There are 82 days of my life ahead of me that will be filled with my own personal adventure. I decided to take a 3 months sabbatical as for quite some time, I just don’t feel the weekends are long enough anymore to fully recover. Because I notice health challenges popping up that just can’t be nurtured away while going full speed in my daily life routine. And I also realize how hard it has become for me to turn off and tune out. That probably comes as a risk with my type of job as well, but my plan is to continue doing my job healthy and happy for many years to come. I really like my job, I have fun doing what I do and I feel like I’m accomplishing the right things in it. All in all, these are great reasons to embark on my journey and find some free space and recharge.
Out of the three months, I will be in the U.S. for 82 days. Why the U.S.? Because my sister lives there with her family and I’m very excited to spend more time with the three of them than during a regular vacation. And I also wanted to be on road. I will be exploring the stunning natural wonders of the Northwestern parts of the U.S.. It will be only me and my camper for a total of 7 weeks, exploring everything from the wild Pacific coast to the deserts and wide plains of Oregon to the tops of the Rockies and the Cascade Range. The geology and biology is so diverse there and makes it a true paradise for photographers. I decided to go by myself to give myself the chance for lots of freedom to follow my own rhythm, curiosity and drive for exploration. And because I want to take photographs whenever and wherever I want to and that isn’t really agreeable to a family vacation. Well… sunsets usually don’t happen midday…. 😉
Waves, wilderness, waterfalls, woods….
There will be no rigid agenda for the 82 days, I will go wherever the journey takes me. But there will be some frame of reference. I will drive to Oregon to Crater Lake, then make my way east through the deserts of Oregon to Yellowstone National Park. To visit Yellowstone National Park has been a big dream of mine for a long time. From there, all will depend on the weather and my desire where to go next – going further east or make my way north. By then, it will be the beginning of October and there might already be some snow on the ground, so I will have to remain flexible. Turning west I will cross the hills near Palouse and the dry Columbia Plains, following the Columbia River to Portland and the Pacific Coast. From there I will drive down the famous Highway No. 1 along cliffs, dunes and redwood forests back to San Francisco.
I will skip the the North Cascades as due to the later fall timing there might already be road closures due to snow. I also won’t be visiting Seattle nor the Olympic National Park as these are destinations I can always add on to a future family vacation and visits to San Francisco. And you don’t need a camper for that kind of trip, especially not in a city. Besides there are so many exciting destinations already on my current list that seven weeks already seem too short 😉 And stress is certainly not on my agenda.
My flight to San Francisco leaves on August 18th. I will embark on my tour on September 7th. My return flight to Germany is on November 8th. These are my 82 days
A sneak peak into some destinations for the 82 days ahead of me:
Alvord Desert, Artists Paintpot
Beartooth Highway, Bighorn Canyon
Crater Lake, Craters of the Moon, Cape Perpetua
Drumheller Channels, Devil’s Punchbowl Arch
Elephant Rock, Ecola State Park, Elowah Falls
Floras Lake, Frenchman Coulee, Fairy Falls
Grand Tetons, Grotto Falls, Going-to-the-Sun Mountain
Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge, Hanford National Monument
Indian Sands, Indian Creek
Japanese Garden Portland, Johnston Ridge Observatory, Jenny Lake
Kamiak Butte, Klamath Marsh
Lemolo Falls, Ledbetter Park, Leslie Gulch
Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, Mendocino
Norris Geyser Basin, Neahkahnie
Oregon Dunes, Owyhee Canyon
Palouse Falls, Petroglyph Lake, Point Cabrillo
Q – still to be determined (I won’t see Quinault at Olympic NP)
Redwood National Park, Rough Rider Falls
Steen Mountains, Sun Lakes-Dry Falls, Secret Beach
Thor’s Well, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse
Umpqua Hot Spring, Umpqua Lighthouse
Voodoo Donuts Portland
Winnema Beach, Willapa National Wildlife Refuge
X – still to be determined
Yellowstone National Park, Yaquina Head
Z – still to be determined
P.S.: All the photographs are from my visits in 2014 and 2015. They’re all taken with a small Canon Powershot S120 as raws and then edited afterwards.