Pacific Northwest trip help

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by TareqPhoto, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Hi all,

    I am planning if can get my vacation from work as soon as possible to visit USA again, and i decided i will take that direct flight to Seattle so i ca be on the North/West states there, i am thinking i would like to have about 18 days up to 3 weeks if possible, so my few questions:

    - Which areas i should be around there for photography?
    - How much is the transport if available to national parks around there?
    - Can i get some restaurants with international cuisine because i am not much with meat food specially with forbidden meat and trying to have very very similar food to what i eat in my country [Arabian, indian, middle eastern or turkish...etc]

    - If you can help or give some guides, are there some cheapo hotels there so i can move around as cheap as possible?

    I am thinking to be in Oregon and Washington states ad not planning to go to another many states very far, even California i m not looking for to visit which is not that much far by flight, but i am thinking to use buses or trains and those lands transports than air.

    I appreciate any help here to plan my trip at best i can.
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  3. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Ok, cool, thanks!

    Hope to get answer for other things too.
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    There seems to be a fair number of Turkish cuisine options in Seattle. Here is one example that a Google search revealed quickly: http://www.bistroturkuaz.com/
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Speaking for Portland Oregon, you will find all kinds of cuisine. Turkish, Indian, Ethiopian, Lebanese, Japanese and anything else you can think of. The Oregon coast is beautiful and motels are not so expensive now that school is starting again. There is good train service from Seattle to Portland and good bus service in Oregon. You can ride a bus from Portland to the Oregon coast with no problem.

    Seattle is a larger and probably more interesting city and it is beautifully situated on a "Sound" off the ocean. My guess is that motels here are very cheap by UAE standards.

    Dennis
     
  6. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Vancouver and Victoria BC are also options worth considering if you have 3 weeks.
     
  7. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    What type of photography do you do? For landscape, go to the coast, then go to the Cascade mountains. The Gorge is a must, so are the deep recesses of the forest in the coast range...wait...can you tell us what you like to photograph and maybe we can help. Growing up there, I think I can still draw a map of both states from memory, with major rivers, mountains, roads and must see places. Tell us what you want to see.
     
  8. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Well, i was mostly meaning if i will be away from the big cities, say if i will try to stay in lodges or backpackers around in NPs then the food is less variety than from the big cities.

    My main trip is photography, and what i will photograph are: Landscapes, seascapes or waterscapes near the likes, rivers,...etc, cityscape, but nothing can beat sunsets around by the coast and the mountains surround, so those are my main consideration of my trip.

    And other recommended me to hire a car, i know it is the best option, but i don't drive overseas, so maybe i am not gonna rent a car to drive by myself even i am good at driving.

    So, basically i may be away from the city sometimes running after landscapes and nature calls so then i have to know what accommodations i can find and what kind of food i may find there, i know that big cities mostly have those international food of all cuisines so it may not be a problem in big cities.
     
  9. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Well, may main plan before was Canada only, but i don't want to talk about few simple issues here in my country for getting Canadian visa, so that i canceled Canada from my list for now and later one day i will sort it that visa issue much earlier before my plan to Canada.
     
  10. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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  11. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    That is an option, sure i can eat some simple and veggies food time to time, but i will not only eat very simple and packed and veggie food only, sure i will find options here and there, you people there must like to have food all kind for sure.

    In another site, someone posted to same this thread that i need a car to get to NPs, it will make my job easier and also i can get to places that i can't get with public transport, this will make it more challenging for me as i am not good in driving overseas and i don't know about roads rules there and speeds and such, and i am also worry if i had an accident, that is why i try to avoid hiring a car, but if there is no another option then i have no choice.

    Also i am not sure yet if i will carry any film gear with me, i will not talk about digital here, but with film i have many MF cameras to choose from, and only 1 LF i can think about, but then i must buy films from there and process them there, this will add more costs for me than using only digital, unless if i use my MF rangefinder then it is another story, shooting with LF is a budget itself.
     
