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Touring the US Pacific coast spring 2007

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A landscape photographer’s tour

Keith’s travels in California and the Pacific Northwest – April-May 2007

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This photo-diary covers a driving trip up the coast from San Francisco in April/May 2007 along the Pacific highway.

Now I’ve returned, I’ve updated any info that may be of help to people who come across these pages as part of their planning for driving tours of the California and Oregon coasts, looking for places to stay or sites to visit.

It’s a great place for a vacation, or just a road trip up the Pacific coast to photograph some of the scenery. If you’ve any questions about the hotels/inns/motels where I stayed, then please do feel free to drop me a line.

With the site update in 2016, all the individual blog posts were pulled together into this one long post.

Ok, just travelling today, but I thought I’d take a few shots from the plane, since after getting the 7:55am flight from London to Chicago, I discovered that it’s often quite empty and had a row of seats to myself.

Anyway, no trip starts without a (slightly weak) cup of tea. Todays pics are taken with the free Sony S500 I recently got with a data projector, so are from jpeg files and through a plane window – not the best of quality ;-)

breakfast at Heathrow terminal 3

Much better is the Pizza you get before arriving at Chicago (flying AA)

excellent pizza on American Airlines

This is looking over the gulf of St Lawrence

gulf of St lawrence

well around here according to the plane’s navigation system

travel map - Quebec

And looking north into Quebec

snow in Quebec

Sim city? nope, Chicago

sim city/ chicago

And more new housing near Chicago

new housing in Chicago

Lots to do in the mid-west

The mid west

Rock formations

rock formations

More rocks


Here’s some snowy mountains in Wyoming I believe

mountains in Wyoming

The edge of the great Salt lake, Utah

Salt Lake city

More of the Utah salt flats

Salt flats

And arriving at San Francisco

SF and the golden gate bridge

Meanwhile, watching QVC selling cookies, I check the lenses I’ve brought along on the trip

15mm, 16-35mm, 24mm Tilt/Shift, 24-70mm, 70-200mm

Canon lenses

I’m in Millbrae, not far from SF airport, and tomorrow I’m heading north.

The weather forecast is not too good for the next few days, but who knows… :-)

San Francisco to Jenner, CA

The morning started off a bit cool and damp. My car is the one to the left – not quite the barge I had in Colorado, but sporty -not-

Note the palms :-)

motel car park

The car has a GPS navigation system, which turned out to be rather useful when I decided to drive into San Francisco and took a couple of wrong turns.

Anyway, heading up towards the Golden Gate bridge, there’s lots of small houses. Quite distinctive and not like any other US city I’ve visited.

san francisco houses

Eventually the bridge is sighted, along with a sign pointing out there is no toll to leave the city :-)

golden gate bridge approach

And another shot from the car (use a very wide lens -16mm- and crop heavily)

on the golden gat bridge

On the other side of the bridge, there’s a visitor area, so this next picture must be in a lot of people’s holiday albums :-)

looking back over the golden gate bridge

Time to pull out the very wide angle (15mm) and crop to get another nice view of San Francisco from a distance

sf and gg

Here’s Alcatraz


And SF

san fran skyline

Then it’s off up Highway 1, the coast road – with the Pacific in view

pacific road

Interesting trees – don’t know what they are, but they have lots of peeling bark

hwy 1 trees

Enough of this – time for a Latte in Point Reyes Station.


See that luminous green shape in the background – sorry madam, lime green is not your colour… :-)

Then a quick visit to Marty Knapp (right) and his excellent black and white landscape prints (from film)

marty knapp

Off up highway 1

pacific drive

Feeling a bit hot I think of a swim, however…

shark warning

and add to that, this warning

don't swim

So, reluctantly, I decided -not- to go for a swim

And yet another shot of the Pacific – this time with roadworks


Here’s a very wide angle shot of a great beach.

The Canon EF 15mm lens I’ve used is probably one of the most resistant to flare that I’ve got. My 16-35 would have some lovely coloured patches diagonally opposite to the sun.

beach view

And for those at home wanting a picture of me by the Pacific…

feet by the pacifix

Here’s yet another great beach — I was stopped on one and asked (by the lifeguard) if I was a professional photographer? It seems you need a permit to take pictures to sell.

So if anyone ever wants a picture I took in this area, then I’m afraid they are not for sale in California for ‘legal’ reasons ;-)

pacific coast

Meanwhile here’s a starfish and anemone on a rock, waiting for the tide to come back in.

starfish and anemone

More beaches – are you getting a feel for today’s journey? :-)

driving by the beach

The following three shots are from a sequence I took of three pelicans that flew in to a beach, then along the crest of a breaking wave.

