Welcome to Sarah Bettey Photography, featuring photos
from the Mt. Hood to Portland, Oregon areas and beyond

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lack of Updates

Hi All! Long time no blog! I feel guilty for not posting more often, but I am just unable to get out like normal, growing this human in my belly and all ;) We are more than half way through the pregnancy now, found out last week that it is a boy, and could not be happier!

I took this photo last year and can only imagine this is what Multnomah Falls must look like right about now, with our freezing temperatures lately. Just wanted to post something to say hi to everyone and let you know I am still around and missing the blogging and photography deeply!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Rippling River

Another shot from Salmon River taken last weekend.

Monday, November 14, 2011


You would think, with the gusty winds and number of leaves that have been constantly falling, that the trees would all be bare. But there are still a lot of trees that have not even started to lose their leaves yet!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


This is the quiet upper portion of the road that I grew up on. The narrow street only gets traffic from hikers that are heading up to the multiple trailheads that dot the roadside. The leaves quietly drifted down as I sat there and listened to the silence.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not Yet

This photo was taken last year at the Portland Japanese Gardens. I am posting a photo of last years pretty autumn leaves, because this year, the leaves have yet to change! I took a drive about half way up the mountain yesterday to do some autumn photography and was very disappointed in the still green trees and shrubbery! We seem to be WAY behind on our autumn.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Mt Hood reflection among the lily pads at the northernmost point of Trillium Lake.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn Ladybug

This ladybug better get to where he is going, because the weather has turned for the worse and its getting colder in this area!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mt Hood at Last Light

Taken right after dusk, just before the sky gets too dark, and when the water on Trillium Lake was very calm. You can see the lights from Timberline Lodge at the timberline on the mountain.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Smoke from Dollar Lake Fire

My blog has been very "Dollar Lake Fire" oriented lately, since that is the big happening up on Mt Hood lately. I took a drive up I-84 to the town of Hood River on Monday, which joins up with Hwy 35. Hwy 35 goes back towards Mt Hood on the east side and gives a good perspective of the fire and smoke on the north side of the mountain. Needless to say, you could barely even see the mountain though. The smoke is overwhelming. Driving around the mountain past Cooper Spur, the blue sky gave way to smoke filled, hazy areas all the way until Mt Hood Meadows, about a 15 mile stretch of road.

The Dollar Lake fire, which was started by lightning two weeks ago, has scorched about 4,500 acres. Fire crews have contained about 30 percent of the wildfire. The flames are burning about 3 miles away from the Bull Run Watershed, the source of drinking water for around 900,000 people living in the Portland metro area. Fire officials expect the blaze will miss the watershed, plus the nearby high-voltage lines operated by the Bonneville Power Administration.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I have been following the horrible news about the wildfire up on Mt Hood since I visited Cloud Cap last weekend. During that visit, I photographed the very beginning of the visible smoke to this now out of control mess. This area has been victim to wildfire before, most recently only 2 or 3 years ago. While I was up there, I also photographed this tree, with the previously burned forest behind it. The charred remains of the forest have not been cleaned up at all, which leaves an incredible amount of fuel for the fire to thrive off of.

Still burning, The Dollar Lake Fire on Mt Hood has charred at least 4,500 acres.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cloud Cap Sunset

Timing is everything, they say. While I was concentrating on capturing the moment that the sun disappeared behind the very lowest point of the north slopes of Mt Hood, I didn't notice that from my perspective at Cloud Cap Inn, I also was capturing the first signs of smoke from a wildfire that broke out, as seen in the lower right corner of this photograph. The next day I saw the story in the news. Now it is four days later, and the Dollar Lake Fire is at 1,660 acres and threatening the Inn, which I wrote about yesterday. This is the second time in 3 years that the Inn has been threatened by wildfire.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cloud Cap Inn

Cloud Cap Inn was built in 1889 on the northeast shoulder of Mt Hood at the 6000 ft mark, and is the second oldest building in the country maintained by the Forest Service. (The oldest is Grey Towers outside Milford, Pa., the boyhood home of the first national forest chief, Gifford Pinchot, which was built in 1886).

Cloud Cap Inn was accessible back then from nearby Hood River via train, and then a long stagecoach ride up the side of the mountain. The excursion took 8 hours, which by car takes less than an hour these days. The Inn officially opened on Aug 3rd of that year, and was only allowed to operate 5 years during winter seasons due to the snowfall in the area, which sometimes exceeds 60 feet of accumulation.

