Sparks Lake is one of the most photographed locations in Oregon. Rightfully so. Access is easy, there’s neat little “island” of grasses and trees, and South Sister and Broken Top reflect beautifully in the water. Heck, the pathway to the lake is named after Ray Atkeson, one of Oregon’s most famous photographers. I’ve spent too many hours standing next to a tripod there.
Five years ago today, I witnessed and luckily captured this incredible sunset. At that time, I usually worked on Saturday nights but had taken the day off. In the afternoon, I had been near Sparks Lake to meet with a friend who was running a race. The day before, I had driven to the lake and taken pictures along the same trail. I wasn’t keen on a third trip up to the mountains in 24 hours. But a stormy forecast and the guilt of not normally having nights off pushed me back into my car. It’s still the finest sunset I’ve ever seen.