3 pelicans

As the wave started to break the wheeled off and back out to sea


3 pelicans

Next is where I almost managed to get my feet wet…

The shot is with a 15mm fisheye lens – if you are using one and don’t want the fisheye effect to leap out (such as the pictures of my feet earlier) then make sure the horizon is exactly along the midline of the picture. This is not normally the place you want to have the horizon, so a bit more care with composition may be needed…


This evening I’m staying in Jenner at the Jenner Inn

…in fact I’m staying at a house just up the road (here it is from across the Russian River)

heron room - jenner, california

Flowers in the garden…


and a hot tub in the front…

hot tub - jenner

and a very nice view from my room…

room at jenner inn

and a rather nice restaurant to boot…

Jenner, CA to Fort Bragg, CA

When is wireless internet not so useful? When the bit of damp string connecting it to the rest of the internet has dried out :-)

I knew there were problems uploading files yesterday, but unlike some of the motels I’ve stayed at, the first sitting at the restaurant in Jenner was at 8:30am. So, here I am sitting in my car outside, using their wireless connection to check my email and try and upload the missing files, while I’m waiting for breakfast…

in car with computer

Well, it worked a bit..

Not long afterwards I’m in the restaurant – unfortunately they had only just reopened and supplies were short.

Not actually a problem – this is the excellent Eggs Florentine I had (note other guests, still waiting for their food looking on ;-)

eggs florentine

The weather was dry, but the forecast not good. In fact I’m now in Fort Bragg, listening to the rain pouring down outside.

It’s been raining several hours now, I may go out shortly…

Back to the road…

cloudy Pacific

The coast road is a great drive.

The shot below gives an idea of how high some parts go.

pacific coast road view

I took quite a lot of photos from this site and may well try stitching some together when I’m back home, with a faster computer.

In the meantime, here’s a black and white version, converted from colour using the new BW adjustment in Photoshop CS3 (I’ll be adding this to the collection of colour to black and white conversion methods on this site)

cloudy coast

Not long after, the rain started…

driving rain

Back to the topic of food, here’s a very nice prawn omlette I had for lunch at Elk

prawn omlette

I had a mail from Australia suggesting that the trees I showed yesterday are a type of Eucalyptus.

Today’s interesting tree collections come in rows, sometimes planted very close together…

stand of trees

So now I’m in Fort Bragg, listening to the rain.

After a while I went out to pick up some food – still raining

Wet Saturday evening in Ft. Bragg, CA

Enough of this – hopefully a bit drier tomorrow :-)

Fort Bragg, CA to Crescent City, CA

One nice thing about travelling west from home, is that I suddenly find it easy to get up at 6am (8hrs behind UK here)

At the motel I’m at, there’s no free breakfast, but there is a coffee machine in my room. Only slight problem is the coffee.

Often called “Roaster’s Choice”, one is left wondering just what life threatening choice the Roaster was facing at the time they produced it?

Fortunately, I just buy a bag of coffee and some filter papers when I get here…

morning coffe in a motel room

Oh, and a tray of strawberrys that happened to fall into my basket when I was shopping last night –not seen, bag of choc chip cookies and carton of fruit juice (and a bag of carrots for ‘healthy’ snacks ;-)

Once again, the little Sony point ‘n’ click produces a tolerable image (OK, after applying a PS adjustment curve)

The weather looks grey and overcast, but it’s not raining!

Time (07:00) to hit the road…

motel car park

Ready to leave the Mariah Country Inn, Ft. Bragg

It had rained a lot overnight, and shortly after I took the shot below, it started again…

rainy beach

Nice rolling surf

breaking waves

A bit further up the coast the sun came out

This first shot shows some details of the surf


Pulling back a bit

cliftop view

and with the 15mm (note again how keeping the horizon along the midline hides a lot of the distortion.

wide clifftop view

Still some low cloud in the hills…

misty mountains

and some more rain

road bridge

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was the number of cars parked along the coast road, with people in diving gear. It’s abalone hunting/harvesting/wanton destruction season (depending on your POV) Each person is currently allowed 4 per day (24 total). It’s supposed to be non-commercial, but I bet a fair few end up in restaurants in San Francisco ;-)

abalone collecting

Here’s where they were going…

abalone collection

A bit more cloud and black and white – the weather looks a bit more threatening :-)

looking north

After a while the road leaves the coast and heads into the trees.

into the forests

The road climbs quite a distance into the coastal mountains.

