"The Columbia River Gorge is an iconic American landscape, blessed with unspeakable beauty, rich in tribal culture, and made historic by the travels of Lewis and Clark. Peter Marbach's exquisite imagery and Janet Cook's eloquent essays remind us of the simple joys of connecting with the land and the importance of preserving precious sites for the generations to come."
— former President Jimmy Carter
New in May, 2011
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area:
25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition
featuring photography by Peter Marbach, text by Janet Cook
This photo essay reflects on how the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area came to be, the successes and challenges of the first twenty five years, and the vision for the future. Guest essayists representing the broad spectrum of interests include Gerry Frank, former aide to Senator Mark Hatfield, Antone Minthorn, Gorge Commissioner and Umatilla Tribal Leader, Kevin Gorman, Executive Director of the Friends of the Gorge, and Ellen Morris Bishop, author of In Search of Ancient Oregon.
Book release news and events.
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Peter Marbach Photography
3121 Eliot Drive
Hood River, OR 97031
a God's eye view you would never
"Fantastic — the rim light reminds me of the late
An excerpt from the book, written by Peter Marbach:
When I was six, I decided to walk home from school. I was blissfully ignorant that home was ten miles away on lonely backcountry roads and that my mother might be worried. The thrill of striking out on my own was short lived when a caring neighbor pulled up and firmly suggested I get into the car. Whatever inspired that impulse remains a mystery, but the innocence and joy of that experience sparked a lifelong reverence to answering the call of the wild.
I owe my embrace of wild places to my mother. As a young boy, she took me for long walks into the woods. I held her hand tightly as the woods felt dark and terrifying but those fears melted away as she pointed out the beauty of the trees and the names of flowers that made me giggle like Jack in the Pulpit and Skunk Cabbage. It was a magical time of learning to be at home in nature.
Growing up, the outdoors became the one place I could count on as my anchor having moved seven times by the age of 16. While I longed for a sense of place that comes with putting down roots, I learned to adapt to the frequent moves seeking out wilderness wherever I could find it. While in college, my mother gave me Peter Jenkins book, A Walk Across America. This tale of one man’s journey on foot to rediscover America and what he learned about himself struck a defining chord that forever changed my life.
I sought out ways to combine hiking with community service and embarked on a series of fundraising treks along the Appalachian Trail, the length of Great Britain, and the Pacific Crest Trail. It was 1989 when my then fiancée and I descended down the PCT into the heart of the Gorge in Cascade Locks. We were blown away by the beauty of the towering basalt cliffs but equally impressed by the spirit and generosity of a welcoming community. We feasted on burgers and fries and milkshakes at the East Wind Drive In and spent several days at the home of the Reverend Dick Nathe who took pity upon observing our homeless looking appearance.
Serendipity and fate intervened a few years later as an extended car camping trip from Texas to Oregon brought us back to the Gorge. While visiting a local community health center, my wife was offered a dream job so we pulled up stakes from Maine and landed in Hood River. I figured this would be just another brief chapter in a lifetime of wandering.
With no formal training, I decided to pursue the life of an outdoor photographer. I had developed an eye for beauty, informed by years spent in wilderness observing the magic hours of light at the edges of day. I gradually found work and along the way I began to feel connected to this place. Living in the Columbia River Gorge gave me access to wilderness on any given day. Life was good until unexpected heart surgery shattered my world. This was a different kind of wilderness, but one that felt strangely familiar since time alone in nature takes you on an inner journey. So once again, I turned to the hills for healing. When I could once again ascend the wildflower meadows of Dog Mountain and stand on the summit of Mt Hood at dawn, I knew that I was healed and had finally found my home.
There are places on this planet that have known magnetic force fields that attract creative people. I am convinced that the Gorge is home to a force of nature unlike any other. I am but one of hundreds of painters, sculptors, poets, writers, and artists that have been called to move here. There is a connection to this landscape that goes back to an ancient wilderness, a sense of place that speaks to our own true nature. The towering basalt cliffs and the pathways that lead to their summits stand as cathedrals in a church that is always open, ready to embrace and welcome you home.