Pacific Northwest travels Sept-Oct 2007
A landscape photographer’s tour
Keith’s travels in the Pacific Northwest – September-October 2007
Starting from Seattle I’m heading down the Oregon coast, inland and back up to Seattle.
The area is a great place for a driving tour, and it’s my fourth visit to some areas, however this time I’m travelling with Karen, who has never been to the US before.
The photos are there to give a feel for the area – there are many photos in the Print Gallery on this site.
This article updated in 2016 as a combination of all the individual day’s blog posts.
- 27th September: UK to Seattle
- 28th September: Into Oregon
- 29th September: Cannon Beach
- 30th September: Further South
- 1st October: Three Capes
- 2nd October: To Florence
- 3rd October: quiet day…
- 4th October: South to Bandon
- 5th October: On the beach
- 6th October: Bandon to Bend
- 7th October: Bend to Seattle
- 8th October: Around Seattle
- 9th October: Around Seattle
Flying out to Seattle at the start of a driving tour of the Pacific Northwest.
Although the ‘real’ pictures start in following day’s pages, I was struck by the quality of the photos I was able to get from the plane window as we flew over Greenland and parts of the US.
The weather isn’t at its best this time of the year, but I do enjoy driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, and particularly the Oregon coast. These pages will have a few of my pictures along the way. I’m not on my own this time so I’ll probably not be keeping quite the detailed notes I usually do… :-)
Ok, just travelling today…
Flying out to Seattle via Chicago, so the first leg of the trip went over the tip of Greenland
However, before even getting on the the plane I discovered new parts of the Heathrow departure lounge
Here’s Karen (who I’m travelling with this time) checking out the duty free…
Anyway, having stocked up with Malt Whisky for the trip, off we went…
What you can see of Greenland, looks pretty mountainous.
This from 40,000 feet
While there was plenty of room on the flight to Chicago, the one to Seattle was pretty packed
However, it was clear most of the way across the States, and we managed to get photos of one of my favourite mountain ranges (from 38,000 feet).
The mountains to the right of Jackson lake are the Tetons.
Why one of my favourite mountain chains? From the ground they look like this
I was going to use a less cloudy example, but since I’ve only got the pictures on my laptop, this will have to do ;-)
Here’s a slightly better view, giving a feel for the topography of the area
Finally there’s this view of the ‘back’ of the Tetons for my friend Vicky, who’s only seen them from the front (the side with the pointy bits)
So on to Seattle, crossing numerous hilly bits, and these two river valleys, that could be straight out of a geomorphology textbook.
Near to Seattle, there’s this rather excellent volcano.
Mt. Rainier at ~14,000 feet is impressive. Note the other volcanoes in the distance (Mt. St Helens to the right)
A quick flight over Seattle
And a look down towards Tacoma, with that huge volcano in the background (it will make a big mess of this area when it goes off)
That’s it for today, since it’s been a long one
Just to finish off, here’s the car parked outside the motel…
Driving south from Seattle to the Oregon Coast
This trip isn’t quite my normal drive since I’m not on my own this time, and won’t be spending quite so much time putting together the travel blog, but I’ll try and put a selection of images up each day anyway…
This morning we left Seattle and headed south along I-5 before turning off towards the coast and then into Oregon, ending up at Cannon beach – which happens to be somewhere I like staying :-)
First a bridge – the in-car shots on this trip are taken by Karen, and this one is for her sister who has this thing about bridges (no, I’ve no idea either)
Stopping off briefly in South Bend (WA) for a snack
As you can see it’s raining, so our visit to the “Oyster Capital of the world” was a short one.
Fortunately the weather brightened up as we headed south.
The Columbia River near the crossing to Astoria (a huge bridge)
In fact the weather brightened enough to open up the car :-)
This is me – driving across the bridge
a very long bridge…
At the other side if you follow Highway 101, you find a very unusual feature in the US – a roundabout.
Common in the UK, they are almost unknown over here (I think I saw one in Aspen CO)
And so on to Seaside, which Karen rather aptly described as ‘Skegness, done by Disney’
A nice beach however
Centre left in the picture above, you can see a flagpole. It’s a monument to the point where Lewis and Clark stopped by the Pacific, on their grand expedition to explore the Pacific northwest at the start of the nineteenth century.