Further on you reach the area where the redwoods grow…

The one below is called the Chandelier Tree – in the first shot it just looks a big tree

big redwood

A very wide shot shows it more in context

chandelier tree

It’s 315 feet high and about 2400 years old, so what do they do – why, cut a hole through it to drive your car through

drive through tree

Meanwhile, this is the view from inside the tree…

inside a huge redwood

They’re all over the place, not as old, but just as tall

tall trees

Highway 101 heads north, with lots more places to see big trees

highway 101 redwood

Eventually I decided to stop off in Eureka


More of the older parts of town

downtown eureka

Meanwhile a couple of boats were sailing by – don’t know what this was about…

old boats

Of course it could be something connected with ‘Earthday’, which is a bit bigger over here (particularly this being California ;-)

I see on the Earthday web site (I had to look it up…) there is a campaign to get rid of incandescant light bulbs. Not in parts of my house I spend much time in thank you – not until I can get energy saving bulbs with a decent CRI (colour rendition index) that can be dimmed, and don’t take 30 seconds to reach full brightness if they are more than a few months old.

As you can see, the weather had improved somewhat.

eureka bayshore

This is the view from the beach the other side of where the boats were…

samoa beach

Tomorrow it’s further north…

Eureka, CA to Crescent City, CA

It seems the boats I saw yesterday were just visiting Eureka – my free local paper mentions the Hawaiian Chieftain and the Lady Washington (below)

Lady Washington

Fans of Pirates of the Caribbean may recognise it…

It’s half past seven and the sun is just about shining at the Bayshore Inn, Eureka.

Bayshore Inn

Before long, the sky is clear and I’m heading to the next beach

early morning sunshine

The low sun catches the waves and spray

waves on the beach

This strip is actually about 170 degrees, showing almost the whole beach

170 degree beach view
wide angle view

diagonal lines

It’s a crop from the middle of this picture. Note that the distortions you might expect are not there.

Any straight line that runs through the centre of the frame remains a straight line.

I stopped off at several more places, including Trinidad

morning mist on the rocks

a nice beach and small harbour

Trinidad beach, california

and here, in black and white

sparkling waves

A very pleasant day…


Meanwhile here’s a picture of me by the Pacific for my Mum… :-)

keith by the Pacific

I’m about 8 feet in front of the camera

…or a slightly less distorted view


Meanwhile, in the car park, bumper stickers with a car attached

bumper stickers

Not fans of the ‘commander in chief’ I guess :-)

somewhere in texas

Next, it’s off into the land of the redwoods.

This shot is of some of the very large trees in the Redwoods National Park

redwood trees

Being rather thin and tall, they are one of those sights that it’s very difficult to capture in a photograph

flower and redwoods

Here they are in the background to some forest flowers

flower in the redwood forest

Enough trees and beaches for the time being.

I stopped off for a coffee and snack in Crescent City

latte and danish

Here’s the lighthouse at Crescent City

crescent city lighthouse

… and another rocky beach :-)

crescent city

Anyway I’ve decided to stay at Crescent City for today. There seems to have been a severe shortage in imagination when they were thinking of the street names for a big chunk of it. A grid of streets, either single letters or numbers. Was there no-one famous to name things after at the time?

guest choice coffee

Today’s Motel coffee is ‘Guest Choice’ – I think not… :-)

Crescent City, CA to Bandon, OR

Early morning in Crescent City and the weather is fine.

Driving round the parts without trees anymore give a feel for when the entire area was covered in huge forests.

tree stumps

I’m now heading up highway 101 towards Oregon.

road north

(Note for Steve – combined high/intermediate/low voltage pylon made of wood)

So, on into Oregon…


And the first nice beach of the day

high cloud

Almost entirely devoid of other people too…


Some of the beaches are a bit trickier to get to, but you can rest assured I didn’t have to walk very far.

small beach

I also stopped of at Port Orford for a coffee – this is as far south as I got on my last visit to the Oregon coast in 2004

Port Orford beach

As you can see the weather was starting to get a bit less pleasant.

Excellent coffee :-)


Heading north I cross a bridge, where the designer obviously knew there was some spare money in the budget, or just had too much spare time.

excessive bridge decoration

Today I’m staying in Bandon.

