Travelogues: SunToucher >> Summer vacation 2009: USA

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Sunset over Yamhill Valley
Sunset over Yamhill Valley (20)
Trip Information
Trip Date:2009-06-26 - 2009-07-24
# Photos:25 [View]
Countries visited:United States
Viewed: 5518
by Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 3033 N: 237] (11162)
This years summer vacation brought us to the state of Oregon. We traveled across Oregon for almost 4 weeks. Visited many different areas and meeting wonderful people. The following will give you an idea of where we went and what we did. Together with the photos on both TN and TL it will give you a pretty good impression of our vacation. However, capturing the total experience will be impossible from your computer screen.

As always, the trip started at my front door, walking with my bag and camera bag to the train station where I met my parents and where we took the train to Schiphol Airport. Arriving at the airport we noticed that the summer holiday season had really started. There was a huge line for check-in. I wonít bother you with what went on at the airport other then the usual waiting for a delayed flight to Cincinnati, Ohio. The flight from Cincinnati to Amsterdam got delayed due to a heavy thunder storm over Kentucky and Ohio. On our descend to Cincinnati airport we felt the aftermath of the thunderstorm by flying through a very heavy air pocket. It was so heavy that a lady behind me got lifted out of her seat and landed hard in the ails. The delay resulted in an unexpected layover in an hotel near the airport since our connecting flight to Denver had already left. The next morning we returned to our travel schedule and later that day we landed in Portland, picked up our Hawaiian license plate rental car and drove to our cabin at the Gahr Farm just south of McMinnville.

The first nine days were spent at the Gahr Farm, a farm converted to a private nature reserve making trips to Portland, Pacific City, Salem, Silver Falls and many more places. We choose this location because it was close to Portland and close to the home of a fellow trek photographer Evelynn.

The Garh farm is a wonderful place. The first few mornings and evening we greeted by Elk walking past our cabin. At night we were kept awake by coyote and the entire week we were surrounded by nature. The owners are the most wonderful people and they invited us for a 4th of July dinner with their family and friends.

Meeting Evelynn and her husband Jerry was another high on our trip. It is so great to meet fellow Trek photographers because it adds that something extra to your friendship. Evelynn and Jerry invited us for dinner and of course we talked photography. The next day they took us to a most wonderful location called Silver falls. Iíve only got a few photos to share from that location, but going through her portfolio, you can see how special this place really is.

After nine days at the Gahr farm we packed and drove to North Powder, a small town near Backer City in the east of Oregon. From this new home away from home we visited Hells Canyon, the Sumpter area and the high desert. In hindsight, the location wasnít perfect because we had to travel too long to get to some of the pre-planned locations. But, we did get to them and saw wonderful things. Probably the best was the two hour drive up to Hatís point on a unpaved road while the sun was setting. The colors were awesome and being alone on top of a hill looking down deep on to the Snake River is a sight I will remember for a very long time.

After a week in North Powder, we drove to Bend. On our way to bend we made a quick stop at the painted hills and I was able to get a few OK shots from these colorful hills.

Our Bend stop was more a rest point in your journey, we did some additional shopping and made to trips to see mountains and lakes. On one of the mountain trips we planned to do a loop of the McKenzie-pass but the road was still closed due to snow. So we saw the scenery along the road twice although from a different point of view.

After the four days stay in Bend we moved on to our last location; Port Orford on the south coast of Oregon. To describe Port Orford in a few words: windy, cool temperatures, moist, fish and sea lion. Arriving in Port Orford was great, we left Bend with high temperatures, and the cool temps and wind was a nice welcome. Although after a couple of day we had enough of the wind and the cold temperature. (yes, we always need to complain about the weather)

At this last location we made several smaller trips to the beach, the port and town. But we also drove down into California to visit the Redwoods and drove up the coast to see the light houses and just experience the many vistas. The end of this trip did make is more tired so we did spent a bit more time at our lake view cabin to relax. The probably best experiences were buying a whole Tuna at Charleston harbor and seeing a Californian Sea Lion on the beach from only three meters distance.

At the end we had to return to Portland to catch our flight back to home.

I drove a total of almost 5000 miles, took just over 10 gig of photos and did not catch the H1N1 virus.