Cloud Cap remained the main destination on the mountain until Timberline Lodge opened on the south side in 1937. Operating in spring and summer only, Cloud Cap Inn ran on and off until 1946. There was threat of tearing the building down in the 50's, but a Mt Hood based climbing club, the Crag Rats, saved the building and are taking care of it to this day. In 1974, it was placed on Oregon's list of historical places.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gloomy Gorge

Signs of autumn are already appearing. The mornings the past few days have been foggy, cloudy and cold. It doesn't actually clear up until late afternoon. Away from the damp Columbia River Gorge (pictured), things are looking dry. Yesterday, I heard geese flying over my work. I am hoping this is just a short phase though. We were so cheated out of summer here in the pacific northwest. We deserve at least another month of good, warm summer weather!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sun in the Sky

My own twist on a sunny sky. I started this sunflower plant from a tiny seed and now it towers over me. The flower just bloomed yesterday. This is its first morning stretch towards the rising sun in the east.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My favorite view of Trillium Lake

While many people may argue that the view from the dam at Trillium Lake is the best view (such as the one I use for my profile picture here on Blogger), I tend to disagree. While it is beautiful, I appreciate the view from the north side of the lake. The mountain peaks perfectly through the trees. The lily pads dot the surface of the water, and the old dead tree still stands its post at the top of the lake.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


At 11,235 ft, Mt Hood is Oregon's highest peak. In this photo, you can see the beginnings of the famous cloud cap that forms over its summit, also known as Hood's Hood. The meadow in the foreground is Summit Meadow, and was home to many pioneers making their way west. It became a tollgate from 1866-1870.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Veda Lake

I have yet to have found a view that takes my breath away like this one. Photos cannot do it justice. Looking up through the Still Creek valley towards Multipor Mountain (the "small" hill in the center of the valley) is an amazing view of Mt Hood, with Veda Lake resting in the forest below.

To access this view, you drive up notoriously rough Sherar Burn Road 3.5 miles to abandoned Fir Tree Campground. From there you hike up the backside of Veda Butte about a mile (the first half being fairly steep) until you come to this ridge viewpoint. You can continue down the trail another mile or so to reach the lake and all its seclusion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bald Mountain Viewpoint

On Sunday, I hiked up Bald Mountain. This short hike is kind of difficult because it goes straight up the back side of the ridge from Timberline Trail, through the woods. It is very worth it, because at the end it opens up on the face of Bald Mountain to this breathtaking view of the west side of Mt. Hood. At the bottom of the snowline you can see Muddy Fork, which is the beginning of the Sandy River. The water melts from two points off the Sandy Glacier and winds its way around Yocum Ridge. It's hard to believe the little trickle of water that you can see ends up merging into a big river.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Avalanche Lily

When hiking this weekend, at one of the forks in the trail there was a huge patch of these pretty Avalanche Lillies. The sun was hitting them just right and they practically glowed!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rainbow over Timothy Lake

Sitting on a boat in the middle of the lake fishing, a light rainbow started to form. I was just in the right place at the right time and snapped this photo, with the colors reflecting in the grey water.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Just north of Timothy Lake is the High Rocks viewpoint. This is the impressive view of a valley through the Mt Hood National Forest.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


This is the tallest rock stack I have ever been able to accomplish. My mom has always been a big rock stacker, and I totally got the love of the difficult task from her. Rock stacking is soothing and a great way to really take in the nature and environment around you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Marsh Marigold

I had no idea what this flower was called, but have found a very handy site that has photos of Pacific Northwest wildflowers, and easily found out it is a Marsh Marigold. The description on the site says its often found at the edge of snowmelt, which is very true. Thats is exactly where I found these!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rainbow Cloud

Rainbow clouds are also called sun dogs, and are made of tiny ice crystals, and if the cloud is at the right angle to the sun, the crystals will refract the sunlight (much like a prism) into the colors of the rainbow. So it's very similar to a regular rainbow when it's raining, only a little more rare.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Horsetail Falls

This is the last waterfall I photographed during my day trip up the Old Columbia River Highway about a month ago. Horsetail Falls, at 192 ft., is one of the easiest to access waterfalls on the loop, as you can get to it right off the highway. There is a trail you can follow up to 2 other falls behind it. There is also the pool at the bottom which is good for wading, but it is cold!!!

