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Lost Lake in Two Acts, Part 1

June 15, 2015

This past spring, a little part of Oregon became a big hit on social media. It’s an area of the Mt. Hood National Forest called Lost Lake. The reason of the social media coverage is because the lake — funny enough — disappears (hmmm … is lost, perchance?) each spring, when it is too cold for the mountain snow to melt, but we start to lose our monthly rainfall.

Of course, the funniest part is how few of these sites got the story right. The lake, while relatively close to a highway, is easily 30 minutes up a windy mountain road. There is no way that drivers from the closest highway would ever be able to see it.

That said, I found the lake for the first time last fall. I was staying on the other side of the mountain range, in Welches, Oregon, and I was in search of a new place to take pictures of the super moon with Mt. Hood in the foreground. After a little searching, I found Lost Lake and decided to make the extreme, insane, backwoods trip on a mostly gravel pass called Lolo Pass Road that was barely wide enough for one car, let alone two (and traffic definitely traveled in both directions on the narrow passage).

While I made it to the lake without incident (thankfully), I barely made it in front of a bank of clouds headed our way. Within a very short period of time, the glorious view of Mt. Hood was quickly obscured before the moon could even rise.

Lost Lake 02

Lost Lake 04

Lost Lake 05

Lost Lake 06

Even a relatively rare lenticular cloud made an appearance.

Lost Lake 07

It became clear very quickly that I was not going to have the chance to capture the mountain and the moon in the same image.

Lost Lake 08

So, I headed back down the mountain and tried to capture an evening photo …

Lost Lake 09

… with only limited success …

So, I decided that I was going to return this spring to try again. I booked two nights at the Lost Lake Lodge, determined to get an amazing sunrise photo of the mountain.

Mother Nature had other plans.

Lost Lake 15 01

Yep, that would be the lake. All three days I was there, the surrounding mountains were blanketed in low-level clouds and fog. I awoke before 5 a.m. each morning, only to find rain falling all round. Each evening, the rain lifted, but the clouds remained.

I could have been frustrated, but I decided that this was a great chance to find beauty among the dreariness. So, I hiked …

Lost Lake 15 02

And appreciated the scenery …

Lost Lake 15 03

And decided that I could always find another view of the beauty that is Mt. Hood …

Lost Lake 15 04

Even if it meant driving back down the mountain to get the shot I had always dreamed of …

Lost Lake 15 05

I will always love this mountain. It is symbolic of Oregon and all that is wild and beautiful. So what if it confounds my photography aspirations on a regular basis? Such is the joy of the pursuit …

From → Random Beauty

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