When you drive up the Columbia River Gorge on the highway it is really tough to tell sometimes that you are passing through a pretty major mountain range. The mountains are certainly there but they tower above so high that it isn’t really obvious what is going on. If you drive I-84 and look across at Washington the mountains are not as abrupt or as steep as on the Oregon side so you have the illusion that you are passing through a gentle valley. That’s far from the truth.
I love to find places where the river is fairly narrow and you can easily photograph across it. Moffett Creek below Bonneville dam is one of the places where that is possible. With fresh snow on the mountains and the rocky terrain I knew I wanted to visit here and capture a Union Pacific train crossing the bridge. UP set me up with two trains for this so I took advantage.
What is hard to see in this image is how tall the mountain in the background really is. The river is around 40′ above sea level and Wauneka Point tops out at over 2800′ (according to mytopo.com)! This image is actually a panorama shot vertically at 51mm and from what I can tell I’m only showing about 1/3 of the mountain. Impressive to be in the Cascades.