Tahoe Light Photography » Corporate, outdoor and adventure photography by Reno and Lake Tahoe freelance photographer Scott Sady.

Tahoe olympic atheletes past and present plus a few big names

by Scott Sady

The Tahoe area has always been a breeding ground for winter Olympic athletes and this year at Sochi is no exception. We already have a South Lake Tahoe lady, Jamie Anderson with a gold and Squaw Valley’s Julia Mancuso steps it up for a bronze medal in her third straight Olympics as well as Squaw Valley’s Travis Ganong getting a career best fifth-place finish in the Sochi downhill. In honor of the great place we live in and the athletes that this place seems to breed, I have put together a few photos from previous Olympics that I shot as part of USA Today’s Alpine event photo staff. The alpine events are usually fairly far away from the main Olympic hub. During the Torino olympics in Italy, I was based in Sestriere, a small mountain town about 60 miles and several hours from Torino. I only saw the main city while coming and going. Sochi appears to be similar, with the mountain venues located up in the Caucus range, well away from Sochi proper, which is a tropical resort town.

I shot the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002 and the Torino Olympics in 2006 and I can tell you that digital camera technology has come a long, LONG way! My first Olympics were on the amazing 6-megapixle, horrible in low light Nikon D2h. Boy how spoiled we are now getting 10 frames per second at 20+ megapixles with great images at iso 8000. During the women’s downhill in Salt Lake, I positioned myself under the main jump to get a great air shot of the ladies flying by. It was a blind approach, meaning you couldn’t see uphill, and my camera fired about 3 frames per second. So I actually had to listen for the sound of their turn building up and the edge releasing to know they were about to fly overhead, then push the shutter once and pray.

millergs

Bodie Miller on his way to a silver Medal at the Salt Lake Olympics

wmogul bahrkewin

Truckee’s Shannon Bahrke comes from behind to take a silver medal in the women’s freestyle Moguls event. Back then it was illegal to get inverted on their jumps, and they didn’t have to wear helmets.

me snowy

Olympics aren’t all fun and games. Photographers have to be in position hours before a race starts and if there is a course hold, like there was on the women’s downhill in Salt Lake, you are forced to stay on the course until they decide to either run the race or cancel it. In this case, nearly 4 hours of snowfall. I finally fell asleep waiting.

M DOWNHILL

Bodie Miller on the downhill track in Sestriere during the 2006 winter Olympics. Bodie was in his wild phase during this Olympics and did a lot of partying, but didn’t claim any medals. However, he came back the next season to take the world cup overall title, a feat way more challenging than any Olympics win, but mostly unknown to American audiences.

M SUPERG

Truckee’s Daron Rahlves on the downhill run at the 2006 Olympics. Rahlves is not competing in the current olympics but keeps the competitive spirit alive as the founder of the wildly popular Banzai Tour.

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley’s Marco Sullivan on his downhill run at the 2006 olympics.

M DOWNHILL

The lower portion of the ice-injected slalom event at Sestriere Italy.

M DOWNHILL

Ted Ligety bursts on the scene winning a gold medal in the combined event at the 2006 winter olympics. Now we know him as Mr. GS.

M GIANT SLALOM

Bodie still half asleep during course inspection in Italy.

M SUPERG

Bodie crashes through a gate and miraculously stays upright after making a 40+ MPH turn on one leg, but unfortunately he was already off the course and disqualified from the race.

M DOWNHILL

Bodie Miller on the downhill course in Italy at the 2006 olympics.

GIANT SLALOM

Julia Mancuso on her Giant Slalom run at the 2006 Olympics in Italy.

W COMBINED

Julia Mancuso on her surprise gold-medal run during the combined event at the 2006 winter Olympics. The combined is one run of downhill or super-G, both very fast speed events, and one run of slalom, pictured here. Julia is quite good in speed events, but not so much in slalom, which is why we were all pretty surprised when she laid down a blistering slalom run to capture the gold. Note the trademark tiara, and not-so-trademark lack of a helmet. Can you imagine racing or doing freestyle without a helmet these days?

