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regnaD kciN

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Maple Valley, Washington
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 25,204

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In my life, there are two places that have been special to me beyond all others. Places where I instantly found myself at peace, closest to nature.

Yosemite National Park is one of them.

The Columbia Gorge is the other.

I have visited the Gorge many, many times since I've been a member of DU. No doubt you have seen many of my photographs from there.

Last Saturday, a group of teenagers playing with firecrackers in a burn-zone area, during the hottest and driest stretch of the year, managed to set brush on fire in the Eagle Creek canyon, probably the most celebrated and scenic area of the Gorge. Driven by strong east winds, the fire spread rapidly; amazingly enough, in the course of three days, it had spread forty-six miles to the east, crossed the Columbia River to the Washington side, threatened the outskirts of Portland, possibly damaged the city's water supply, and, astonishingly, managed to torch the entire Oregon side of the Gorge. The place I loved so much lies in ashes, unlikely to return to its now-past glory for half-a-century or more.

Here are some of my images from my travels to the Gorge. With the possible exception of the last two, all are now essentially destroyed.

Latourell Falls

Shepperd's Dell Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Wahkeena Falls

Lower Wahkeena Creek

Upper Wahkeena Creek

Fairy Falls

Multnomah Falls

Ponytail Falls

Horsetail Falls

Munra Falls

Wahclella Falls

Metlako Falls

Sorenson Creek

Punch Bowl Falls

Emerald Falls (possibly undamaged)

Gorton Creek (possibly undamaged)

At this point, my inclination, once the truth is known about the extent of the damage, is to remove these photographs from my website and never offer them publicly again. I wish to celebrate the beauty of nature as it is now, not as it used to be and is no more.

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