No roads, forrests and mountains… it must have been quite a trip.
Let’s see the modern American way :-)
There is a road that comes up to the monument and a loop round it. As you watch, a steady series of SUVs and cars (with the odd RV) drive up, stop for a quick view, and drive off without getting out of the car…
Anyway, Seaside was not the place to stay for us, so on to Cannon Beach, where we’ll be for a couple of days
here’s a few shots just to give you a feel for it…
and sunset (not one of the best I’ve seen here)
Staying at Cannon Beach.
Starting off with a good breakfast is one thing I always like in the US :-)
Eggs Benedict and hash browns, while Karen has managed to obtain a pot of tea…
It’s been raining on and off today so only a quick trip round the area, stopping off here at Oswald West state park
Driving on through Nehalem, this shop caused a brief stop, since Karen designs jewellery…
That and the fact she receives text messages from friends in the UK, even while we’re driving along in the forest…
Back at Cannon beach, the wind is blowing the sand a few inches above the surface and giving these constantly changing patterns
Looks as if there won’t be a decent sunset tonight…
and the gulls looked cold too…
However a good cup of coffee is at hand here at the Lands End Motel, where you get fresh ground coffee waiting for you in the fridge
Compare this with the more standard Motel fayre from the place we stayed near Seattle
Somewhat better than the ‘blender’s choice’ I had before, but if this is their flagship blend, I’d rather not try an economy version.
Anyway, time to find somewhere to eat this evening…
A rainy day on the Oregon coast. Not a good start weather wise…
It’s been tipping it down much of the day, and we’d decided to go a bit further down the coast to Cape Kiwanda. If you’ve read any of my previous travel blogs then you’ll know I like it here, in particular the ever changing views of Haystack Rock
Monet went to a field to paint his haystacks, I’ll stick with a nice beach and a place to eat that does excellent beer as well :-)
Unfortunately it was like this when we got there :-(
So after telling Karen that it was really much more impressive in the sunshine, we headed off to the wonders of Lincoln City.
Indeed an outlet mall is perhaps not somewhere I’d normally visit, but since I was assured that many of the shops were well known brands, I relented.
While Karen was acquiring a most excellent (and cheap good value) cardigan, I spotted a Christian discount store…
Amongst the bargains in the window, a full set of armour
Yes – it’s the ‘Full Armour of God’
Learn to “quench the fiery darts of the wicked one” (ages 3 and up)
I leave finding an ‘explanation’ for some of what’s written on the box as an exercise for the reader… :-)
Suffice to say, this is not what I could see being sanctioned by the good old Church of England:
“Oh hello Vicar, is that a new set of armour you’ve got?”
Anyway, enough of that, back to the sea at Lincoln City – It was still pouring with rain
And so we returned to Cape Kiwanda, where after a while the rain eased and I caught this shot between showers.
I’m now at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda, typing this, watching the sun briefly come out and wondering if we’ll get a good sunset (see here for some other shots at Cape K)
At least I’ve got a cup of tea to drink, since Karen insisted on bringing some PG Tips…
A trip up round the the three capes route.
This first shot looks back towards the thick cloud atop Cape Lookout.
At Oceanside – looking south
On the road to cape Meares
Cape Meares lighthouse (I didn’t take this one ;-)
Inside the lighthouse…
The view looking south towards Oceanside (round the headland), from cape Meares
A roofless car is so much better to spot potential picture locations…
…and more fun to drive (when not raining)
The bay leading up to Tillamook
The sky cleared a bit, back at Cape Kiwanda
from a walk along the beach
What happens when you take a front wheel drive van on to a sandy beach
Unfortunately well above the high tide line, so not not really the sense of urgency that would have drawn a big crowd…
Why just travel around in a big car, when you can attach a truck like thing to the front of it…
Karen was bored and someone persuaded her to have a go at paragliding
Not a great sunset tonight, but at least it wasn’t raining
A drive down the coast to Florence today. The weather is pretty poor, but at least it’s not as wet as in Seattle, where a friend tells me it’s been raining for days…
It was raining the other day I visited Lincoln City, so I didn’t notice the Bear Emporium.