  12. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Yes, it is best to rent a car. The driver manual for the states you are going to is available online. Public transport is not very good in the rural areas, nor likely to find many ethnic restaurants. For sure it is best to be flexible and self-reliant when possible. It would be silly to plan a long photo trip based mainly on suitable restaurants.

    Jon
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2013
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Washington State alone is more than twice the size of the entire United Arab Emirates.

    If you are going to drive there, don't start out in Seattle during rush hour.
     
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  15. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Well, i think i have to spend 1 week reading about roads and driving there before i plan my trip.

    Wish if i am very rich so i can hire a private driver or at least hire a driver to take me where i want when i want, but i am just a simple guy with limited budget as average not high level/class or rich.
     
  16. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Hmm, I'm wondering if you would like to Island hop in the San Juan Islands. Lots of seascapes from the ferries, places to stay close to the ferries, or shuttles can pick you up from your chosen accomodation, and interesting scenery any way you walk. Alternative life style kinda place, which means vegetarian, ethnic, local, interesting food easier to find than burgers and fries. (We stayed at a spot that only served local food; tasty, but kinda pricey too.) (I'm not sure about your food restrictions, whether they mean you avoid certain foods, or that you avoid anything from a kitchen where your verboten foods are cooked.)

    If you are unsure about driving in an unfamiliar country, you DO NOT want to drive anywhere within 50 miles of Seattle. The locals might be used to it, but as small city folks, we were very stressed by the density, speed, traffic jams, and confusion of traffic around Seattle.

    I'd be happy to never go back to Seattle, if it wasn't for Glazer's - the biggest photo store I'm ever likely to be in. The San Juan Islands I'd have no qualms about visiting again. Lovely, friendly, laid back, and the ferry system well run.

    Maybe some locals will have some more info for you on the San Juans.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 2, 2013
  17. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Talking about San Juan reminding me about Oban town in Scotland where i headed to Isle of Mull on ferry, also it is reminding me when i went with a friend on a ferry to Staten Island from somewhere in NYC, so ferry trip is also nice and i will give that a try, who knows what i may see or like there.

    Well, i think the best thing i can do is using a public transport to take me out of the city and stay in some accommodations out of the big city and rent a car from there so i don't get stuck in traffic or rush hours of big cities maybe.
     
  18. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I lived in Portland for a long time and still get up into the Northwest a few times a year. It's a beautiful part of the world, very topographically diverse, and with some pretty interesting cultural facets, though nothing as cosmopolitan as the big international cities (except Vancouver, BC, I suppose).

    Travel:
    You don't want to rely on public transport except within the cities; some of them have good bus systems, but bus or train transport even between cities is inconvenient, and to anything except the cities and larger towns of the Interstate 5 corridor, it's nonexistent.

    The US doesn't really have the concept of tourist "excursion" busses to points of interest. In most countries you can fly in and ask the hotel desk "How do I get to XYZ National Park?" and they send you to the right train station or bus station---in the States they'll say "Well, you drive across the Ross Island Bridge and get on Interstate 5 south, and then in about an hour you exit at..."

    I don't think you'll have any difficulty driving there, though; road signs tend to be good, speed limits are posted, and so on, and in that part of the country the normal driving is quite non-aggressive, especially by international standards.

    Food:

    Food in the cities will not be a problem. Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver have every cuisine imaginable, and there's a big cultural movement there for vegetarian foods, locally raised food, "exotic" (to Americans) cuisines. Simple vegetarian food is easy---this is an area where you can *expect* that if you walk into a restaurant and say "I'm a gluten-intolerant vegan", they will immediately be able to tell you what they have that you can eat. (There are halal restaurants and groceries, also, if that's your concern about "forbidden meat".) You might want to spend most of your stay based in Seattle or Portland, with one- or two-day trips out into the field where you can take food along---but there's certainly no need to plan for a diet consisting solely of Tasty Bites!

    Places to photograph: depends on what you want to photograph! The Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade and Coast mountain ranges are the obvious places for landscapes, and that stretch of coast is probably the most beautiful rocky coastline anywhere in the world. The cities would be OK for street photography, I suppose, but not in the "endless crowds" way of a big international city---you might do best to find places where an Event is going on. What are you looking for?

