Photo Walks (part 1)

So, I am back from my week off. Despite the getting older part, birthday week was a blast. And, boy, did it ever remind me how important it is for our general well being to take some time for ourselves. My vacation was the perfect mix of social, quiet, resting, motoring and moving. I read (The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane), I drank a birthday mojito and sang-a-long to Grease, I hiked, I spent time with friends and family, I took pictures, I had a good time.

Taking pictures is one of my favorite things and I don’t do nearly enough of it. Since I am (with varying degrees of success, depending on the day) trying to make some lifestyle choices, I’ve been trying to focus on trading food for doing things that make me happy. Lately, I’ve been thinking about how nicely photography ties in with walking and hiking. I live in a photographer’s paradise and I want to move more. It is the perfect marriage of the two and a great non-foody way to spend time with friends, so one of my priorities for the week was to take some mini-motors to places where I could get outside, walk, and take some photos. 

While Oregon is beautiful, it also has a collection of spring-time personalities that would give Sybil a run for her money. Aided by weather.com, I chose most of my destinations based on where there was the most chance for sun and good scenery:

 Trip 1 – Columbia River Gorge & Maryhill

I’ve written about the Gorge and Maryhill so many times on my real blog that I have lost count. It’s funny. As a kid, I always groaned when my dad (who was not too imaginative with the destinations) would take the family for yet another ride to Multnomah Falls, but now the Columbia River Gorge is one of my favorite places. It is filled with history and interesting stories (if you don’t know the Multnomah Indian story about the origin of the falls, google it, it is a sweet story that I tell everyone I take there). I LOVE that I can drive 20 minutes from my house and be in the land of waterfalls and amazing views.

 

The only thing I love more than waterfalls is peacocks, and the grounds at of the museum at Maryhill are crawling with them. I think I read somewhere that they were orginally acquired to keep museum grounds free of snakes. The museum is home to an unexpectedly eclectic collection of art for a mansion atop a hill in the middle of nowhere. One of my favorites is the Theatre de la Mode exhibit. There are also some nice 19th century offerings (Rodin!), a pretty sculpture garden and some interesting regional native american artifacts. As wonderful as all that is, though, it’s the peacocks that keep luring me back.

I don’t know what it is about peacocks, but they make me happy. I mean, just look at this face and those colors! He was also very sweet and gentle and ate right out of my hand. He (and my neighbors) are lucky I didn’t smuggle him home. Unfortunately, I did not have my peacock crate along…this time.

Normally, I would have stopped in the town of Maryhill to buy fruit, but since it was still far too early, I just took a picture of the church. It dates back to 1888 and looked so pretty against the blue sky. I am not sure if this church was first built as a Quaker meeting house, but the original town of Maryhill was actually a planned community built by Sam Hill in hopes of creating a Quaker settlement. His plans never materialized (want of Quakers and a fire burned down most of the buildings), but the town still sits nestled between the river and the hills, selling fresh peaches, cherries and veggies to summer tourists passing through on their way to area attractions.

Getting out reminded me how fun it can be to walk and noodle around with my camera. We walked a lot and I didn’t even notice I was exercising, because I was so busy enjoying the day.  And so, I am resolved to spend a little time each day doing something I love. I hope you are too!

More photo walks later after I finish uploading pictures!

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