Last week I was so disappointed with the fall color along the McKenzie. The places I stopped and looked for color didn’t have what I wanted. I felt that I was a week too early for some of the maples, and a month too late for the others. I also had the feeling that since I was headed into Eugene and not on a photo trip, I was not really looking in the right places. As I was driving down the Highway I was noticing the campgrounds and other little side roads had photo potential, so I decided to comeback the next week. A Good Decision. My target was the Upper McKenzie River area. Stay away from the popular hiking trails and waterfalls, and not go in country far enough that we were in the hunting areas. I wanted to go back to the Carmen Reservoir Trailhead parking area but it is still closed. Just below the reservoir I found a small road headed towards the river and took it. It was blocked a few yards in, the river views were terrible, but the river was not my target. The maples were. Because the second growth forest protected that area the maple leaves were in their prime with little frost damage. I was in Fall Color Heaven. I spent nearly 2 hours photographing an area that was less than a mile long.

There were Yellows and Reds, Browns and Greens everywhere I looked.

It was an area I was comfortable in even though I had not been there before. I could wander with my camera, the dogs and my photo partner, and not worry about anything. Time was nonexistent. There was only the present and no future or deadlines.
I could look up, I could look out, and I could look down. I could break out my macro lens and photo small things on the ground

I would have liked to spent more time hiking this little dirt road and finding where it goes. I suspect it comes out somewhere close to Tamolitch falls. Maybe another time, it is already late afternoon. I had one other place I wanted to check …