W DOWNHILL

Lindsey Vonn, (then Lindsey Kildow) in pain at the finish line after finishing the downhill off the podium. Lindsey had a scary crash on a compression during training the previous day and managed to finish her olympic races on mostly grit and painkillers. She has since gone on to be the most dominant American ski racer of all-time. Unfortunately, she took out her ACL last year, and again earlier this year trying to come back for Sochi, so we will see her as an analyst this year, not on the slopes.

W COMBINED

Lindsey Vonn (then Kildow) during the slalom portion of the combined. Lindsey skied in pain the whole Torino Olympics, but went on to become the most formidable and decorated American skier ever.

Stacy Cook of Mammoth Mountain at the finish line after her downhill run in the 2006 winter olympics in Italy. I know Mammoth isn
Stacy Cook of Mammoth Mountain at the finish line after her downhill run in the 2006 winter Olympics in Italy. I know Mammoth isn’t really local, but close enough.
casey

Truckee’s Daron Rahlves last Olympic attempt was in the skiercross at the Vancouver Olympics. Here he was training for it at Sugarbowl ski resort.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe’s Travis Cabral competes in the moguls event at the Torino Olympics in 2006. Nikon’s digital low light performance at the time really sucked compared to modern cameras.

ussa freestyle at heavenly

OK, I’m a sloppy record keeper. I shot the world cup freestyle competition at Heavenly Valley last year. Most of these guys and girls will be at the olympics, but after doing the assignment, I lost the start sheet, so I don’t know who most of these guys are anymore. But I love the weirdness of this picture. We don’t have any locals as far as I know in the aerials events, but local ski manufacturer Moment Skis had a couple of their aerial athletes podium in Vancouver, so there is a sort-of local connection.

ussa freestyle at heavenly

Heavenly Valley skier Sho Kashima competes in the world cup moguls competition last year at Heavenly Valley. Look for Sho in Sochi!

Chas Guldemond

Sochi Olympic snowboarder Chas Guldemond lived in Reno. I photographed him earlier this year in a park in Northwest Reno for one of his sponsors Bear Naked

Olympic National Park back to Reno – Aliner camping part 3 of 3

by Scott and Monique

part 3 of 3

The last leg of our journey had us leaving northern Oregon and heading to the Hoh Rain forest. This was a small, but scenic area. Mossy, yet hot and sunny while we were there. Not very rainforest-like at all. While the only real accessible parts of any scenic beauty are along the hall of mosses trail, apparently somewhere in the Hoh Rain forest, a couple of old hippies have built their own luxury, off-the-grid tree-houses. Wish I had known that when I was up here. Remember any of the pictures you see can by licensed for use, or purchased by contacting me or searching through my online photographic archive.

Panoramic view of the Aliner and our river-side campground at Hoh Rain Forest. For a rain forest, it was pretty damn hot.

Panoramic view of the Aliner and our river-side campground at Hoh Rain Forest. For a rain forest, it was pretty damn hot.

Moss covered trees along the Hall of Mosses trail at the Hoh Rain Forest

Moss covered trees along the Hall of Mosses trail at the Hoh Rain Forest

Moss covered trees along the Hall of Mosses trail at the Hoh Rain Forest

Moss covered trees along the Hall of Mosses trail at the Hoh Rain Forest

Moss covered trees along the Hall of Mosses trail at the Hoh Rain Forest

Moss covered trees along the Hall of Mosses trail at the Hoh Rain Forest

Moss covered trees along the Hall of Mosses trail at the Hoh Rain Forest

Moss covered trees along the Hall of Mosses trail at the Hoh Rain Forest

hoh rain forestHoh rain forestHoh rain forest

The town of Forks, WA is the setting for the Twilight novels. Since there is really nothing else of interest in the town, they are doing their best to ride the Twilight trail as long as possible. But hey, if you picture in your head the setting when you read the novels, it pretty much looks like this, though only bits of the movies were filmed in the area.

The town of Forks, Washington, the setting for the Twilight series.

The town of Forks, Washington, the setting for the Twilight series. Can you guess Monique’s favorite?

The town of Forks, Washington, the setting for the Twilight series.

The town of Forks, Washington, the setting for the Twilight series.

