Sometimes photo shoots feel more like treasure hunts. Despite the wealth of information one can find on-line, there are still plenty of places in this world one must find without a clear path of success. In this case it was the Wind River Hot Spring out in the Columbia River Gorge just east of Portland.
I’m a big lover of hot springs. I’d argue they are just about the most relaxing thing a person can do in nature. Fortunately the Pacific Northwest is dotted with quite a few. Unfortunately they tend to be popular and as such don’t always make great locations for photo shoots. Nudity is generally accepted, but I don’t want to be that rude person who brings out a camera and starts taking pictures while other people are trying to relax.
The Wind River Hot Spring is a little different. It isn’t professionally maintained by the parks department nor is it even marked with a well defined trail. Nestled right up against a raging river it can be incredibly difficult to find. It actually took me three attempts, following along a river bank and going by the scent of sulfur in the air. Rain and mud slides tend to change the landscape, sometimes on a daily basis, and finding a random hole in the ground in a place as expansive as the Columbia River Gorge is difficult to say the least.
On the day I finally found the Wind River Hot Spring it was cold and rainy. The suited the model and I just fine as the lovely warm water meant we could take our time despite the less than ideal weather. In the end I was very pleased with the way the rain drops became visible on film.