Punchbowl Falls

Cascade Range, Oregon

You don't know what you've got until it's gone...

Personal Favorite
This is one of my personal favorites. Maybe because it’s such a classic from the Columbia River Gorge area, but I think it has more to do with the somewhat perfectly shaped bowl spilling water into a bigger bowl. And when you’re standing at this spot (I’m actually down creek a bit, using a telephoto lens), there’s just some kind of magic here that I can’t explain.

Which makes this story quite tragic, because the Eagle Creek Fire of 2017 began just a few yards from this spot, devastating the area—less than a year after I took this photo. And then, most likely due to the loss of vegetation on the cliffs, a massive chunk of the wall (right side of the photo) fell on the exact spot where I’m standing, burying it under tons of rock, and changing the landscape forever.

The shallow portion of the long pool is gone, most likely forever, eternally buried under massive boulders. I’ve seen pictures, and it’s just not even close to what it was, which makes this photo all the more bittersweet yet precious to me.

You really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

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