As I was traveling to the Columbia River Highway through Portland, I kept seeing signs for "The Dalles". I just figured it was some city in Oregon and only slightly noticed it because I live in the Dallas, TX area. So off I went in search of giant waterfalls and lush greenery that make up the Columbia River Gorge.
Finding waterfalls was a fairly easy endeavor. One of the most magnificent waterfalls in the contiguous United States is Multnomah Falls, the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States. It is conventionally listed as 620 foot in height when considering the upper and lower portion together. It sits immediately off I-84, easily viewable from the interstate. I am sure there have been some accidents along that stretch of interstate from drivers not paying attention to the direction of their vehicle.
While photographing Sheppard's Dell, I met another photographer from Victoria, British Columbia. We started sharing techniques and talking camera equipment when she mentioned The Dalles. She went on the explain there are hillsides and mountain sides covered in wildflowers. Then it certainly peaked my interest when she mentioned there is an old rusty car way off the normal trail sitting in a field of flowers. She also stated it is hard to find unless you know exactly where to look and then we went our separate ways. Finding that car became my mission.
Shortly thereafter, off I went on to The Dalles in search for the old car in a field of wildflowers. The Dalles is a rather large place covering many hills. It is actually a state park named the Columbia Hills Historical State Park. So wondering aimlessly around proved pretty fruitless. Just asking other visitors and staff was my only chance. So I asked...and asked... and asked and no one knew the location. The grounds keeper told me he only worked the north side of the main road and it was not in his area. That at least cut my search size in half - only about fifty acres instead of hundreds :). I even asked tourists from other countries (with the help of sign language and car sounds) and didn't get very far. I went as high on the mountain as I could and retrieved a decent signal on my mobile phone. Lots of searches and reviewing maps did not yield the location. As discouragement was setting in, I saw an older man get out of his car. He wasn't carrying any cameras, selfie-sticks or framing a scene with his phone. He looked like he was finishing up a hard day's work and so I asked him if he knew the location of the old car. "Oh, yeah! I know where that is at", he said. Bingo! He told me to cross over the road down a trail, hit a fence line and keep walking south. As I top over a ridge, I will find the old car. I think the search was worth it. I hope you do as well. For inquiring minds, the old car is located at 45.676383, -121.091494.