After Forks, we settled into the Mora Campground near the coast. Don’t bother with La Push campground, but do go there for some local smoked salmon. From Mora Campground, it is a quick access to the famous Second Beach (great photo area) and to the Rialto Beach, which is the start of the roughly 32 mile Olympic Wilderness coastline. You can’t camp for about 2 miles from Rialto, but after that you have 32 miles of uninterrupted beach at your backpacking leisure. This area merits days of exploration. At low tide. At high tide. At sunset and sunrise. We are planning to come back and hike the whole coastline. I think it blows doors on California’s Lost Coast.

View from the town of La Push.

View from the town of La Push.

Driftwood tree housing at La Push, Washington.

Driftwood tree housing at La Push, Washington.

Rialto Beach was the start of the Olympic Wilderness shore hike. This is a random stretch of the Olympic National Park that encompasses about 32 miles of contiguous shoreline that is open for backpacking. I think it puts California

Rialto Beach was the start of the Olympic Wilderness shore hike. This is a random stretch of the Olympic National Park that encompasses about 32 miles of contiguous shoreline that is open for backpacking. I think it puts California’s Lost Coast to shame.

Rialto Beach in Olympic Wilderness

Rialto Beach was the start of the Olympic Wilderness shore hike. This is a random stretch of the Olympic National Park that encompasses about 32 miles of contiguous shoreline that is open for backpacking. I think it puts California

Rialto Beach was the start of the Olympic Wilderness shore hike. This is a random stretch of the Olympic National Park that encompasses about 32 miles of contiguous shoreline that is open for backpacking. I think it puts California’s Lost Coast to shame. This is one of Monique’s cool pics.

Olympic wilderness shorelineOlympic Wilderness coast

Monique explores the starfish at low tide at Rialto Beach, part of the Olympic National Park.

Monique explores the starfish at low tide at Rialto Beach, part of the Olympic National Park.

rialto beach starfish

The Arch

The Arch

Arch Beach olympic wilderness

Monique explores the starfish at low tide at Rialto Beach, part of the Olympic National Park.

Monique explores the starfish at low tide at Rialto Beach, part of the Olympic National Park.

sady vacationsady vacationsady vacation

After about a week of rustic campgrounds, we decided it was time for a shower and to splurge a little by overnighting in one of the campgrounds at Sol Duc in Olympic National Park. It was a little more expensive than your average campground, and yes, there is a fancy-pants lodge at the hotsprings. But camping out, you can by a $12 pass to the hot-springs which can be used multiple times during the day. Well worth at least one $12 luxury spa. We hiked up to Sol Duc waterfall in the early morning hours. Before sunrise because I didn’t want any hot-spots on the water. We didn’t see a soul…..except, as we were hiking up, we got sidetracked by this beautiful mossy stream. We spent an hour or more bushwacking up it looking for great vantage points. After about an hour of off-trail hiking, I am composing a picture and I see this bright pink thing come strolling into the frame. I wait as Ms. Pink works her way down the side of the boulders, reaching my location. At 6:30 am, it is one lone female Japanese tourist, in pink plastic flip-flops, pink skirt and pink sweater. All by herself, didn’t speak a word of English, and when she finally reached me, she simply handed me her pink Hello Kitty covered ipad and posed for a picture expecting me to know what to do.  Well, I have to say I was impressed, so I took her picture, made an unintelligible Hello Kitty joke and Ms. Pink smiled and went on her mud-covered way down the hill in her pink flip flops.

The majestic Sol Duc waterfall in Olympic National park, Washington.

The majestic Sol Duc waterfall in Olympic National park, Washington.

The majestic Sol Duc waterfall in Olympic National park, Washington.

The majestic Sol Duc waterfall in Olympic National park, Washington.

I think some of the mossy side streams along the Sol Duc waterfall trail were even more interesting than the actual falls.

I think some of the mossy side streams along the Sol Duc waterfall trail were even more interesting than the actual falls.

I think some of the mossy side streams along the Sol Duc waterfall trail were even more interesting than the actual falls.

I think some of the mossy side streams along the Sol Duc waterfall trail were even more interesting than the actual falls.

Mossy streams on the trail to the Sol Duc waterfall in Olympic National Park.

