Dufur, Oregon

I discovered Dufur about ten years ago.  It was new to me, but the little town along Route 197 just south of The Dalles has a long history of agriculture, vintage cars, and those arid landscapes I have come to enjoy.  Sure, it has a funny name, but I’ll see that, and raise you Intercourse, PA, and Hoboken, NJ.  Take that.  Dufur resides in Wasco County, once the largest county in the US, stretching all the way to Wyoming in its prime, way back in 1853.  It has been reduced in size during the intervening years, and now boasts as many people as one of the smaller Portland suburbs.  

Dufur sits at the confluence between the old and new west.  A few miles to the north sits The Dalles, a metropolitan area boasting a busy downtown with wineries, Oregon’s oldest bookstore, Klindt’s, and a smattering of trendy restaurants.  To the west is Mount Hood, and to the east and south are many miles of grasslands, tractors, and sagebrush.  It’s the kind of place where one can walk into a western movie, if one has the right sense of imagination. Dufur extends well beyond its borders due to being surrounded by unincorporated land.  There are roads, and old schoolhouses named after Dufur miles away.  Let’s take a look.  

Mount Hood from Dufur, Oregon by Gary Quay
Mount Hood from Dufur, Oregon
Mt Hood Over a Farm in Dufur, Oregon by Gary Quay
Mt Hood Over a Farm in Dufur, Oregon

©2020 Gary L. Quay

Mt Hood presides over a farm in Dufur, Oregon. Infrared image.

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: 28mm Zeiss Distagon ZF2

Abandoned House Near Dufur, Oregon
Abandoned House Near Dufur, Oregon

©2018 Gary L. Quay

This is from about 3 years ago. 2018 was a productive year for my photography. Having access to all of those wonderfully delapidated houses was especially fun. The Substation Fire, and a few other recent fires burned down a few of these beauties, but I managed to capture them to present here.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: 90mm Tamron Macro

Agricultural landscapes hold a certain we-are-blessed-to-have-food fascination to me.  I like old things, and old ways.  In my daily life, I work with technologies that I hardly would have dreamed of ten years ago, but I still use an antique, cast iron coffee grinder, use cameras dating back to the mid 1800’s, and have an affinity for the rural and rustic.  I grew up in a farming community.  The big city is not natural to me, but I have seemed to have thrived there.  My photography exhibits the trait that I believe has allowed me to become what I am.  It’s that zen I spoke of earlier.  Where I am, I am.  What I am doing, I am doing.  As Ram Das said, “Be here now.” 

Chevrolet by Gary Quay

©2019 Gary L. Quay

The Radiator of a Vintage Chevrolet Dufur Vintage Days, August, 2019. Dufur, Oregon.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: Vintage 85mm Nikkor

The Balch Hotel, Dufur, Oregon by Gary Quay
The Balch Hotel, Dufur, Oregon

©2019 Gary L. Quay

I got to cross an item off of my bucket list when Gaia and I stayed at the Balch Hotel in August 2019.  Glen Bledsoe (you can find him on Flickr) and I photographed a wedding at White River Falls in the morning, and then headed over to the Dufur Vintage Days fair in the afternoon. Around nightfall, we heard that there may be a repeat of Friday night’s thunderstorm, and we went out to see if there were pictures to be had. The thunderstorm fizzled, but the hotel did not.

fCamera: NIkon D810
Lens: 24-85mm Nikon

What's Left of Fort Dufur by Gary Quay
What’s Left of Fort Dufur

©2018 Gary L. Quay

Could use some paint. Really.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: 28-105mm Nikon-D

The Junk Before the Storm by Gary Quay
The Junk Before the Storm

©2019 Gary L. Quay

I took this also during my recent August 2019 trip to Dufur, Oregon with Salem photographer Glen Bledsoe. I very rarely get to photograph true storm lighting during the “Golden Fifteen”, so this was a treat.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: 24-85mm Nikon

Abandoned House, Eight Mile Road by Gary Quay
Abandoned House, Eight Mile Road

©2018 Gary L. Quay

Could use some paint. Really.

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: 28-105mm Nikon-D

I hope to have more from the area in the near future.

