|Travel Photography Pacific Northwest
Hood River, Oregon
A line of bubbles is trailing through the water where Hood River flows into the Columbia. A head emerges from the water. And this complete stranger takes off his mask and yells, “yahooooooo!” before he realizes I’m standing there.
He explains that he’s been looking for an expensive piece to his kite board boom, which had sank here where Hood River enters the Columbia. He explains that he had been looking for it for over a week, and only after donning scuba gear did he find success.
The man explains that he had just recently moved here. Before that, it was Mexico, where he chased an outdoor life.
Hood River creates two spits of sand that jut out into the Columbia River. This makes an ideal entry point for kite surfers and windsurfers, who flock to the small city named after the river - Hood River - from around the world. At this very point, the Columbia funnels wind in a way that exists in only a few other places in the world.
In the afternoons, when the wind picks up, hundreds of kite surfers will walk out these spits of sand and let their kites fly in the air. The kites come in many colors, and I am always in awe at the sight of men and women speeding across the water under bright sails.