Posted on 2 Comments

Ridge where the west commences

River valley in the mountains
Ridge where the West Commences, 40 x 30 in, Oil on canvas, 2022.

As soon as I saw this place I instantly thought of the song “Don’t Fence Me In” as sung by Gene Autry. It’s a view, looking due West, towards the headwaters of the of the Rio Grande river (in the distant mountains). The view is from Brown’s Lake Overlook (AKA Weminuche Wilderness Vista) along the Silver Thread Scenic Highway (CO 149).

Posted on Leave a comment

Go where there is no path and leave a trail

green plain with road coming in from bottom right. Low brown purple mountains in the distance. Blue sky.
Go where there is no path and leave a trail. Michel Liebhaber. 40 x 30 in, Oil on canvas, 2022.

My path paintings are about journeys, not destinations. The title is from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Posted on Leave a comment

White River at Keeps Mill

Apparently, Keeps Mill was a stop on an alternative route around Mt. Hood on the Oregon trail. If that’s true, how people got wagons in and out of here, I do not know. The hillsides rise quite quickly from both sides of the river. The White River flows from the White Glacier on Mt Hood. Keeps Mill is a primitive, secluded campground at the end of Forest Road 2120 (note to self: Watch for speed bump at end of pavement). The last mile is down a rocky, narrow, steep, exposed hillside. Did I mention a really tight switchback and talus fields?

Oil painting of White River in a forest
White River at Keeps Mill, Michael Liebhaber, 2019, Oil on panel, 40 x 30 inches
[© Michael Liebhaber, 2019]
Posted on Leave a comment

My journey into the wilderness

My journey into the wilderness

Note: I will add my drawings from this trip to my Artwork page and I will also share some of them on Instagram (@michaelliebhaber)

Trip Highlights

  • Back diamond jeep trai in placesl
  • Wilderness with Squirrel, but no Moose
  • Fox almost bites Ranger
Stuffed animals in forest
Batty, Foxy, and Zebe on the way to Badger Lake.

I took a short trip last week to Badger Lake on Mt. Hood (Oregon, USA). My friends came along for company. Badger Lake is one of the few (the only?) wilderness campgrounds to which one can drive on the mountain. It’s a remote, small, spring-fed lake at 4400 feet (1340 meters). The main feature, at least in my opinion, is psychological: I encountered no one on my drive to the lake. When I stopped my Jeep (2003 Liberty 4WD) I was struck by the silence. There was no noise, none. There were no people, no cell service. I was alone.

Dirt road through the forest
A “smooth” part of the route.

I took the road less traveled, the short cut, which requires a high clearance vehicle for the entire 14-ish miles. Most of the road is rough natural terrain (rocks embedded in soil) with some pure rock stretches (scree or talus) and clings to steep mountainsides.

Trees lined the road in most places, however, there were a few exposed parts; places where there were no trees below me, the road was just wide enough for my vehicle, and with very steep 200-300 foot drop offs below. And then there were the scary bits! Overall, it was a punishing drive on my vehicle and me.

I arrived at the campground just before dark, exactly 100 miles from my start at Scappoose. I selected a spot that had a peek-a-boo view of the lake. I slept in my jeep – water proof, bug proof, bear proof, and (almost) big enough for me. I awoke to find that the setting was very pleasant. The lake was only about 1/3 full because of the dry summer and evaporation. Some people came to kayak in the early morning, but I think they were deterred by the mud surrounding the water. The only wildlife I saw were birds, chipmunks, and an occasional squirrel. Deer and horse tracks crisscrossed the area.

The photos below are at the campsite and the lake.

jeep at campsite   


I took the recommended route out (26 miles). Much nicer. I think I saw my jeep smiling. I decided to camp at Trillium Lake. My spot in the tent camp area was a one minute walk from one of the most photographed views of Mt. Hood, so I took picture! The next day I drove up to Historic Timberline Lodge, where I took the close-up photo of the mountain – the one with my traveling companions! They were disappointed. The Forest Service Ranger said they could not climb the mountain because they did not have the proper equipment. My little friends argued that, because they were animals, they did not need equipment. The Ranger countered that real animals don’t talk and are not stuffed. At which point Foxy attempted to bite the Ranger because “That’s what animals do.” Thus ended my visit to Timberline Lodge and Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood from Trillium Lake.
Mt. Hood from Trillium Lake.

Stuffed animals with Mt Hood in the background.
Hello from Mt. Hood, Oregon!

Posted on Leave a comment

Farm drainage ditch: 45.8, -122.8

watercolor painting of a Farm Ditch Along East Honeyman Road

Farm Drainage Ditch: 45.8, -122.8
8in x 10in / Watercolor & Ink
February, 2018

    Story: One of many farm ditches near Scappoose. This one is along East Honeyman Road.


All content © copyright 2005-2018, Michael J. Liebhaber

Posted on Leave a comment

Ephemeral pond along Johnson’s Landing Road

Watercolor of Ephemeral Pond Along Johnsons Landing Road

Ephemeral pond along Johnson’s Landing Road, Scappoose, Oregon
8in x 10in / Watercolor & Ink
February, 2018

    Story: Scappoose would be mostly wetlands if it was not for the dike along Multnoma Channel. Durning the rainy season (Oct-July) many fields turn into ponds; a boon to migrating waterbirds.


All content © copyright 2005-2018, Michael J. Liebhaber