Thanks for looking!

–Gary L. Quay

New Exhibit at the Madrona Café in Lakebay, Washington

I have my first photography exhibit in since 2015 starting Saturday, March 6, 2021. It will be a Washington-centric show, with only one Oregon picture showing. A few of the pictures cannot be seen online. You have to show up to see them.

You can find the Madrona Café on Facebook.

Here’s a small taste:

Under Rowena Crest, Autumn 2020
Near Horsethief Lake, Washington
Cedar Creek Grist Mill, October 2020

Nestled within the islands of Washington’s Puget Sound, the Madrona Café offers great food and coffee.

Here’s where it is:

Map 1. It’s at the big red dot.
Map 2: the red dot

So, welcome to all those who can attend. I’ll be there for a short while on Saturday, but due to the pandemic, there won’t a traditional exhibit opening.


Gary L. Quay

New Post Added at Gary Quay Photography

There’s a new post at my web site about getting my new, tiny darkroom up and running. Visit www.quaygang.com to check it out.

Click on the link above.
Barlow Trail Wayside, Brightwood, Oregon, January 2021.

About the image

©2021 Gary L. Quay

I recently stumbled upon a new place to take pictures. The area around Mt. Hood is dripping with moss, and is mostly a wonderful mess. I like that. It’s so full of decay that the ground there eats tea leaves in about 15 minutes. I had a 8×10 camera there in January 2021, and this is the result.

Camera: Deardorff 8×10
Lens: 12″ Goerz Dagor
Film: Bergger Panchro 400 developed in Kodak HC-110.


A New Gallery at My Website!

I have added a new gallery to my website. it is called “Locations”. I will be exploring the places I have come to love in the Pacific Northwest through the photographs I have taken in the last 30 years. I will also be adding commentary about those places, and about the creation of the image. I will be adding new photographs and descriptions over the coming weeks. Come on over!

My Blog is moving to my website.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon

I would like to thank everyone who has followed my blog over the years. I know I haven’t posted in a while. Life has taken a few pivots lately, but I have a new web site, to which I have migrated all of my posts, and improved most of them with higher quality images, and updates. Please visit https://quaygang.com.

For some reason, I can’t log onto this site anymore from my computer, only with the app on my phone, so I won’t be posting more here. I hope to see you on my new site. As of this moment, you can join the site, and soon you will be able to sign up to get notifications of new posts.

Again, thank you for your support.

Featured Image

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon
Camera: Hasselblad 500CM
Lens: 50mm Zeiss Distagon
Film: Kodak Ektar 100

Oregon Musings

Charles Nelson House, Wasco County, Oregon

The Charles Nelson House 

I’m going to miss being so close to the dusty spaces of Oregon after I move back to the Portland area. I like these kinds of landscapes where you can see past the trees, and the grass turns golden in June. Being a transplant from Pennsylvania didn’t prevent the West grabbing me by the collar, and saying, “Look there! See that? Now, try to forget it. I bet you can’t.” This landscape speaks to me in ways I would never have imagined.

I’ve lived here half of my life now. It’s been a long road since I drove my pickup to Oregon in 1991, and never moved back like I had intended. I don’t believe in fate, or luck, or hidden purpose. I do believe in this Earth, and its wonders. It can be touched, tasted, heard, seen, and smelled.

I’m here because a high school friend tried to talk me out of moving to Oregon by telling me that I belonged in that small piece of PA, in that community, and I should never go anywhere else. There is something to be said about being around kin. I get homesick when I travel back there and smell the soil, or hear the wind rustling the leaves of the desiduous forests, or feel the summer thunderstorms approach. I want to stay, but I always return to Oregon. I will miss living in Hood River. I will miss being about 6 miles from the rainshadow, where the Cascade Mountains block the moisture coming from the West, and drops the yearly precipitation by 2/3.

But, I can still visit.

Autumn in Rowena, Oregon by Gary Quay
Autumn in Rowena, Oregon, 2020

I am starting up a new web site where I will continue this blog.  I have been building that site, as well as getting ready to move.  Sometime this summer, after I move, I will be back to let everyone know how to find me.  Until then, I won’t be blogging very often.