Mossy streams on the trail to the Sol Duc waterfall in Olympic National Park.

Mossy streams on the trail to the Sol Duc waterfall in Olympic National Park.

Mossy streams on the trail to the Sol Duc waterfall in Olympic National Park.

We were attempting to make Eugene, Oregon for the next stop, but it got too late, so we pulled off on Johnston Observatory Rd. and grabbed a campground just off the highway there. After settling in, we drove the 42 miles, mostly straight up, to Johnston Observatory Ridge to photograph the sunset and have a look at Mt. St. Helens. I guess it was just before tour bus season, or perhaps too late for them, but judging by the parking lot size, this had all the makings of a cluster %$#&! But Monique and I and another photographer named Iron Tazz Scaggs were the only humans about. The wind was blowing and clouds were boiling up and low and behold, we discovered we could cast a circular rainbow around our silhouette by getting between the sun and the clouds. Hence, my first cloud-bow.

Flowers with Mt. St. Helens from the Johnston Ridge observatory. I remember when this erupted. I was only a kid and we got some ash from it, but even now, 30+ years later, the devastation is impressive up close.

Flowers with Mt. St. Helens from the Johnston Ridge observatory. I remember when this erupted. I was only a kid and we got some ash from it, but even now, 30+ years later, the devastation is impressive up close.

Saw my first ever Cloud Bow from the Johnston Ridge observatory at Mt. St. Helens.

Saw my first ever Cloud Bow from the Johnston Ridge observatory at Mt. St. Helens.

sady vacation

Photographing the cloud bow from the Johnston Ridge observatory at Mt. St. Helens. We found that only by standing on the railing, would the sun hit you and cast a rainbow silhouette onto the clouds.

Photographing the cloud bow from the Johnston Ridge observatory at Mt. St. Helens. We found that only by standing on the railing, would the sun hit you and cast a rainbow silhouette onto the clouds.

Nice sign on the way down from Johnston Ridge

Steep grade on the way down from Johnston Ridge

A good portion of this trip revolved around beer, as life does in general. I only heard of Ninkasi brewery out of Eugene, Oregon two years ago when they started sponsoring our World Kayak throwdowns in the Tahoe area. The owner and brewer are both big kayakers, so they came down with a truck full of beer for our first event and paddled with us, then left the beer. Well it is damn good beer, so knowing that we were going to be going down I-5, I made a point of stopping at the brewery in Eugene. They have basically started a transformation of a really run-down industrial part of the city. They didn’t have their food permit at the time we were there, so they sponsored a fairly eclectic food-truck gathering out in the street where you could get some grub, then bring it in to their cool patio and order beer and eat. A damn cool place in my opinion and worth a visit if you are in the area. All the Ninkasi pics were taken by Monique with her iphone.

Had to stop at my favorite brewery, Ninkasi, in Eugene Oregon on the way back down. They sponsored our kayaking for the last couple of years, so even though they can

Had to stop at my favorite brewery, Ninkasi, in Eugene Oregon on the way back down. They sponsored our kayaking for the last couple of years, so even though they can’t import directly into Nevada yet, we have had a few truckloads to work through each year, and it is awesome beer!

And a cool brewery also.

And a cool brewery also.

The flavors of the day on tap. There were a lot of things I had never tried on tap at the brewery in Eugene.

The flavors of the day on tap. There were a lot of things I had never tried on tap at the brewery in Eugene.

Since Ninkasi doesn

Since Ninkasi doesn’t have a food license yet, they sponsor regular food truck gatherings in a lot across the street, so you can have your beer, then head across the street to a totally funkafied food experience.

One of the more obscure food truck offerings

Chocolate covered bacon and organic Kombucha, one of the more obscure food truck offerings

Our last stop was the McCloud river campground. A trail runs from the campground to 3 majestic waterfalls all within 3 miles. I jumped off the first one, and have kayaked off it in the past. The other two were significantly larger and good for swimming near, or photographing.

Our last stop before home was at the McCloud campground where a short 3 mile loop takes us past 3 awesome waterfalls. I have kayaked off the lower one before, but never any of the uppers.

