I recently completed a 15-day, 7,500-mile trip from my home in Augusta, GA to our great Northwest and back. It was one of the few places in the United States that I had never traveled, even though I did fly into and out of Seattle once, back in the early 1990s. I had never driven through Montana, Idaho, Washington or Oregon.
My wife wasn’t interested in seeing that part of the country, so she said she wouldn’t mind if I went alone. Thus started the journey I will hold as one of the best experiences in my life. I would have liked to have Judy go with me, but I also know that I would have missed out on driving—she does all the driving when we travel together—and some of my hiking.
Prior to my trip, I did a lot of online research on points of interest along the way. I spent hours poring over Google Earth maps looking for telltale little blue squares. They indicate that someone has attached photos of some attraction they saw there. I would then open the pictures to see what interested them and determine if it would also interest me.
In all, I found about forty points of interest, some of them as much as fifty miles off the interstate highways I was using, and I was determined to see as many of them as I could.
Once the journey was under way, and after three days of driving to get into position up in South Dakota, I started taking my own pictures by day, downloading them each night, and tweaking them slightly to make them look like the sights did when I snapped the photo. Then I chose the best of the day’s shoot, composed a short story to accompany them, and sent them to about a dozen friends and family.
Now I want to share the best of the best with all of you, and I have several reasons to want to do that:
1. To encourage you to follow your dream for travel if you have one.
2. To show that a simple point-and-shoot camera is all you need to get class photography in digital format.
3. To give you some great things to see if you ever duplicate my trip.
4. To relive for myself that wonderful feeling of freedom I had while I was on the road in the Northwest.