Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Subjects Starting with the Letter-S

Patti Moed is this week’s host for the photo challenge, and she is asking us to focus on subjects beginning with the letter S. She writes, “You can also include signs and graffiti with the letter S. For an added challenge, capture an image that illustrates a concept with the letter S, such as serene, sharp, spooky, or silent.” You can read her entire challenge post here. Continue reading

Hoffstadt Creek Bridge – Second Highest Bridge in Washington State

Toutle, Washington.

The best access to the blast area defined by the eruption of Mount Saint Helens is via State Route 504, also known as the Spirit Lake Highway. Built to replace the original highway destroyed by the eruption, this 52-mile (84 km) highway contains 14 bridges that span the valleys west of the mountain. The tallest bridge on the highway spans a deep valley where some 370 feet (113 m) below, Hoffstadt Creek winds its way west toward the Toutle River.

In the early 1990s, a $200 million USD project created the highway that leads to the mountain from I-5, exit 49 at Castle Rock. To cross the valley, a bridge with a 600-foot (183 m) span opened in 1991. Building the bridge high created a safety zone from flooding of the river now far below. The deck truss bridge cost $12.6 million USD and its height makes it second only to the High Steel Bridge over Vance Creek in the Olympic National Forest. The Hoffstadt Creek Bridge is the third tallest bridge in the northwestern United States.

Just west of the bridge is a turnoff that you can take to a bridge viewpoint. The two images of the bridge featured here were captured at that viewpoint. At the site, there are several placards that provide facts about the bridge and the surrounding forest.  The image above is the placard that describes in text and photos the construction details of the bridge project.

The closeup above provides more detail of the piers and truss system on the bridge. The deck is 32 feet (9.7 m) wide and 2340 feet (713 m) long. To help you gauge that distance in the image, notice the tiny automobile at the far left (east) end of the bridge.

The views are spectacular when traveling across the bridge, but for those who have issues with high places, you may want to avoid looking out the side windows or let someone else drive.

When I looked up the location of the bridge in Google Maps, I discovered that there is a street view image set crossing the bridge. You can “drive” across the bridge in either direction and check out the 360-degree views of the valley. Click on the image above to load Google Maps in your browser and check it out.

John Steiner

Cellpic Sunday – 21 February 2021

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

In mid-September, 2020, we explored the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park for the first time. For travelers along I-94, the South Unit is but a short jog off the Interstate. The North Unit, on the other hand, is an hour’s drive north of I-94 just off U.S. Highway 85. Unless you have another reason to travel north of the Interstate, it’s an easy choice to choose the South Unit, the largest section of the park. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Glimpse Into Your World

This week, guest host Shetal Bravon invites us to share a glimpse of our world in the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. She writes, “Show us the things you love that makes your world spin or things about your world that make you delirious with joy.” You can find her entire challenge post here. Continue reading

Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument

Mount Saint Helens National Monument, Washington.

May 18, 2020, marked the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount Saint Helens. It would seem that there was plenty of warning that something big was going to happen on that Spring day in 1980. After all, there were a couple of months of earthquakes and small eruptions. According to the USGS, however, advances in technology in the last 40 years might have allowed for reduced risk and earlier notification. But those advances were the result of the catastrophic eruption that “fed a towering plume of ash for more than nine hours, and winds carried the ash hundreds of miles away. Lahars (volcanic mudflows) carried large boulders and logs, which destroyed forests, bridges, roads and buildings.” Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 14 February 2021

Buckeye, Arizona.

Regular readers know of my love of Arizona sunsets and my regular trips to the desert a couple miles from our house to photograph them. Well, I missed the trip to the desert for one spectacular sunset. You see last week was Superbowl Sunday. Of course, I had to watch it. By half-time, the game was all but decided and though it was no longer interesting, I sat and watched like some robot. Continue reading

Lens Artists Photo Challenge – From Forgettable to Favorite

Skagway, Alaska.

This week, Tina asks us to share ordinary images, if not forgettable, out of the camera that once edited, were rescued, or maybe even became a favorite in our collection. Tina explains the details here.

For my opening selection, I was reminded of a cruise taken to Alaska a few years back, (my how time flies.) At Skagway, one of our tour stops was in a saloon where, back in the day, the locals might wish to visit one of the ladies in the brothel upstairs. Continue reading

Power to the People – Dams on the Columbia River

Columbia River, Washington.

Washington state depends upon its many rivers for both irrigation and electrical generation. There are over 1100 dams in Washington, mostly small, under 50 feet (15 m) tall, earthen, and used for irrigation. According to Wikipedia, there are 49 dams in the state that are hydroelectric, mostly operated by Public Utility Districts (PUD). In addition to electric generation, many PUDs also provide other community services such as communications, water, sewer, and other typical utilities. The PUDs serve about a million residents of the state in 26 counties. My opening image this week features the Rocky Reach Dam on the Columbia River. Continue reading

Dronie Sunday – 7 February 2021

Napoleon, North Dakota.

Last week’s Cellpic Sunday featured a story about the attraction in south-central North Dakota known as Dinosaurs on the Prairie. That image was a snapshot from the ground featuring a view of the collection of machines that wind their way up a hill. Continue reading

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – My Photography Journey

This week, Amy asks us to get up close and personal with our photography journeys. As I always write my submission later in the week of the challenge for publication on Thursday, I’ve already had the pleasure of reading many journeys that have already been submitted. You can read Amy’s challenge post and journey here. Continue reading