Our last stop before home was at the McCloud campground where a short 3 mile loop takes us past 3 awesome waterfalls. I have kayaked off the lower one before, but never any of the uppers.

Upper McCloud falls

Upper McCloud falls

Goofing off at McCloud falls

Goofing off at McCloud falls

middle McCloud falls.

middle McCloud falls.

An overview of the middle McCloud falls in Northern California.

An overview of the middle McCloud falls in Northern California.

A slow exposure of the McCloud river just above the falls.

A slow exposure of the McCloud river just above the falls.

sady vacation

A slow exposure of the McCloud river just above the falls.

A slow exposure of the McCloud river just above the falls.

January 17, 2014 - 9:26 am

Derrick - Hi Scott,
Thoroughly enjoyed the series. Thanks for posting. I’m now even looking at an Aliner myself!

February 23, 2014 - 10:22 am

Edward Doty - Scott:
Like Derrick, I have really enjoyed your travel blog for the Pacific coast, and for me it is your photography that has drawn me to your blog. I am currently stuck in Flatland (the Chicago area), but your photos make me really want to get back to Oregon and Washington before I am too old to enjoy nature photography. When I was there as a graduate student, had too little time to thoroughly explore the coast.

Derrick: If you want an easy to tow, fast setup hardside trailer, by all means checkout an Aliner. This was our choice for the same reason.

Aliner trailer camping along the Oregon coast – part 2


by Scott

part 2 of 3

After leaving Jedediah Smith redwoods in northern California, we headed to the Oregon Coast. This was all new area to me, and in hindsight, we didn’t spend nearly enough time here. The Oregon coast is to me, an idealized, romanticized version of the California coast, only without the crowds, infrastructure, hotels, private access and bloated costs. Really, places like Bandon Beach were absolute gems with no pretension and miles of amazing shoreline and rugged rock formations. Bandon beach is most impressive at sunrise and sunset if you can get some good color. Otherwise keep a tide chart and aim for a really low tide, where you will find rocks covered with starfish up to your head sometimes. We camped at Bullards Beach State Park just north of Bandon. Small, nothing special campground, but they did have free hot showers. From there it is easy to access all the coast from Bandon down to Cape Blanco, and all of it is worthwhile. If you are in Bandon at sunrise, keep your eyes out for the amazing sand labyrinths a local artist often draws in the sand. Many of these images can be purchased or licensed for use by searching my online archive.

Amazing starfish formations at low tide on Bandon Beach

Amazing starfish formations at low tide on Bandon Beach

Pillars of starfish at low tide on Bandon Beach in Oregon

Pillars of starfish at low tide on Bandon Beach in Oregon

Elaborate sand labyrinth on Bandon Beach made often times by a fellow named Denny Dyke are striking and beautiful

Elaborate sand labyrinth on Bandon Beach made often times by a fellow named Denny Dyke are striking and beautiful

Elaborate sand labyrinth on Bandon Beach made often times by a fellow named Denny Dyke are striking and beautiful

Elaborate sand labyrinth on Bandon Beach made often times by a fellow named Denny Dyke are striking and beautiful

A seal pup seems to have stranded itself on the beach

A seal pup seems to have stranded itself on the beach

Monique loves birds, so she spent most of her time photographing the loud oyster catchers that roamed the shoreline

Monique loves birds, so she spent most of her time photographing the loud oyster catchers that roamed the shoreline

The surfing looked decent, though we only saw a few people out. Probably have to know where the rocks are

The surfing looked decent, though we only saw a few people out. Probably have to know where the rocks are

Overview of Bandon Beach Oregon

Overview of Bandon Beach Oregon

Horse riding is a popular activity along this giant beach at low tide. We just missed them, but caught their tracks heading into the sunrise

Horse riding is a popular activity along this giant stretch of beach at low tide. We just missed them, but caught their tracks heading into the sunrise

The unique rock structures along Bandon Beach all have names. The Face rock is to the left, Cat and Kittens rocks are just below the setting sun.

The unique rock structures along Bandon Beach all have names. The Face rock is to the left, Cat and Kittens rocks are just below the setting sun.

Face rock at sunset on Bandon Beach. Really looks like a face on the side.

