Driving east down the Columbia River Gorge, the weather was perfect. Not too cold, no rain, and a starry, cloud free sky. Perfect weather for taking pictures of star trails. Getting off of I-84 at Rufus, OR, I started the drive up Scott Canyon Road. Coming over the hill, I started to see the red lights of the windmills.
Turning left onto Herrin Road, I drove along slowly, watching out for deer on the road. The road takes a sharp curve downward, the starts an ascent up a small hill. At the crest of the hill, the full scene hits you like a ton of bricks. Hundreds of giant wind turbines, neatly lined up, dot the rolling landscape. Parking at a memorial viewing site, I get out of the car only to have the wind whip my hair across my face. I grabbed the heavy bag of books that I use to weigh down my tripod, and set up shop for the night.
Braving the cold, I do a number of exposures involving the wind turbines, full moon, and stars, all with great results. The awe-inspiring power of the windmills was fully evident on that beautiful night. Each wind turbine is taller than the Statue of Liberty, and the blades quietly slice through the night air, providing clean electricity to Portland General Electric.
I wholeheartedly recommend a trip to any windmill farm in the Columbia River Gorge, especially at night. The giant turbines are humbling, hulking, and beautiful as they slowly rotate along with the earth.
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