A very nice room at the Bandon Inn, with a view over the harbour and old town

big room

The view is clearer in this shot

view from room

or from below

masonic temple

or even from my room (arrowed above) at night

At the harbour

bandon harbour

One of the things worth knowing about the Oregon coast, is that there is an active subduction zone just off out in the ocean.

If you are visiting, then do make a mental note of these signs if you see them…

tsunami evacuation

Here’s a convenient sign near the beach, explaining things (note excellent chip shop to left ;-)

oregon subduction zone

A very nice beach too…

beach at bandon

bandon beach

Meanwhile, back in Bandon I spotted this shop window, illustrating my point about lime green from the other day in Point Reyes Station

green clothes

So many presents for people back home…

I’d forgot, I’m in the land of cranberries – what else can we make with them?

mm - cranberries

More presents taken care of ;-)

Then I headed off to the lighthouse at the other side of the harbour entrance.

logs and lighthouse

The view is from the entrance jetty and shows some of the rather large driftwood they get on this coast.

Here’s a few more bits thrown together by the waves

assorted logs

While I was standing on the jetty, I suddenly realised I was being watched

seal no. 1

And another one

seal no2

To the north, it looked a bit rough…


stormy waves

heading back into Bandon, there’s a bridge where the centre section lifts for boats to get through


You can see the counterweights in this view

lifting bridge

Tomorrow, I think I may go up to Florence…

Bandon, OR to Florence, OR

A relatively short journey today – up to Florence. It’s much easier to travel bigger distances here than in the crowded busy roads of the UK.

Just gone 7am and the dawn sun catches cloud above the Coquille River. This is the view from my room…

dawn coquille river, bandon

Not far up the coast, it’s another nice sandy beach – the early morning cloud is starting to clear


Another imposing looking bridge

imposing bridge

There are some wide estuaries along the Oregon coast, and some pretty big bridges, some of which tilt or swing for boats to get past.


Wood processing in Coos bay

coos bay

A huge pile of sawdust – ok wood chips…

coos bay sawdust

Sand dunes make up a fair bit of the coast in this area

oregon dunes

In the old town, Florence

florence old town

Florence harbour

florence harbour

and a visit to Siuslaw River Coffee Roasters for my first coffee of the day…

deja brew

The town may be pretty, but is not without the usual ugly Dodge you see spoiling the view all over the US.

I’m sure the owners like it, but it’s one of those companies that if it vanished, the world would be a slightly nicer place :-)

Dodge - devoid of any style

I stopped off at Digital Dunes and had a good chat with Curt Peters – here he is with some of his work

Curt at digital Dunes Photography

Then I spotted these bears on a trailer

bears on a trailer

And some more coffee was needed :-)


I’m staying at The River House and this is the view from my room :-)

river house motel -view

Meanwhile, since there’s not many today, here’s another nice beach (Heceta Beach)

heceta beach

Ok, I think that’ll do for the time being, time to go out for some food :-)

So I leave my room, and there’s a BBQ in the car park…

car park BBQ

A genuine use for the pickup

Real beer, and a damn site better kept than at the Pump and Tap :-) (my local pub in Leicester, England)

Beer in Florence, Oregon

Along with a very nice seafood pasta thingy

seafood linguine

Florence, OR

I didn’t know it, but Florence is the site of the original exploding whale, where they tried to dispose of a beached whale with half a ton of dynamite.

The dunes to the south of here are also supposed to have been the inspiration for some of Frank Herberts ‘Dune’

Today I’ve just had a short trip up the coast (more nice beaches :-) Driving round on your own does get a bit tiring after several days and it’s nice to stay a couple of nights at places to avoid the rush in packing up and leaving.

Outside my room, sitting on wooden posts in the river are various cormorants. They fly around, catch fish, and then sun themselves to dry off.

I’ll start off with the customary breakfast picture – a very nice omlette with cheese, chicken and a host of other bits in it (I know my Mother worries that I don’t eat properly when I’m away)

breakfast in Florence, oregon

I’ll be interested in processing some of the very wide angle shots I’ve taken using DxO Optics Pro, when I get back. I recently wrote a review of the latest version and although it’s much faster, I’m travelling with an old 1.25G G4 Powerbook, which is creaking a bit running Photoshop CS2. I’ve also got the DxO Film Pack installed, which provides extremely accurate renditions of various film ‘styles’ I’ll be having a detailed look at this when I’m back (it’s only briefly covered in the DxO review)

I’d forgot it’s National Tinsel Day over here – this lady operating a stop/go sign at roadworks obviously hadn’t forgot

national tinsel day in oregon

First forgetting Earthday, then forgetting National Tinsel Day, I really must check my diary more often :-)

Heceta lighthouse is aparently the most photographed in Oregon (who works this stuff out?)