Face rock at sunset on Bandon Beach. Really looks like a face on the side.

Bandon Beach sunset

The rock formations along Bandon Beach are really some of the most scenic. We stayed for a couple of days hoping for an epic sunset, but mostly just got clear skies and wind.

The rock formations along Bandon Beach are really some of the most scenic. We stayed for a couple of days hoping for an epic sunset, but mostly just got clear skies and wind.

The sun shining through the rocks at sunset creates great texture.

The sun shining through the rocks at sunset creates great texture.

The wind really kicked up the waves.

The wind really kicked up the waves.

Bandon Beach sunset

The Coquille river historic lighthouse near Bandon Beach. This was just outside of our campground at Bullards Beach, from which we accessed Bandon Beach and the surrounding area.

The Coquille river historic lighthouse near Bandon Beach. This was just outside of our campground at Bullards Beach, from which we accessed Bandon Beach and the surrounding area.

If you want to climb to the top of the Coquille river lighthouse, wear closed toed shoes or they won

If you want to climb to the top of the Coquille river lighthouse, wear closed toed shoes or they won’t let you up.

Monique at the top of the Coquille River lighthouse.

Monique at the top of the Coquille River lighthouse.

Along highway 38 near Reedsport is the Dean Creek elk viewing area. A quick stop along the road on the way to or from Bandon and you can get up close with the cud-chewing little buggers.

Along highway 38 near Reedsport is the Dean Creek elk viewing area. A quick stop along the road on the way to or from Bandon and you can get up close with the cud-chewing little buggers.

More elk

More elk

Heceta Head lighthouse is one of the more picturesque lighthouses along the coast. Unfortunately the timing was such they we just were passing by about noon. Worth a stop if your spending more time along the southern Oregon coast than we had

Heceta Head lighthouse is one of the more picturesque lighthouses along the coast. Unfortunately the timing was such that we were passing by about noon. Worth a stop if your spending more time along the southern Oregon coast than we had.

After a couple of days in Bandon, we gave ourselves one day to make Thor’s well, then one more day to make Cannon Beach. Thor’s well kinda pissed me off, but I have learned by it. There are some famous and amazing pictures of it on the internet, and that was what originally caught my eye, and apparently several hundred other people’s eyes as well. Here is the bottom line. If you want a picture like you saw online, you need to have a combination of a very high tide, or moderate high tide with rough seas, AND a cool sunset or sunrise. The timing of our trip was such that low tides were hitting at sunrise and near sunset, so the stop at Thor’s well was a bit of a waste for me. Also, to really get dramatic water pouring into the well, the seas are such that you are near to risking your life. Seriously! If you want the water high enough that it covers the plateau and drains beautifully into the well, then every 10th wave or so is going to come up to your knees at least, if not your waist.

Rainbow from sea spray at Cooks Chasm

Rainbow from sea spray at Cooks Chasm

Thor

Thor’s well was something I was really looking forward to, and probably the biggest disappointment of the whole trip. It is located near Cooks Chasm, and the closest campground is Beach Side State Recreation area. We hit it at sunset with seas of 7.9ft and calm winds. In order for this to work, I think you need rough seas at this level to really blast the waves up through the well, or tide of at least 8.9 feet. Also a sunset would help. I only had one evening here and it was grey and flat. Probably the biggest pain in the ass were all the other photographers and iphone fanatics huddled around the thing. For me, if I go back, it will be in the middle of a freezing winter storm at sunrise. Maybe that will cut down on the traffic. But honestly, if you want to get a good picture here the seas have to be near the point that they will risk sucking you into the thing. So be prepared and don’t be an idiot.

Monique

Monique’s iphone photo of the “crowd” at Thor’s well.

After over-nighting at the Beach Side State Recreation area near Thor’s well, we headed up to Cannon Beach. That was a mistake! There are two awesome areas between Thor’s well and Cannon beach that should merit at least an overnight. The first is the Newport area. This includes the town of Newport, with its cool, working docks and historic downtown. Don’t miss the Cioppino! Also the Yaquina Bay bridge heading out of Newport is very scenic, and finally the Yaquina head and Yaquina Bay lighthouses are worth waiting for some decent light. The Yaquina Head lighthouse has some amazing tide pools at low tide, and one of the largest colonies of Common Murre seabirds on the coast.

