Looking Ahead

Most of the articles that appear here will be narratives based on my experiences traveling around the U. S. Pacific Northwest, which usually means the states of Oregon, Washington and parts of Idaho. I will broaden that region a little to include parts of adjacent states as well as southern British Columbia. There is lot more to traveling than going comfortably from point A to point B, so as I move through the natural and cultural landscape, I’m likely to digress. I may dwell on topics such as history, geology, archeology, mystery, romance or anything else that might catch my interest. Photography will also feature prominently in its own right, not just as a way to document my travel. So I’ll include some coverage of my experiences with cameras, equipment and certain out-of-the-mainstream technologies.

Here is a sampling of what is to come:

Wildflowers. When Spring arrives, it’s time go out and collect pictures. I usually start with the Columbia River Gorge and move into and east of the Cascade Mountains later.

Birds and Birdwatching. We’re on the Pacific Flyway and birdwatching spots abound. I’ll start by visiting the wealth of refuges on or near the Interstate-5 corridor through Western Oregon and Washington. Excursions to places like the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeastern Oregon will come later.

Favorite Places. On the Oregon Coast, I’ll start with the small coastal villages of Oceanside and Netarts, a favorite weekend getaway. I plan to explore Bellingham, Washington and the San Juan Islands; my wife and I came close to moving there a decade or so ago. And while we’re up north, I plan to head over into Canada for a grand tour through Vancouver Island and adjacent coastal British Columbia.

In the dry country east of the Cascade Mountains, It’s time for me to explore and photograph the Palouse country of Eastern Washington. And I plan to go back for more photography around the Wallowa Mountains and Hell’s Canyon in Northeast Oregon.

And I’m just getting started.

Airplanes and Aviation Museums in the Northwest. I was a private pilot for about 20 years and have been an aviation enthusiast for a lot longer than that. I no longer fly, but I still like to visit aviation museums and other places where I can find interesting airplanes. I’ll probably include a roundup of museums, air shows, fly-ins and other places to visit.

The Dalles to Canyon City Stage Coach Road. My wife and I spent a few days in central and eastern Oregon trying to retrace the route of The Dalles to Canyon City stage-coach, which first ran in 1864. We saw some beautiful country and learned a lot of history. The route passes by the ghost town of Shaniko and the John Day Fossil Beds, ending at the gold-rush town of Canyon City. Its history includes all the clich├ęs of the western movie: gold fever, murder, range wars, conflict with the native peoples, corruption in high places. In fact, there is so much material that this will take several installments.