I have posted a waterfall a week for the past few weeks, which can be seen here:

Latourell Falls

Wakeena Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Thank you for following the tour! If you are in the Portland Metro Area, I highly suggest checking out these falls, as well as the other beautiful sights the Columbia River Gorge has to offer. Here is a map of the Old Columbia River Highway, which shows the route I took that day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Along the north side of Trillium Lake there is a tangle of lilypads, and these yellow buds dot the top of the water.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Surrounded by Green

I am fortunate to live where I do, and often times when I am out on my outdoor adventures, I find myself surrounded by green. Our damp environment may be undesirable to some because of the amount of rainfall and overcast days, but to me it creates a heavenly environment that is worth it. This was taken up at Trillium Lake on one of those type of days. The foggy cold dampness kept the crowds of people indoors that day, and the normally packed dock was deserted.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ring around the sun

What does a ring around the sun mean? My mom says it is a change in the weather, and I believe her. Within an hour of taking this blue sky photo of the sun, the clouds rolled in and it has been overcast and raining on and off since!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bridal Veil Falls

Back to the waterfall photos I took in the Columbia River Gorge a few weekends ago. As I mentioned in last weeks post, we hiked in to Bridal Veil Falls. The Historic Columbia River Highway passes over the falls (you can see the bridge at the top of the photo), and you take a path to the bottom of the falls. Recently the falls was in the local news because a group of teenagers risked their lives and kayaked over the falls.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mt St Helens

I visited this ex-peak this past weekend. Back on May 18, 1980, a huge volcanic explosion rocked the Pacific Northwest and left the once perfect cone mountain in rubble. Now, 31 years later, things look better. But it won't be a lush forest again in our lifetime. Things are still barely starting to come back to life. The devastation is hard to believe, and even harder to capture in photo.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bear Grass

This pretty mountain flower is abundant up in the forest around here. Apparently the leaves of the plant were long used by Native Americans in basket making, as they are durable and once dried, turn white and are easy to dye.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Last Sight of the Sun

Caught the last glimpse of the sun as it sank behind the mountains over Clear Lake.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bridal Veil Creek

This photo is a teaser. The past two weeks I have been posting photos from my day trip along the Old Columbia River Highway. So far, I have posted about Latourell Falls and Wahkeena Falls. Todays photo is of Bridal Veil Creek, just below the beautiful falls that I will post about next week. You can just barely make out some of the mist between the rocks in the background from the bottom of the falls. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wahkeena Waterfall

This is the second posting of a waterfall from my day trip up the Old Columbia River Highway two weekends ago. This photo is of the lower portion of the two-tiered falls. The falls were originally known as Gordon Falls. In 1915, after the completion of the OCR highway, the falls were renamed to Wahkeena Falls – a Yakima Indian word meaning “most beautiful”.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Baker Cabin Pioneer Church

This adorable old church was built in 1895. In the late 1960's, it was saved from demolition and moved to its present site in Carver, OR. It is now part of the Baker Cabin Historical Society, and was accepted to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1976.

My friend is looking to get married at this peaceful wooded location in the near future. I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Latourell Falls

I had Monday off, so a friend and I did something I had never taken the time to do. We drove the Old Columbia River Highway from Troutdale up to almost Cascade Locks. The route is home to many beautiful waterfalls, so we hiked the short trails and I photographed 4 of them. This is the first that we visited, Lautorell Falls. The falls plunge 249 feet.

It was a great time to visit the Gorge waterfalls. Not a lot of people, which is not the case if you go on the weekend!

Here is another view of the top of the falls. I assume the yellow on the rock face is a fungus of some sort. I will post the remainder of the waterfall photos I took over the next few weeks. :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Clackamas Lake Meadow

This soggy meadow is known as Clackamas Meadow, and is part of the Clackamas Lake Ranger Station Historic District. The small building you can see in shadows of the photo is one of eleven historic buildings in the compound, and is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trillium Lake Opening Weekend

As I posted last week, I was anxiously awaiting the opening of my favorite place ever, Trillium Lake. On Thursday I heard that the lake had opened, and on Friday after work drove up to see for myself. It was open! On Saturday my husband, his friend and I went up to fish and take in the first weekend. The fresh cool air was so refreshing. It was snowing when we arrived, but we came prepared, and the weather got better as the day progressed. By the time we left, Mt Hood had peeked out of the clouds long enough for me to get this photo. Here is hoping the remainder of the snow melts enough that the campground opens by the 10th, when we have camping reservations here! (I promise I will lay off the photos of the lake for a few weeks now, since I have posted two in the past week hehe!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Heading into a long weekend!

Does anyone have any fun plans for Memorial Day weekend? I do not. My husband has to work every day except tomorrow, so we will be staying near home. I am probably going to take a drive up the mountain tonight, as I heard a rumor that Trillium Lake has opened earlier than expected! Keeping my fingers crossed.

Hope you all have a safe and happy long weekend. Be sure to take a moment to remember why we have this great life!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I miss Trillium Lake!!!!

