Spending the past 5 years in Colorado nestled up against the Front Range mountains, it’s easy to forget that you lose the best part of that dreamy golden hour sunlight everyone on the west coast is so familiar with. Granted, Colorado has some beautiful lighting, but you need to get HIGH to get out of the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Even then, i’d say that the light can be very harsh, likely due to having less diffusion due to the thinner atmosphere.
I’ve almost forgotten how surreal the west coast light can be; I used to chase the golden hour light every day when I lived in Southern California, but it’s been half a decade since i’ve experienced light of this quality.
Emma and I decided to make the quick 20 minute drive out to Cline Butte to watch the sunset for date night. She had an amazing picnic prepared for us; once we got there, I couldn’t put my camera down. Cline butte is maybe 10 miles north of Bend, but it feels like a completely different landscape–more of a lush desert overflowing with juniper trees and that deep dryness to the air that deserts have. You can see for hundreds of miles from the top of the butte, which is maybe 1000ft above Bend. Mt.Hood can be seen 92 miles away, along with The Sisters, Mt.Hood, Mt.Jefferson and probably more ancient volcanic mountains than I can recall.