Is it Time for Vacation Yet?

I resolved when the year began that I was NOT going to let this year slip by without some great photographic mementos. I look back on 2011 and there were some nice pictures but they were all from Indiana and Michigan. This is not to insult Michigan but there’s a LOT more to see in the world than two states. Late in 2010 Laura and I went to Arizona and just…. drove. We rented a car in Phoenix and played the “which direction do you want to go?” game. We covered Hoover Dam, Vegas, Lake Mead and Bryce Canon and a million little places in between. Planning, I posit, is for the uncreative. The photo below is from Zion National Park in Utah. View the whole album if you like.

From Zion National Park, Utah

This year’s vacation plans are pointed to Oregon are slated for July. Why Oregon? I’ve never been there and it looks interesting on the map. What other reasons do you need? Generally I’m averse to planning anything, but I’m all for suggestions as to what the must-see locales are. Suggestions?


  1. Oh, I love Oregon, and, while you’re that way, definitely check out Washington state, too. Granted, I just have a soft spot for the Pacific Northwest, but the Carolinas and Georgia are really great, too. Also, drive through Pennsylvania. It’s a long drive to get to New York that way, but, damn, is it gorgeous.

    ……It’s been way too long since I’ve had a vacation….

  2. The last time I just drove was way back during the summer of 1973. Every since then I just haven’t been able to find people who just like to drive and see stuff. They always want to plan things. Boring.

  3. Go to Grants Pass, and just north on the Merlin exit head to the Galice Resort and rent a couple of Tahitis. Back up the river a bit and put your rafts in at Hog Creek (where The River Wild was filmed…), and bumble all the way down past Galice, down to Grave Creek (don’t let the name scare you). It is a day you will not forget. If the kids are too little, just do 1/2 day. Stay at Morrison’s Lodge if you like fly fishing. Do not miss Crater Lake. Have fresh huckleberry pie at Becky’s Cafe in Union Creek. Go east and spend time in the high desert; you can see how fast your car goes between Burns & Lakeview. See the old Chinese medicine man’s hut in John Day, or catch a cattle drive there. Camp up at Leslie Gulch further northeast of there – awesome, hidden canyons, very picturesque, but have a 4wd. Hit the seal cave on the coast, Haystack Rock north of there. And pics of Mt. Hood are a must. Lava beds near Bend are surreal, too…like being on the moon. Good shots of the hard life on Burnside in PDX. Oh, and don’t forget Multnomah Falls and the windsurfer photo ops on the Columbia. Can you tell I spent 13 years in Oregon?!

  4. My dream vacation is to just get in my car and drive across the US. If I see something interesting, I’ll stop! But, alas, like the previoys comment, I can’t find anyone who wants to do the same thing! 😦

  5. Great shot from AZ. If you hit OR this summer you will love it. I have fond memories of spending a couple weeks there every summer growing up while visiting family. I too, was visiting from the midwest (where I still live) and the scenery always impressed me. We spent a lot of days on the coast between Newport and Tillamook (mostly in Lincoln City). If you go, you HAVE to see this part of the coast. Simply beautiful and be assured you will get some amazing photos. Cool blog…keep up the good work!

  6. Hey, I take exception to the linking of “planning” with “uncreative”. I think I’m pretty darned creative, *and* I like to plan. It helps ensure I have a plane ticket, a rental car, a place to rest my head at night (at a resort or hotel of my choosing), and takes care of any other fee that needs to be paid. Then, anything serendipitous that occurs is hunky dory with me (I’m all for serendipity). My planning tends to be “skeletal”: when to go, where (in general) to go, where to stay, how to get there. I’m planning for my April vacation and planning on getting some pretty neat images, (regardless of weather or road condition). I’ve been to Oregon a few times, but naturally not as much as Washington (since I lived there and have family there). Crater Lake is spectacular as is anywhere around Mt. Hood and the Columbia River (nice wine country, too, btw). And of course, anywhere along the ocean shoreline. Bandon is a funky little place.

  7. Having never been to Oregon, I’ve no suggestions, but I couldn’t agree more with the statement that planning is for the uncreative! I vote for playing the ‘which direction you want to go’ game. : )

  8. This is absolutely gorgeous!! I haven’t traveled a whole lot – but when I do, it’s usually to Chicago. TONS of great street photography opportunities there, and if you get out to Navy Pier – well, that’s a whole different opportunity! I can’t wait to get back there (the last time, I only had my P&S). The furthest West I’ve ever been is Utah, but that was almost 20 years ago. Can’t wait to see some travel photos!! 🙂

  9. Thanks to you all for your advice on what to see while in Oregon! I’m more excited than ever to head out to the place on our randomly selected destination. There was also some debate about the virtues of random travel. I’m really encourage to hear that many of you WANT to do it but can’t find a partner to do so. It makes me all the happier to have found a couple of people who like the idea. It does make me wonder if we shouldn’t start a travel agency specializing in “whatever.” As to the comment that it’s not ‘uncreative’ to plan your travel, I will admit that it is a delicate balance between over-planning and having no clue whatsoever where you’re going. So I accept that feedback as well.

  10. You will love Oregon- nothing quite like seeing a waterfall coming out of the side of a mountain while you are on the highway. And the valleys!

    Although, I have to say- Mi and In photograph quite nicely, particularly if you get some water in there, which you see much of in the desert SW…..

    Drive down the coast; check out the tide pools in Newport (Yaquina head Outstanding Natural Area) and get to the Oregon State Aquarium. You won’t regret it!

    ‘Course, if you hit Washington, too, you can do Puget Sound, Mt. St. Helens, Lewis and Clarke Interpretive Center, Hoh Valley Rain Forest (Olympia National Park) etc. Seriously, you could spend some major time up there and still not see everything. GREAT picture taking, all of it!

  11. Hi Rob. Thanks for checking out my blog today. I am a newbie to wordpress and still figuring out the format.

    I just checked out your Zion gallery on smugmug. Isn’t Utah awesome? I am planning on going there in October for a landscape photography workshop. Last October I was at Arches/Canyonlands. Those images are on my smugmug website. I put a link on my blog if you care to look at them.

  12. You can’t go wrong on a visit to Oregon. Unfortunately, I don’t know where to begin. I live in the state and there is SO much to see. The Columbia Gorge (Multnomah Falls and a few others) – In a more rural setting there is a nice hike to see several waterfalls (Silver Creek Falls). Someone mentioned the Oregon COast aquarium, good idea. All up and down the coast there are lighthouses. And if you’re into covered bridges, check out Cottage Grove off I5. Enjoy your trip. THis is a wonderful place to get photos.

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