Oregon Time Lapse Road Trip ( Day Seven )

I woke up at about 5:30am to the sounds of Jake moving the subaru in preparation for the sunrise.  As I crawled out of my tent I was welcomed to the world by the expansive flat and white surface of the Alvord Desert. Man it was an awesome site to see! Since it was still pretty dark out we had a good amount of time to set up our shots. I set up the D600 and D800 shooting a wide angle of the white lake bed and a zoomed shot of a nearby peak that would hopefully be lit up when the sun breached the horizon. 

Once the sunrise was finished we packed up the subaru and set up the quadcopter for some epic footage of the subie. I did a few warm up test flights and then hopped in the car with the drone controller so we could attempt some flying footage while driving. It was a little hard to gauge the speed at first but I caught on quick and we started to get some really awesome over head and side angle shots.  To finish it all off we decided to do some donuts. I mean how could you pass up an opportunity like that?! 

Now we were on our way back west and Smith Rock near Redmond Oregon. The drive took us a solid 5 and a half hours and we arrived right in time to set up our shots for sunset. I set up my first slider shot of the trip and Jake set up his with his slider and the emotimo. 

 Nice cloud coverage on the way to Smith Rock. 

Nice cloud coverage on the way to Smith Rock. 

 Sunset at Smith Rock.

Sunset at Smith Rock.

Since it was pretty much dark by the time we finished up we decided to camp out at the Smith Rock campgrounds. It was packed but we couldn't resist the $5 camp ground fee so we set up our tents and quickly started a couple time lapses of the stars to finish out the night.


Oregon Time Lapse Road Trip ( Part Six )

A good nights rest was much needed after our jam packed days in Crater Lake so no surprise that we didn't get going until about 8 or so. To make the morning even better Linda cooked us some killer waffles with fresh fruit! As we ate we got to talking with her about what she does and how long she has lived in LaPine. One of the things she seemed to enjoy the most was the time she spent volunteering at a chimpanzee sanctuary on the outskirts of Bend once a week. She showed us some photos of the chimps and told us that a majority of them come from the entertainment industry if they're lucky. Then she started to tell us about a place that was about half an hour from her home called Paulina Lake and how we should stop by and at least take some photos.

We decided to check it out and we weren't let down. Thanks Linda! Behind one of the lakes is a mountain top that you can drive up which overlooks the caldera and the two lakes that sit inside of it. We did some epic time lapsing there and flew the quadcopter for a few minutes. We also met quite a few people who were interested in the work we were doing so we handed out some of our business cards in hopes of them looking us up later! Once we wrapped up at Paulina lake we continued on our way out to the Alvord desert.

 Lake Paulina and East Lake

Lake Paulina and East Lake

We greatly underestimated the drive… With only a couple 10 minute stops for gas the drive still took us about 6 or 7 hours and it wasn't an overly beautiful drive either. The roads all the way there were basically flat and straight. (SR 26 anyone?) Nothing to see but smog which we were a little concerned about but figured that it would disappear by the time we got out to the desert since the weather forecast said clear skies. 

Sadly it didn't clear and when we got closer to the dried out lake bed we found out why. As we pulled onto Alvord road we started to see a red glow coming from over one of the hills of Mt. Steen. We were a little confused since it was pitch black out and figured that it must have been a fire going on and indeed it was! As we made our way down the 10 mile gravel road we started to see pickups full of firemen and soon we saw the full on fire that was about 5 miles from where were camping. 

When we got to the dried out lake bed we set up our tents along with two time lapses. The first one was aimed at a hill that was between us and the fire giving it a red outer glow as well as picking up a few small areas of stars that broke through the smoke. The other camera was pointed at our tents and out into the desert but since there were so many clouds and so much smoke it gave an eerie feel to the time lapse. (Photo below)

Once those finished up at about 12 or 1 we headed to bed excited to see what the desert actually looked like in the morning!

Text By: James Whelan 

Photos By: Jake Magraw