And since you can’t see the footprints in the shot above…
Further down the road is the ‘D’ river aka “the world’s shortest river”
If you travel much in America, you’ll realise just how much of the world’s biggest/tallest/shortest/smallest can be found there.
Cape Foulweather was named by Captain Cook and today lived up to its name, although the rain eased off a bit after a visit to the gift shop…
Along the coast they are big on Myrtlewood – you see shops and factories everywhere where they make things out of the wood…
And near the Devil’s Punchbowl
The black and white image below has had some pretty vigourous curves applies to bring out detail from the mist and rain.
Here’s another of Karen’s bridge pics for her sister…
That’s at Newport, where there are a lot of noisy sea lions in the harbour.
I was just taking the picture below, when Karen noticed that there were loads of them sleeping under the jetty we were on…
Trying to win the cutest sleeping sea lion award…
As I pointed out the other day, there’s no shortage of people travelling round in truck like vehicles
This supreme example of tackiness is a Winnebago towing a Dodge pickup (Dodge only seem to employ people bereft of any semblance of taste or decency in this part of their design department)
Is that a bike I see in the back?
Yup, just when you thought the yuk factor couldn’t get any worse…
One more shot of the coast, taken between rain showers…
Of course, coming into Florence, there is a huge bead shop…
In and around Florence, Oregon
Just a quiet day today, so a bit of a drive, a bit of a shop and not a lot else in Florence :-)
Since Karen has never been to the US before, we went to the local Safeway to get something for lunch
lots of huge packs of stuff – and lots cheaper than the UK too
Such a wide range of snacks… althought here Karen suspects the packs look too much like walkers crisps from the UK
And as a fan of Oreos (not easy to get in the UK), she is spoilt for choice…
However the range of ice cream is impressive…
Back outside the Motel, in the river, there are cormorants sunning themselves
and this long legged white bird looking for fish
Lastly a picture of the bridge at Florence (30 second exposure)
Note – I’ve been instructed to mention that oreos, crisps and ice cream were -not- actually purchased at Safeway :-)
At last the weather looks a bit better!
In the search for a few days nice weather we decided to carry on south to Bandon (it looks as if we will head inland and start north on Saturday now.
Definite signs of better weather…
Here’s a view from Cape Arago showing that while nice weather is appreciated, it makes it more difficult to get good black and white shots :-)
Off the coast are hundreds of Sea Lions at Simpson Reef, making a lot of noise, even several hundred yards away
Anyway here’s the car, now with roof down again. Note Karen for scale – this car would look huge parked outside my house in the UK – the tires are more the size I’d expect on a Transit van :-) Mind you, a 4.6L V8 does pull past RVs very effectively ;-)
In Bandon, it’s starting to look as if I might get to see a nice sunset
The view South…
And looking North
This being Bandon, there’s no shortage of Cranberry related resources in the local shops…
I went up to Face Rock to watch the sunset, but this is just before it started to rain heavily
This the view as the rain passed
And lastly a couple of views of the sunset, and the last few rays of sun…
The blog’s been delayed a bit on the grounds it takes a while to do, so the next few days will be mostly photos…
The beach at Bandon
Some interesting coloured rocks on the beach
Out for a drive, there’s a very small Expresso shop, along with a confused bystander
As ever, lots of Myrtlewood on Highway 101 in Oregon
And even Jam, that they will ship all over the world
Back to Bandon for a rather plain sunset
I did actually see a brief green flash as the last bit of the sun set, but I’ll need a better raw converter than is currently on my laptop to show it….
This is a few moments after the sun went down
Heading inland from Bandon we stop off at Crater lake in the snow. then northwards to Bend.
Crossing the coastal range, here’s another nice bridge.
A river in the Cascades
and a roadside view of another river – the colours are quite pronounced, although the damp overcast weather doesn’t do much for them
A bit of sun works a treat though
Near the shot above there was this -wooden- pipe for transporting water to a hydroelectric scheme
Note the leak – I used it to clean the car (well, at least one side of it)
The pipe is made from redwood planking, with a lot of steel banding added.