    -NT
     
  19. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Stunning minimalist landscapes may be had in the southeastern corner of Washington state. This area is known as The Palouse and is a major wheat growing region. Some online examples here. Note that this is a 300-mile/483-km drive from Seattle requiring overnight accommodations. Driving time is about 4.5-hours.

    When I go it is usually with an 8x10 camera and lots of free time to think and explore. Unless I spend the night on location in a sleeping bag in the back of my truck (to catch the sunrise), I usually stay at The Wheatland Inn in the small town of Colfax, which is more or less centrally located in this region.

    A rental car is essential to get to Colfax, and for later exploration. I would not count on finding familiar food locally. Probably best to bring your own, if possible, to assure good (and correct) meals. Nothing worse than being hungry because the local food is unfamiliar. No good photographs will come from that.

    :smile:

    Ken
     
  20. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    I think i have to plan very carefully for this trip, because it has been long time since my last trip and also from what i see and search on that region i will end up shooting landscapes that i didn't did before even in New Zealand and Scotland, so i will make sure i get into enough places there, if i do good job then in about 18 days i can get most out of it, but it sounds that getting a car is the best solution to keep me busy and get most of what i want.

    What i look for is just as any landscapes and nature photographer, beautiful and stunning scenes to shoot, let it be a seascape or coast side, mountains, lakes, rivers...you can name it.
     
  21. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    One thing to consider, is the weather. It can be very cloudy and rainy west of the Cascade mountains during the winter months. It would be a waste of time to come to the Seattle area to photograph landscapes between October and May.
     
  22. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    A couple of suggestions if you will be driving around:
    Hurricane Ridge outside of Port Angeles, Washington
    The Rain Forrest at Quinault (Olympic National Park) Washington
    The Pacific Coast north along hwy. 101 west of Quinault
    Cannon Beach, Oregon and the Oregon coast south on hwy. 101

    If you are using a GPS and searching locations on the internet many will have the co-ordinates that can be programed into the GPS as Points of Interest (POI). This is helpful since it will let you know when you are approaching a sight especially if you have a local driving behind you in a rush to get somewhere.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  23. M Stat

    M Stat Member

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    I'm definitely partial to the Columbia River Gorge (I live on the Washington side of the Columbia River). If you get to this area, maybe we could meet up somewhere and I could show you a few areas which I feel are photo worthy.
     
  24. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Yes, i will try hard to get my vacation by Sept-Oct if possible, if not then i am not sure if i may keep mt plan for PNW anyway.
     
  25. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Cool, thank you very much! :smile:
     
  26. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Be aware that west of the mountains, and especially on the coast, it can rain any day of the year. Any time after August, you can't really count on going to the wet part of the PNW and staying dry. It is a rainforest, after all.

    But I don't see a problem with photographing wet landscapes. Most of the time you get steady light rain, rather than roaring torrential storms; you should think about how to keep your equipment dry, you might not want to go for long muddy hikes (the locals generally do, though), but rain in the Northwest doesn't bring things to a halt.

    Take fast film and/or a tripod. A cloudy day in a closed forest is pretty dark. (I've always had trouble getting black and white images to work well in those forests, by the way, though some people do a great job. The challenge is all the different shades of green; to your eye they look very different, but on film they tend to merge into a general indistinct grey. If you're shooting b&w in there, keep that in mind. A green filter helps.)

    East of the mountains, Oregon and Washington are both considered "high desert"---though as a Californian I wouldn't really call it "desert", more like "semi-arid scrub". Rocks and grassland, not sand, and with plenty of vegetation in most areas (the main exceptions being the lava fields). The roads, signs, and maps are good, but there is nothing to see out there except landscape features and you'll struggle to find anything you'd recognize as "civilization" outside of a few large towns like Bend and Spokane. By all means explore out there, but take food along and expect to drive for hours.

    Really, people forget how BIG the western US states are. The state of Oregon, by itself, is roughly the same size as Oman (but road travel is faster, according to Google). A photo trip from Portland out into the Columbia Gorge and back is an all-day affair. Don't try to take too much in too quickly.

    -NT