We had an amazing 6 nights and 7 days touring the scenic North West starting in Portland. With our Mercedes Sprinter Van, 11 of us toured the waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge, went to the Portland Japanese Gardens and had some amazing meals in downtown Portland, Red Star and Tapalaya. We then headed down the Oregon Coast and made endless stops with the most epic scenery, each stop better than the previous location. Devil’s Punch Bowl, Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Devil’s Churn, Face Rock, Natural Bridges, and Whales Head Beach just to name a few. The weather was on our side except for some heavy downpours for our evening and following morning in Bandon, Oregon. The rain didn’t stop some of the group who ended up with some great shots with a dramatic sky in the background.
We finally crossed into California and had great dinner at the Larrupin Cafe, one of our best meals of the trip. Our drive through the Avenue of the Giants was a nice change from the coastal scenery and a good chance to capture some different images. We continued on to Napa, had a really nice lunch at Sam’s Social Club, visited a couple wineries and had a delicious dinner at Carpe Diem Wine Bar. Then it was off to San Francisco, a big change from the past 4 days in small towns. We stayed at the Hotel Union Square which was right in the middle of everything. Street Photographer Eric Kim joined us for an afternoon of instruction in his favorite parts of the city which was one of the highlights for many of the participants.
As the tour came to an end, some participants left while others stayed and extra day in San Francisco to extend their trip. We were able to drive around the city and see more sights and have more great meals.
We had a great group, excellent weather, amazing scenery, and very good meals. Everyone had a wonderful time meeting their fellow travelers, learning a thing or two about photography and especially editing. I’m sure we’ll see some of you again on our next tour later this year.