On the way to Crater lake there were the first signs of some snow at altitude
The pummice desert lost some of its interest, when covered with snow
All kinds of people were out for the day.
The dog has its own (heated) bag on the back of the bike to travel in
Here’s Karen ( right) taking a picture of a snowman
The cloud cleared for a short while, giving this view of the lake and Wizard Island
Note the rainbow (it’s for real!)
Meanwhile a lot of visitors congregated at Rim Village…
Afterward we made for Bend – no more pics since it had been a long drive…
We also decided not to wait up and visit the grill and sports pub next to our motel in Bend.
Heading north from Bend, we cross the Columbia river, stop off at Stonehenge and continue on to Seattle.
Here’s the motel, as we make an early getaway…
As you head north up US97, there is a wide plateau, where there really isn’t a lot to see, although not a bad drive
and the odd tree (you can see it from the in car shot above)
crossing the Columbia river (another big bridge)
Just over the bridge is a large fruit stand – so we stocked up with plums and peaches
This view gives the context for the bridge- note the rather long train (certainly over half a mile long)
The photo above was taken at Stonehenge, or at least the war memorial built as a copy
The view from inside
They do a lot of fruit in this part of Washington – and frequently sell it alongside antiques
Anyway, we got to Kirkland. We’re staying at a friend of mine’s for a few days, so here’s a view of Seattle in the distance, or at least the glow it throws up onto the clouds.
Since there hasn’t been so many food shots, here’s the ribs I sampled that evening in Bellvue (with Al in the background)
And the range of Cheesecake available for deserts
Staying with a friend in Seattle gives us a chance to look at the city.
Not something I tend to do much when travelling on my own – visit a big city, in this case Seattle…
Seattle, and not raining…
Still the great market
all kinds of ‘stuff’
Then a trip to the Space Needle, by monorail
It’s a long way up…
On the way in to the lifts
An excellent view from the top – note the big 14,000 feet volcano trying to hide in the background
I took several images to stitch into a high resolution panoramic shot, but don’t have the image stitching software I use, on my laptop
This is after Karen was glad to get to ground level again :-)
On the way back, we grabbed seets at the front…
Afterwards, a walk through town…
This in the Steinway shop
This interesting narrow building is the Mariners shop (baseball) where Karen wanted to do some shopping
The tower next to it is one of the Westin towers
I was using a shift lens (hand held) to correct perspective, as in the shot below
In the evening we went to Bellvue, for another excellent meal – the town has new large buildings going up all over the place.
The view is from where we went to eat…
And, just for folks back home who think the LG has a big bar collection…
A few days in Seattle finishes of this particular journey. If you’re visiting, I can particularly recommend the underground tour.
Probably the last days pics today – unless I get some more good ones on the flight home
Another day in Seattle – this is the view from Al’s place in Kirkland, as the first dawn light catches the Seattle skyline.
A few shots around the city.
The basement cafe which inspired the cafe in ‘Frasier’
Quite steeply sloping streets (the Smith Tower)
If you are spending any time here, it’s well worth going on the underground tour
To the left is the original ground floor of a building, to the right, a retaining wall where the road level was built up, above is the current sidewalk (pavement). What you see as the ground floors in buildings in this area are actually the first floors (or second floor as it is known in the US)
A really good 90 minute tour, where you learn just how avaricious and unscrupulous the people who created Seattle were :-)
That’s it for general touring now, so I hope people have enjoyed the pictures!
On the 10th we went shopping and I didn’t even take a camera with me :-)
On the 11th we flew back – I’ve added a couple of shots here, but it was mostly cloudy. The plane had fuel problems so the flight from Chicago to London was diverted to New York for repairs. Due to bad weather we were delayed and had to fly round the most spectacular thunderstorms I’ve ever seen from the air (over Boston) – unfortunately no pics :-(
Coming in to Chicago, I noticed the shadow of the plane on the clouds, surrounded by rainbows of coloured rings from light reflected from within water droplets in the clouds. The centre of the rings shows where I was sitting in the plane…
END of TRIP :-(