So here it is in the haze

heceta head lighhouse

or a slightly wider view

heceta, oregon

A popular place for photographers – this is Jeff from Essex :-) — who actually specialises in photographing mazes

photography stop

As you drive up Highway 101, there are a sucession of turnoffs for beaches, campgrounds and the like. Stopping of at Bob Creek, the view looked familiar.

It was one of the places I’d took a picture on my last visit to the area. It just happens that my note taking skills have never been particularly well developed, so I wasn’t ever sure exactly where it had been taken.

bob creek

Picture from my previous visit – now known to be at Bob Creek.

Notice how the weather is a bit more condusive to black and white photography.

The best weather is often scattered heavy showers, although it then tends to start raining or get overcast :-)

Anyway, here are some alternate views on a very pleasant day

bob creek beach

bob creek

And someone walking their dog (it’s actually a rather small one)

dog walking

Next up was Strawberry hill

Walking down from the car park I spotted some familiar rock forms – cross cutting dykes ( vertical emplacements of magma, that run in straight lines)

The older dyke is interupted by newer ones – suddenly I remembered all that stuff from a field trip to North West Scotland when I was studying Geology at university…

Just like then — no, hang on a minute, no cold and damp, no cheerful company, and I’m in a good mood :-)

–not at all like then ;-)

Ok back to the nice scenic shots

Strawberry hill, oregon coast

In the evening it’s time to sample some of the entertainments in Florence.

Whereas at home I’d often not go out till 10pm, here, the action starts a bit earlier (6 :-)

At the Travellers Cove there’s food and live music

music from 'take four' in florence oregon

  • (Note for people back in Leicester – the LG in 40 yrs :-)

Dancing too…

and prawns and stuff, which was nice

Ok, that’s it for a while – tomorrow it’s further north (as ever updates are dependant on internet connectivity where I’m staying)

Florence, OR to Pacific City, OR

I’m staying in Cape Kiwanda for a couple of days, and having a bit of a rest from driving on Saturday

I left Florence fairly early (my getting up time drifts later during these trips ;-)

After a few miles I stopped at Neptune beach. The rocks here are mostly volcanics, and here’s a dyke (an intrusive near vertical sheet of magma), with quarter for scale (arrowed). Who said I never learnt anything on Geology field trips to Scotland ;-)

rocks at neptune beach, oregon

Anyway, here are a couple of more scenic views

neptune beach, oregon

And the bridge on the main road

bridge over highway 101 oregon

Here’s the first big bridge of the day


More impressive is the one heading in to Newport

newport bridge oregon

Newport is a major fishing port – you can see the bridge in the background of this shot of part of the harbour

newport harbour

boats at newport oregon

While I was watching, this seal (or is it a sea-lion?) came up and decided it didn’t much like one of the seagulls on the water :-) Do they eat sea-birds? It certainly got all the gulls to move…


Time for breakfast at ‘the coffee house’

coffee house, newport oregon

Here are some fellow diners sampling the huge pancakes…


While I went for the very interesting (and tasty) Crabcakes florentine – the sauce is a mustard and tarragon white sauce

crabcakes florentine

Another nice spot to view the waves

oregon beach

and time for coffee and a quick check of my email :-)

wifi at coffee shop, lincoln city, oregon

The headland below has the Yaquina lighthouse – not having the interest in lighthouse that they seem to have round here, I decided not to stump up the $5 to visit it.

yaquina head

here’s a better view from the car park…

lighthouse at yaquina

Here’s the view looking up the coast. The weather was gradually clouding over all day.

empty beach, oregon

I’d decided to stay at Cape Kiwanda for a while, and went a bit further up the coast while waiting for my room to be ready.

haystack rock from the north

This is the view of Haystack rock from the north. I’ve stayed here before and got some excellent sunset shots (pics in the main gallery)

I also had a walk in the forest above Lookout Point

In the full size picture, the waves can be seen several hundred feet below

tall trees

More big tall trees

creepy trees

…but some nice flowers as well

forest flowers

forest flower

Meanwhile back at Cape Kiwanda, it looked as if there wasn’t going to be a good sunset that evening, so here’s just a few shots of the last sun.