This photo was taken this time last year. I am going through some serious withdrawls -- from a place! Trillium Lake is my favorite place ever. When I was a kid my family would play here on sunny summer days. My husband and I got married on its banks. We camp and go on day fishing trips here as much as possible throughout the open season. But from about October until late May or early June, it is only accessible via snowshoe or snowmobile (Next year, I hope to try this). However, as of now, the road to the lake is still closed and we are waiting for the last of the snow to melt away. We have camping reservations for June 10th to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary. The website says the campground will open on June 9th. Talk about cutting it close! Keep your fingers crossed for us!!! Trillium Lake, I miss you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Salmon Berry Flower

I personally love the orange berries that this wild bush produces. They are quite tart, and I love sour things. The bush doesn't produce as much fruit as a raspberry bush (which they resemble), but is a favorite of hummingbirds!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The water raging in nearby Eagle Creek was QUICK this weekend! The normally quite lazy creek (no, its not a river, it is just as wide as one now because of all the recent rainfall) was raging on Sunday. I took this one with only a very slightly delayed shutter to still show the waves that were splashing.

Also, a "quick" thanks to all my new followers. Jen over at My Lifelong Quest for Happily Ever After became my 100th follower yesterday! I so appreciate everyone that stops by to check out the Mt Hood area through my photos :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wet Weekend

This weekend it pretty much rained the whole time. Being a true Oregonian means that you realize this time of year is wet and you either deal with it or you stay inside cooped up. But how could you? My dog and I couldn't. On Sunday I had enough of being inside and braved the drizzle. We went a few spots I had not been in a long time. This week I will post some of my wet findings.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

National Forest

Mt Hood National Forest is such a gorgeous area. The national forest encompasses some 1,067,043 acres, and 295,917 acres of this is divided into many smaller protected wildernesses, including this small sample in the Salmon River valley.

From the Portland Hikers Field Guide: "In the 1960s, the Forest Service planned a paved highway up this canyon, connecting to Highway 26 as an alternative route to the current highway. Thankfully the canyon was included in the 1984 legislation that created the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness, and will forever be protected."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gorgeous Wildflower

Help me out! I have no idea what this pretty little wildflower is. Took a hike up in my favorite woods in the Mt Hood National Forest yesterday, and the entire trail was lined with these, as pictured below - not quite bloomed.

I was getting anxious that I would not be able to find one that had opened yet, and had almost given up when I spotted this one. But I have no idea what the gorgeous lily (?) is called. Anyone know?

UPDATE: The flower has been ID'd by a few people as a Fawn Lily, Trout Lily, Dog Tooth Violet or Erythorunium. Seems all those are the same flower, and bloom in purple, yellow and white. Thanks so much everyone who answered!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waves Rolling In

There is nothing "spectactular" about this photo, except for the fact that I am standing as far back on the sand as I can without stepping up on the rock stairs leading up the dunes into town. And this is at low tide. The ocean is really high right now. Normally there is about 75 yards of beach between the rock stairs leading to the sand and the edge of the waves. Not this past weekend though! During the high tide, the ocean went halfway up the rock wall, which normally doesnt even get hit by the waves. Kinda scary!

I looked up more info on this weird high tide. It sounded like a Proxigean Spring Tide. The PST is a rare, unusually high tide. This very high tide occurs when the moon is both unusually close to the Earth (at its closest perigee, called the proxigee) and in the New Moon phase (when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth). The proxigean spring tide occurs at most once every 1.5 years. The new moon occured on Sunday. This photo was taken on Saturday. However, I looked it up and our last proxigee was on March 19th, and the next not until May 6th. So I guess it was just a freaky high water for no reason after all ;)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Low Tide

This photo was taken at the lowest tide that we saw this past weekend in Neskowin, OR. This view is looking south towards Proposal Rock. The water is extremely high still, even at low tide, for this stretch of beach. Normally during low tide, the water comes in only about 1/3 of the width of the large rock, leaving the 2/3 that face land accessable. On a normal day, you can climb the rock to the top for an amazing view of the ocean stretching out as far as you can see. Not this weekend though. The ocean surrounded the entire rock and never retreated enough. The rock barrier leading up the dune into town is a foot behind me as I am taking this photo. There was only a few feet of sand in places to keep your feet dry before the waves came up and got you. This made it impossible for any good beach strolling.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Travel Ahead!!!

I am so excited. After MONTHS of waiting, a beach trip is planned! My husband and I and a group of friends are heading to the Oregon coast this weekend. Next week will be all coast photos. We will be staying in Neskowin. This is a picture I took last year of the beach just a short walk south of where we stay.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Leaves

New leaves are showing up on most of the trees around the area. Spring is such a welcome sight!