Newport has a cool downtown that is still has several working fish packing plants. If you want some seafood, this is your stop.

Newport has a cool downtown that still has several working fish packing plants. If you want some seafood, this is your stop.

Newport pier

Newport pier

Newport has a cool downtown that is still has several working fish packing plants. If you want some seafood, this is your stop.

Newport has a cool downtown that still has several working fish packing plants. If you want some seafood, this is your stop.

Moving out of Newport you cross the picturesque Yaquina Bay Bridge. Again, we had not budgeted to stop here, but should have for a day. There is lots to see and the cool low tide and sand formations under the bridge probably would have looked better at sunset.

Moving out of Newport you cross the picturesque Yaquina Bay Bridge. Again, we had not budgeted to stop here, but should have for a day.

yaquina bay bridge

Just across the bridge is the Yaquina head lighthouse. Since it was still low tide, we decided to check out the remarkable tide pools just below. If I were doing this trip again, I would budget a day or two around Newport to try and get some nice light on the lighthouse here and have a variety of tides to work with.

Just across the bridge is the Yaquina Head lighthouse. Since it was still low tide, we decided to check out the remarkable tide pools just below. If I were doing this trip again, I would budget a day or two around Newport to try and get some nice light on the lighthouse here and have a variety of tides to work with.

yaquina head tide pools

Just off-shore from the Yaquina Head lighthouse is one of the largest seabird colonies in the area.

Just off-shore from the Yaquina Head lighthouse is one of the largest Common Murre colonies in the area.

Just off-shore from the Yaquina Head lighthouse is one of the largest seabird colonies in the area.

Just off-shore from the Yaquina Head lighthouse is one of the largest Common Murre colonies in the area.

Monique

Monique’s iphone photo of some cool rocks at one of the many beach stops up the oregon coast.

After exploring around Newport, we decided to have dinner at the Pelican Bay brewery right on the beach in Pacific City, a surf town next to the Cape Kiwanda state nature area. One of the main features of the town is a giant rock, called Haystack, that is every bit as impressive as the one that drew me to Cannon Beach, but without all the crowds. In addition to that, the Cape Kiwanda state nature area has some of the most scenic coastline we came across. If we hadn’t already paid for our sites in Cannon Beach, we would have parked it here for a couple of days and made better pictures.

We made Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda near sunset. Again, our destination was farther north, and again, probably a mistake as the Cape Kiwanda area has some of the most scenic coastline I came across. Here a surfer slices in front of the Haystack rock as seen from the patio of the Pelican Bay brewery while drinking a beer. Now where else can you get a shot like this from your seat while drinking a local brew?

We made Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda near sunset. Again, our destination was farther north, and again, probably a mistake as the Cape Kiwanda area has some of the most scenic coastline I came across. Here a surfer slices in front of the Haystack rock as seen from the patio of the Pelican Bay brewery while drinking a beer. Now where else can you get a shot like this from your seat while drinking a local brew?

Looking back at the Pelican Bay brewery on the beach in Pacific City as seen from the Cape Kiwanda park area

Looking back at the Pelican Bay brewery on the beach in Pacific City as seen from the Cape Kiwanda park area

Cape Kiwanda park has some of the most rugged coastline. We didn

Cape Kiwanda park has some of the most rugged coastline. We didn’t expect to see this as we took our post-beer stroll. I really wish I had packed my tripod and 10-stop ND filter for some crazy slow shutter seascapes.

The seas were rough and beautiful along the Cape Kiwanda coast. Certainly worth an extra day.

The seas were rough and beautiful along the Cape Kiwanda coast. Certainly worth an extra day.

The seas were rough and beautiful along the Cape Kiwanda coast. Certainly worth an extra day.

The seas were rough and beautiful along the Cape Kiwanda coast. Certainly worth an extra day.

Me waiting for a big one and trying not to fall in. Tripod mandatory next time.

Me waiting for a big one and trying not to fall in. Tripod mandatory next time.

A pulled back look at the coast from the sand dunes in the Cape Kiwanda park area.