Cape kiwanda

haystack rock Cape kiwanda

Cape kiwanda beach

Then I went off to the Pelican Pub and Brewery, which is why this update is a bit late :-)

Cape Kiwanda, OR

Today’s the day I don’t drive anywhere… So I went for a walk along the beach.

The weather has improved over yesterday.

cape kiwnda beach

The beach does look nice and empty in that shot.

There are quite a few people in it – here in the ‘Land of the Vast’, it seems Saturday morning is time to take your small dog for a walk on the beach.

land of the vast - walking their dogs

No-one seems to take big dogs to the beach.

I decided to go to the top of the big sand dune, and then thought better of it

hill of sand

To think that last time I was here, my friend Alistair actually ran all the way to the top…

One of the things I like about the quality of the light on the coast, is the haze and mist you get from the cold water and the surf (Note also person with dogs on strings)

beach mist - cape kiwanda, oregon

At last a decent sunset is possible, this is the view from the lobby of the Inn at Cape Kiwanda (somewhere I really do like staying ;-)

inn at cape kiwanda - lobby

Here’s a collection of sunset shots that have not been particularly processed. I usually wait a week or two when I get back home before going through all the pictures I’ve taken on a trip, to get a feel for what I want to print.

reflections - ,sunset at Cape Kiwanda, oregon

kiwanda sunset, pacific city oregon

While I was walking along the beach, a flock of small birds zoomed along the beach, stopping every so often.

flock of birds on the beach, Pacific city, oregon

And the last bit of light…

final light, cape Kiwanda, oregon

A bit different from my last visit in 2004 (examples from the Gallery)

cape_k_sunset1 cape_k_sunset2 cape_k_sunset3

The middle image was printed as a 60 inch high print for my exhibition at the RAC in Leicester.

The Pelican Pub and Brewery that’s just over the road from where I’m staying does real ale…

beer pump

pint of beer

Now this may look like a pint, but don’t be fooled. This is an ‘American’ pint, or 16 fluid ounces :-)

Here’s the brewing area…

brewing euipment

It’s a pretty busy place, even in the ‘quiet’ times of the year

pelican brewery

This is however the land of wearing hats indoors

men wearing hats

Afterwards I popped out onto the beach to see the moon and a beach party fire

cape kiwanda at night

The camera was standing on a log, so the horizon isn’t quite level ;-)

Then I went over to the fire and had a chat with the people there.

Nice thing over here is you can just wander up and people just chat – not always that friendly back in the UK ;-)

oregon beach party

Tomorrow it’s back to heading north…

Pacific City, OR to Cannon Beach,OR

Today I have to start giving some attention to the fact that I’ve got to drop the car off and fly home from San Francisco on Thursday morning.

I’ve driven some way up the Oregon coast and am staying in Cannon Beach, deciding to treat myself to a room with a very nice view (pics later :-)

On the way up I see the usual great views of the ocean, this time on the way towards Tillamook.

looking north

If you’re at one of the viewpoints near the water, then there is usually this handy collection of warnings…

beach warning

Time for a good hefty American Breakfast – I remembered the excellent Red Apple Inn at Tillamook from passing through several years ago, and it’s still going strong.

red apple inn, tillamook

One breakfast that’ll keep me going for much of the rest of the day :-)

american breakfast

Upon leaving, what do I see but my favourite ugly American road vehicle – a Dodge

nasty horrid looking dodge

With gas at only $3.29 a (US) gallon here, who needs fuel economy…

Tillamook also claims to be famous for its cheese

tillamook cheese

I remember visiting Oregon many years ago, and at the time, how much my friend Vicky was impressed with the range of cheeses to be found.

Fortunately there are gift baskets available… ;-)


The coast in this area is quite mountainous alternating between rocky areas and the many beaches

sea rocks

coastal mountains

This view of Manzanita is from a mountain several hundred feet up (I’ll leave finding the details to a later day)

manzanita beach

Interestingly enough, in Manzanita I spotted one local business that has perhaps seen a bit of an increase in business over the last few years ;-)

flagpole installation

I drove past Cannon beach, up highway 101, just to remind myself how like a British seaside town some aspects of Seaside are – fortunately it was busy

seaside 2

and with people out in cycle powered vehicles


I decided that the smell of candy floss was just too much ;-)

So, back to the genteel ‘Tweeness’ of Cannon Beach, with it’s galleries and other emporia

cannon beach twee

Of course if you go for a house by the beach, I’d expect you get to clean up a lot of sand…

haystack rock, cannon beach

I’d decided to stay at the Lands End Motel – here’s a view from the beach (it’s about a 5th of the way in from the right)

<img src=

With a nice view from the room

room view

Quite a few people were out for a Sunday lunchtime walk on the beach

walking on cannon beach

There were also flocks of those small fast moving birds I’d seen on other beaches

birds- cannon beach

A few shots of when the sun went down

cannon beach sunset

cannon beach sun

and an hour or so later – the bright star is Venus

venus from cannon beach

The clouds are blurred through moving, in this 30 second exposure.

