Well before sunrise I headed toward Oakridge with the initial idea of going up Salt Creek toward the ski area at the top of Willamette Pass but decided half way up-river that I would opt for the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette.  Seems like the last time I shot up there was with Dave Hill and Bruce McCammon and we were there in the autumn attempting to gather in the color found in the drainage.  The first stop I made this morning was along Dexter Reservoir to shoot the Lowell Covered Bridge.  I have tried a number of times to get a decent shot of this lovely, historic structure and I think this morning I may have succeeded.

Lowell_bridge

It was icy walking down the hill and that made for tricky footing.  I was looking down as I made my way back to the car and the detail in the frozen leaves along the path caught my eye.  There was still some color left in the decay.

Frozen_leaf_detail

Finally moving upriver I came to a major riffle/chute that we had spent time at on our last visit.  I decided not to go down to the river due to the slick, icy terrain and stayed off those slopes.  The river is still very pretty right now and I found both the mainstream and some of the tributaries worth a shot or two.

First_riffle

Almost right across the road was a small tributary and while I have shot many of these small streams I liked the S-curves in this images as the water made its way between the bed material.

Small_stream_detail

Visions/nightmares of recent outings on a road with a clear track but frozen hard snow along the margins lead me to turn around when the car started to scrape the frozen snow in the middle of the track.  (I did not have my diggers with me and I had not seen another soul for about 1.5 hours – better safe than digging!)

On the way back down I found one nice image of the stream just before it enters what is called The Canyon reach and managed to get a decent shot.  It was dark and cold in that canyon.

Upper_canyon_downstream_good

I love mornings like this one and time spent by myself in nature fills my heart and head.  Perhaps the next outing will be with my photography chums.

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