A pulled back look at the coast from the sand dunes in the Cape Kiwanda park area.

haystack rock from Cape Kiwanda park

Monique’s picture of Haystack rock from Cape Kiwanda park

Haystack rock as seen from Cape Kiwanda park. We never really got lucky with our sunsets. All muted colors and no fire.

Haystack rock as seen from Cape Kiwanda park. We never really got lucky with our sunsets. All muted colors and no fire.

Since it was getting dark, we couldn’t stop by the Tillamook factory and pick up any cheese, but the Tillamook Rock lighthouse is just south of Cannon Beach.

The Tillamook rock lighthouse is about a mile off shore.

The Tillamook rock lighthouse is about a mile off shore.

Cannon Beach proper was a bit crowded and built up for my tastes. The giant haystack rock that you see in so many pictures is packed with people milling about, though there is a large nesting Puffin colony there and Monique saw her first Puffin bird in the wild and was really excited about that. The Ecola state park just north of town has a lot of nice exploring to offer. The town of Cannon Beach itself has a hidden gem in Bills Tavern and Brew House. Small, local and not pretentious, this place had some of the best beer I tasted on the whole trip. I started with a seasonal Spruce Tip ale, brewed making a kind of tea out of the fresh budding spruce tips of the area. I expected it to taste piney, or pitchey, but somehow in the brewing process, the spruce tips imparted a light, but indescribably citrus finish that really went well with the hoppy ale. I am not a fan of fruity beers, but since we budgeted two days here, and I was visually underwhelmed (and it  was flat, grey and raining both days) I literally spent almost the entire next day happily sipping Spruce Ale and chatting with the locals while Monique explored some of the many antique shops in the area. Another favorite beer was the Sleepy Monk Coffee Stout. Nothing sleepy about it!

mmmmm, spruce ale!

mmmmm, spruce ale!

Some of the fine beer

Some of the fine beer’s at Bill’s Tavern and Brew House in Cannon Beach

Our destination, and the reason why we passed through such amazing places as Yaquina Head and Cape Kiwanda, was Cannon beach, near the washington border. I was originally attracted to its large haystack rock, but in reality, this place is loaded with hotels and over-crowded compared to so much of the rest of the coast.

Our destination, and the reason why we passed through such amazing places as Yaquina Head and Cape Kiwanda, was Cannon beach, near the washington border. I was originally attracted to its large haystack rock, but in reality, this place is loaded with hotels and over-crowded compared to so much of the rest of the coast.

 

Monique iphone photo of gull footprints at Cannon Beach

Monique iphone photo of gull footprints at Cannon Beach

sady vacation

Cannon beach does of some nice sand dunes just north where you can escape from the crowds. Basically, it seemed that all the visitors clot around the haystack rock.

Cannon beach does have some nice sand dunes just north where you can escape from the crowds. Basically, it seemed that all the visitors clot around the haystack rock.

More Cannon beach sand dunes

More Cannon beach sand dunes

sady vacation

Ecola point state park butts up against Cannon beach and offers some nice hiking and exploring.

Ecola point state park butts up against Cannon beach and offers some nice hiking and exploring.

Ecola point state park

Ecola point state park

Overview looking back at Cannon beach from Ecola Point state park.

Overview looking back at Cannon beach from Ecola Point state park.

A panoramic shot from monique

A panoramic shot from monique’s iphone inside our Aliner.

 

February 23, 2014 - 9:55 am

Edward Doty - Scott: Love your photographs in general and your travel photographs for you travel along the Pacific coast with your Aliner in particular
.
I and my wife, Chris, are avid nature photographer, and have just bought/ordered an Aliner for travels as we transition into retirement. Your photos have raised my interest in getting back to the Oregon and Washiingtoncoasts, where I used to hang out during my graduate school areas.

Please continue with your travel blog and incredible photography, which I plan to follow as I plan my futre travels.

Aliner trailer camping and photography on the Northern California Coast-part 1

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January 12, 2014 - 8:06 am

Aaron Suozzi - Scott,

Looks like a great trip! Also, you have to love taking your hotel room with you. I think I am on my 4th pop up camper and it’s the best money I have ever spent.

Aaron