Tomorrow I’m heading back south down I-5, so I’m not expecting much in the way of scenic pictures to show – but who knows?

Cannon Beach, OR to Shasta, CA

Today I’ve driven back down to Mt. Shasta in California, so not much in the way of scenic images, just a few shots from my journey.

Just in case anyone was wondering how I take the shots while driving… I have a 16mm lens set focussed at infinity, camera set to manual. The field of view is so wide that I can just rotate the image and crop the bit I want – it’s more than good enough for web use. There is a slight bit of colour correction needed because of the tint in the car window glass. Not advised for dense traffic, but OK for most use.

Not long after leaving Cannon Beach towards Portland I stopped off briefly in some of the coastal rain forest. It’s actually very difficult to get good shots in the forest, but this gives a bit of an idea what it’s like (when dry)

oregon rain forest

lots of moss, rotting logs and green stuff… :-)

Most of the journey is down I-5, so nothing much to look at during the flat bit of the trip.

travelling in an RV

Here’s an RV towing a big car – do these people have oil company shares?

There’s also adverts for the lottery…

oregon lottery

I couldn’t get a clear shot of this, but the writing underneath says

“Lottery games should not be played for investment purposes”

Perhaps there should be a warning like this for the hard of understanding, on UK lottery tickets

There are all kinds of roadside signs to aid and inspire


and just in case you were still hankering after a re-run of the Scopes Monkey Trial, there is this arrant nonsense

Evolution is a fact - live with it :-)

If you want to see your house being made, there’s a factory tour available (I just missed the shot)

oregon home building

And here’s one being moved

houses in oregon

To the East there are the volcanoes of the Cascades – These are big volcanoes and are going to cause a lot of damage one day…

Just north of Medford

medford, Oregon

Further down I-5 it gets quite mountainous (over 4000 feet)


Just over the border into California, there’s Mt Shasta (it’s over 25 miles away in this shot)

Mount shasta

That’s another old volcano to the right of it.

I’m staying in Shasta City tonight and will probably visit Lassen volcanic park tomorrow before heading over towards San Francisco, so hopefully some more photos :-)

Shasta, CA to Lakeport, CA

Starting out from Shasta, the weather doesn’t look too good for a trip to Lassen.

mt shasta in the clouds

However before leving I have to wait for a train to cross the road

shasta city railroad crossing

Now I know that Mike back home will want more details, so here are both power units (with numbers) and one of the sleeper cars

Amtrak 115 and 117

Amtrak superliner

It’s about 90 miles to Lassen, and the weather started to look a bit better in the distance

road to lassen volcanic park

and then a lot better

mt lassen

Lassen (one of the big Cascade volcanoes) is the more distant snow covered peak

Here’s the view at the entrance to the park.

lassen park

…and here is what met me 10 miles into the park – Doh! I’d forgotten that it’s only the first of May :-(

Last time I visited it was late September…

lassen volcanic park road closed

It’s a fair old drive to the other entrance, and chatting to someone at the sign, I found you could only get 7 miles in on the other side (it’s a 33 mile drive through the park)

So this is about the closest I got to the peak today :-(

mt lassen from the devastated area

I did think of travelling round to the other entrance, but the weather was clouding up from the west.

This is a view looking back to the mountains, as I headed west to Redding to take I-5 south… it started raining not long after.

looking back to mountains

Travelling down I-5 there are the usual adverts


That’s more convenient gift ideas…

I also spotted these (another pic for Al and Steve back home)

pylons by i-5

I came off I-5 at Williams and called in at Granzella for a snack.

granzella, williams,ca

Hang on though, what’s that on the wall? (rather noisy pic at 1250 ISO)

watneys red barrel

Yup, Watneys Red Barrel – a true relic of just how bad beer in the UK was in the 70’s. I believe they had Double Diamond on draught as well…

Williams looks to have seen better times

williams shops

here’s a detail…

williams tourism

I thought people looked rather smartly dressed ;-)

Heading West out of Williams, there are lots of flooded fields – I remembered that this is where a lot of rice is grown.

rice paddies near williams

After travelling through the mountains, you come the the impressively large ‘Clear Lake’

clear lake

Quite stormy and raining in the distance

storm on clear lake

I’m staying in Lakeport, and tomorrow I need to end up in San Francisco – not sure of the route yet, but probably back across the Golden Gate bridge.

