This past March we spent a week in Tucson to get some vitamin D sunshine! And it was J’s first trip to the desert, ever! We went on a couple of hikes, went to the amazing Kartchner Caverns, went to a desert botanical garden and bistro, Tohono Chul, and just hung out drinking tea at The Scented Leaf, where I picked up some nice green tea to take home.
Unfortunately, they don’t let you take pictures at Kartchner Caverns except on certain days and then you have to pay a lot of $$ so I don’t have anything to show you from our walk in the caves there but we did go to a great Mexican restaurant for lunch in a town close by. We asked the Cavern staff where to go and the woman said “Lucky for you that I’m a total foodie and you have to go to this hole in the wall place, Mi Casa Restaurant, in Benson. So we went and were not disappointed. It’s literally a Mom and Pop place; she cooks, he waits the tables. The food was great and we were satiated and happy.
We also “lounged” through an evening at Gates Pass to watch the sunset. Again, just perfect. I have lots of great shots from the trip; here’s just some of my favourites. Hope you enjoy. (Hint: click on a photo to see the full size image)
I’ve always wondered just where I “fit” photographically. There are so many superb picture takers and image makers out there. And I have been inspired by all of them.
Recently, I realized what I really like to shoot. First and foremost, I’m a landscape photographer. I love shooting macros too, but taking pictures of people, NOT! I can do it, just doesn’t churn my butter, as they say.
After many years of shooting landscapes, I realized what I really liked doing, and was pretty good at, was putting together panoramas. I seem to have an eye for just what needs to be in there to make it both a big picture and still retain all the elements that make a photo interesting.
So, expect to see lots of panoramas of places I have been. And I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Here’s a couple from our trip to Quadra Island this past July.
After a lovely night’s rest and breakfast at our BnB in Brookings, we headed down to the Harris Beach State Park there and spent some time just walking around. Here’s a few photos from the park.
After getting our fill of the the wonderful ocean scenery and basically having the park to ourselves, we headed back out on the highway to our next stop, Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint. From the map, it looked like it might be an interesting spot and lo and behold, when we got to it we were pleasantly surprised to see that it had dunes. Now this might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people but J had never seen dunes before and she was ecstatic!! She’d always wanted to see dunes but somehow, had never had the good fortune to run across any on the beaches she had been to. So, of course, we wandered in amongst the dunes for a while and spent some time on the beach just enjoying watching waves.
Again, we were the only ones there! I guess there’s some benefits, especially to a landscape photographer like I am, to go off season in crappy weather. No one around to get in the way of the scenery except my favourite model 🙂
Back in the car and up the road a piece to another pullout where I took this pic looking North.
Our next was for lunch at the Redfish in Port Orford.
Lovely lunch with some great views there too.
Having achieved a pleasant state of satiety, we meandered back to the car and headed on up the road again to what was our penultimate stop along the way, Cape Blanco State Park. Cape Blanco is the Westernmost point in Oregon and the contingual United States, and contains the Southernmost Lighthouse in Oregon. All fine reasons to stop there! What they don’t tell you about is the strength of the wind there! WhoooBoy….! J was afeared to leave the car. I got out and took a bunch of photos; hey that’s what I do, and I jumped straight up to land about foot back of where I launched myself from. There was a guy in a convertible with the top down and all the windows up just enjoying the views and eating a sandwich. Said he often comes to enjoy the scenery and wind.
From here we headed up to Bandon where we stopped at the renowned Face Rock Creamery to pick up some cheese and have a heavenly ice cream 🙂 We never actually visited the Face Rock but there’s lots of pics on the web of it.
From here, it was head up to Reedsport to pick up Rt 38 back to I-5. Rt 38 turned out to be a lovely road along the river and through the hills. Did I mention that we saw sheep in Oregon. And Elk. Lots of both!
Once we got to I-5, we headed up to Portland to stay with a friend of J’s that’s she’s known forever. Had a pizza dinner, conversation, crashed and were on the road again the next morning. Our last stop was a food court in the Alderwood Mall because I decided to get the pack after all!
And then back home. Boy, were we glad to be back home in our own bed that night. We had a great trip and loved all the crazy ups and downs and beautiful places and trees we saw but there’s nothing like coming home after a trip to your own bed! And on that note, I’ll say amen and leave you all in peace until I decide to write about something else.
We spent a wonderful morning with our friends in Roseburg – actually in the countryside between Sutherlin and Roseburg – and they gave us a whole host of suggestions of things to see and do as we travelled down to the redwoods in California and when we headed back home via another section of the Oregon coast.
We made our way back to I5 where we headed on down to Grant’s Pass. We wanted to take a coffee break so we got off the highway and just started heading through town. As soon as we drove by the Bluestone Cafe, I knew we had found our coffee stop!
As the food looked really good, too, we ordered a couple of sandwiches to take on the road with us. Good decision so we thought until we opened the bags a bit later. Much to our surprise, although the receipt indicated we got what we ordered and paid for, what was inside was a completely different order! And as I’m a pescavore and both sandwiches had meat, I pretty much had to make do with a bit of bread and some granola bars for lunch. Even so, everyone makes mistakes and I’d still give top ratings for this place!! The bevvies were perfect 🙂
From Grant’s Pass, we picked up Highway 199, which is also called the Redwood Highway. One of the places our friends had recommended we stop at was Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park. So we did. It comes up about 45 minutes or so after you cross into California. We spent about an hour there just walking a little loop and having our first experience amongst the big trees. Here’s some big tree photos from the park.
Yup, they’re big!
Like, really BIG!!!
There were also scads of white trilliums in bloom on the forest floor and I’m still striving for a perfect spring trillium shot. I take a bunch every year. Here’s a few of this year’s contenders from the park.
There was also a lovely bright red mushroom which cried out to be photographed.
And here’s one of the giants just hanging out in the forest. No trail to it. I just enjoyed seeing it so nicely ensconced in all the other foliage and shrubbery.
So, back into the car and on down the highway. We stopped at a pull off somewhere’s down the road from Crescent City for a bit of a beach break.
From here, we headed down to our ultimate destination, the Humboldt Redwoods State Park and the Avenue of the Giants in Phillipsville, where we had booked what we thought was a nice AirBnB cottage. Hoo boy were we surprised when it turned out to be a pretty down and out motel. It’s amazing how good you can make something look if you take pictures of it from a certain angle in just the right light.
By the time we rolled in around 8 PM or so, it was too late to do anything about it so we made the best of it. We headed to the Riverwood Inn, a restaurant/bar across the street from the motel and had a pretty good Mexican dinner so it was not a complete disaster.
Then we rolled into bed and made plans for spending the next day gawking at the big trees.
Well, I think that’s enough for now. I’ll finish this trip report with the next installment.