After seeing a very cool pic of RamiJ’s photo of the area, I had to capture one myself. He gave me the inspiration to capture my image below.

The plan: I flew up to Portland, again, and arrived around 10pm. Jon G came down from the outer Seattle area to come pick me up. We had reserved a SUV for the trip, but Jon decided in the end to drive his car. Plus, Alamo’s computer system was down and would have been a pain to get the paperwork done. We forwent the rental reservation. We set out to Boardman, OR which was 3 hours east of Portland. The estimated time of arrival was going to be about 1am. On our way there and after about 45 minutes of driving, Jon noticed that his car was making a funny noise. It sounded like a wheel bearing because when turning to the right, the noise went away–typical of a bad bearing on the right side. Then the noise would disappear when turning left, therefore probably not the bearings. We decided to turn around and head back to Portland and get the rental car in the end. Jon also searched for a Firestone Auto Repair Center to drop his car off to get looked at and repaired for Sunday. Instead of getting the $45 SUV rental, we got a Dodge Challenger for just $20 bucks more! It made a difference because instead of getting in at 3:15am, we got to the hotel out there in Boardman at 2:46am! I was dozing off toward the end. We got into the room at the motel and crashed.

I woke at 6am to clean up and Jon woke closer to 630am. Todd was up and atom that morning. He was waiting outside of his room at 630am sharp in shorts. It was about 43 degrees F outside. Not my typical shorts day. We decided to eat breakfast across the freeway at a cafe. The breakfast was going to be the best it can get out there. Todd said he’s pretty much checked into all the places in this small town. We all caught up and then made our way to the tree farm a little more east of Boardman.

Todd arrived earlier on Saturday to scope out the place. It was good that he did because we didn’t have to waste time hunting around. When we arrived to the area he had visited the day before, the trees were looking a bit sparse. They weren’t as full as they might have been a week or so before. We might have been a week or two too late. There were not too many areas to photograph. Luckily the area Todd found was great. We photographed all morning under cloudy conditions. It was a bit windy as well, which was cool because the leaves were falling like yellow snow flakes, but then made the trees a little blurry. The sun finally came out around noon time. We got excited to see a little bit of blue sky. In addition, the trees created neat linear shadows on the access road covered with leaves. We quickly snapped a whole bunch of photos.

My best pic I like is below. I kinda had a feeling I captured a great photo and even said, “I think it is in the tin!” Peter Lik says this. After getting immediate approval from my buddies, they started to set up next to me to capture the same composition. Later on, they were nice enough to say I can post my composition first. I appreciated the consideration, but I didn’t mind.


We were all quite hungry after shooting the whole morning continuously. We stopped off at a burger place across the freeway. They had a great vanilla milkshake. Afterwards, we parted ways. Todd made his way back to Seattle and Jon and I left to head back to Portland to get his car from Firestone and then return the rental car. Jon and I ate at Pizano’s Pizza near the Cascada Shopping area. It was quite good. We both had a caesar salad, pizza, and a soda for $16 including tip! Afterwards, Jon dropped me off at the Residence Inn (Marriott) near the airport and he made his way back home. I went up to my room, edited a few pictures, and then fell asleep in the bed. The next morning, I had to get up early for a 7am flight back home to SFO. My flight was delayed due to foggy weather at SFO allowing me to edit some more pics on the plane.

All in all, it was a great and quick trip that produced some nice images. I submitted the pic above onto 500px.com and was well received by that community. Just like my Japanese Maple Tree, it received a rating of 99.6! Wow! I just can’t believe it. The support is much appreciated.