Lakeport, CA to San Francisco

An early start from Lakeport. At least the sun is out.

Bright early sun at the Anchorage Motel.

sunrise at lakeport

You can see some of the overnight rain on the windscreen (or ‘windshield’ to US readers ;-)


a quick detour to the lake to see a much calmer lake surface today.

clear lake

Heading(west) up over the hills towards Hopland, there are some very nice looking oak forests.

hopland road

However, just over the highest point, the weather changes very quickly (note rain drops)

summit cloud

just high cloud though, as the road winds back down again

towards hopland

Here, it’s back on Hwy 101 heading south

hwy 101

and west again – suddenly it’s more like driving through parts of France, with vinyards everywhere


I’m following the Russian river back to Jenner on the coast, where I stayed at the beginning of the trip.

I stopped off for a coffee in Guerneville.

Lots of people standing around waiting for work. Judging by the looks I got walking past them earlier when carrying a camera, I’d suspect some might not be entirely legal. That said, the last time I had a camera and a big obvious lens at Leicester market, there were a surprisingly large number of people ‘working’ who were not too keen having a camera pointed in their general direction


I popped into the local safeway to pick up a few items…

safeway in guerneville

The blur is Barbara (below) hastily packing my stuff for me, expressing disbelief that we don’t have people to pack our bags for us back in the UK…

bag packing

The blue item in the bag being one of the odd items (Oreos) that I was requested to bring back from the US.

The Russian river is a nice drive to the coast.

russian river

At least it’s not raining :-)

looking south on the coast

This B/W shot below actually shows a bit too much noise in the darker parts of the sky. It’s a combination of the quick conversion I’ve done (using CS3 B/W adjustments) and the JPEG compression

cloud and mist on the coast

There are lots of wild flowers all along the cliff-tops

flowers on the cliff top

and after a while the sun came out, giving a deep colour to parts of the sea

looking north along the coast

Not a bad day to finish off my visit to the States :-)

sonoma coast

I stopped off in Pt. Reyes Station to have another coffee and check my email.

Coffee at Toby’s where I was told there was WiFi connectivity – unfortunately no-one knew the password. However there was an open network in a business further into the shed. It’s the first time I’ve checked my mail drinking coffee andsitting on some sacks of fertiliser…

pt reyes - coffee at toby's

In the picture, Brian, also using a Mac :-)

And so, back across the Golden Gate bridge – much clearer view today.

golden gate bridge and view of san francisco

I’m back at the Millwood Inn, in Millbrae, now waiting to head off in the morning.

If I get some decent shots on the journey back, I’ll post some images for tomorrow, but that’s it for the travel blog. I hope it’s been of interest – I’ll be waiting a week or two before reviewing all the pictures I’ve took, but hopefully a few will make good prints.

bye for now — Keith

Travelling back to the UK

Just a few images from my flight back – it was cloudy over much of the US, but I got a few pics (all looking in a southerly direction)

These are taken with the little S500 I was given by Sony. I recognised several of the places from the air :-)

First up, the Sierra Nevada (California) with Mono Lake to the left (Yosemite is in the mountains to the east of it)

yosemite - mono lake

Now for a bit of Colorado that I have not been able to find exactly, but I believe it is to the northwest of Steamboat Springs


Having accurately placed the following two pictures and having the times they were taken would allow me to work out the speed of the aircraft and then plot back a few minutes to the location of the picture above (maybe some other time ;-)

I took this picture to do just that since the lake was easy to find (MacFarlane resvr.) as being to the south of Walden, Colorado.


Now the Colorado picture that was easiest to locate


This is right at the edge of the Rockies and the lake (center, far left) is Loveland

  • Note for anyone curious… ;-)
    The camera times for each of the 3 pictures were:
  • If I recall correctly, we were at 37,000 feet

Lastly a picture showing why I’ve never yet visited any of Colorado to the east of the Rockies ;-)

east colorado

Well that’s it until I decide it’s time for another trip :-)

Thanks to all the people who have written in and said they enjoyed the ‘blog’.

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