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Scratching the Itch

My Trip to the Pacific Northwest

I am an Austin, Texas based photographer and I had an itch to scratch. After 1700 miles, 7 cheap motels and other than a luggage lock that would not open, power outage at our motel the first night, sliding off a rocky cliff face, getting stung by Stinging Nettle, having to walk through water almost up to the knees because the tide was coming in, hiking boots tread coming off and being the 4th person in a row with 3 seats on the flight home, we had a fantastic trip and my itch was no more.

A few months ago I had an itch to book a photography trip as it had been a long time since I have traveled for an extended period of time focused solely on photography. Just as a vacation, these types of trips are fun to plan, they are exciting, you get away from the day to day grind and you get a chance to see some amazing things. However I assure you, these photography trips are not vacations.

Initially my biggest challenge was figuring out where I wanted to go. Due to Covid-19, I limited myself to the United States. Originally I thought about the Badlands which is in South Dakota, Northern Michigan and Death Valley. I asked a few photographer friends if they were interested in traveling with me on this photography journey. There was a lot of interest, however the timing did not work for most of them. Although I was open to where we went, I wanted to plan the trip before everyone else started to get a similar itch.

My friend Linda said she was interested and the dates worked out for her, however she was not as excited about most of the places I had on my list. After going back and forth and with Linda’s input we decided to head to the Pacific Northwest. We both got very excited with this option and the planning commenced. 

Picture of a photographer in the Pacific Northwest taking a picture of the beach

This was one of the most difficult trips to plan as we wanted to see as much as we could but we had to decide how much we could fit in, and what part of the Pacific Northwest we would visit. We decided to make Washington State home for our 9-day photography adventure. Most photography trips I have planned in the past, were planned with a base camp and each day we would head in a different direction and then return to the same place each evening. This trip was different, this trip had us staying in 7 different motels 3 ferry rides and 1700 miles on our rental car.

We headed Northwest out of Seattle to the Olympic National Park and then on to Whidbey and San Juan Islands, and then to the North Cascades National Park area. We visited 3 totally different eco systems so the variety in our photographs ranged from beaches, moss covered trees, wildflowers, waterfalls, snow caped mountains, sail boats, epic sunsets and wildlife to include Bald Eagles, fox, sea otters, seals, sea lions and whales.

This is the first of a 4 part blog. The next post will be focused on the time spent in the Olympic National Forest and then the other two will be focused on the islands (Whidbey and San Juan) and the North Cascades area will be the last post. Next time you are thinking of scratching the itch, you should definitely consider a trip to Washington State n the Pacific Northwest.

Please come back to visit as I will be adding a lot of pictures and then eventually I will post a gallery of my favorite images.