and the Columbia River, and then shoot Lost Lake for sunset and maybe even stay up to shoot the Milky Way.
We got up at 5:00, took one look at the bald sky, and went back to bed. We could be a little more selective since we have shot sunrise at Trillium on several trips with better weather.
After a couple of extra hours of sleep, we ate breakfast and started The Fruit Loop. The area between Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge is a rich orchard and lavendar growing area. We saw pear trees, cherry trees, and sevaral types of apple trees. I'd love to photograph this area when the orchards are blooming, but we missed that for this year. And with today's bald sky, the lighting wasn't great.
Our best stop was Panorama Point. We had a 360 degree view of the area with Mt. Hood dominating the view to the west. Orchards stretched for miles in every direction. From there, it was only a short drive to the town of Hood River. This was supposed to be our lunch stop to be followed by Dairy Queen, but we were hours too early.
As we returned to Trillium Lake on the north leg of the loop, we took a detour to Lost Lake. This is another one of our favorite locations in the area because of the reflections of Mt. Hood in the lake and the forest surrounding the lake. We had lunch in the car in the day-use parking area and discovered that the area closed at dusk. Any thoughts of shooting the Milky Way at Lost Lake were gone. This was our best location for shooting the Milky Way on the "mountain part" of our trip. It was breezy this afternoon, so there were no reflections of Mt. Hood. We took a few shots along the northern shore, but we didn't get anything very interesting.
We finished the afternoon by completing the Fruit Loop and driving back to camp. There still weren't any clouds on our side of Mt. Hood, so we downloaded images and got re-organized.
At sunset, I drove down to the dam to shoot sunset, but the lack of clouds or any interesting light limited it to a very nice evening hanging out at the lake.