Greetings from cold Wisconsin!
On this sunny (finally!), cold morning reading the Sunday paper, I came across an article in the Sunday Best section on bucket lists. The idea of writing a post about my travel bucket list has been swirling around in my head for a few weeks but other topics took precedence. But now is the time to look ahead and start planning to check off some of those things on that list. Until this moment, I haven’t had a real list, just some ideas in my head, things I’d like to do while I’m still able and before, to quote Shakespeare, “shuffle off this mortal coil.” The newspaper article says to make a plan and start by writing it down, then find a way to keep it in front of you as a reminder. So here’s my starter list (I’ll keep adding to it from time to time) for all to see:
- Explore the Southwest US, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada. Specifically, I’d like see the Grand Canyon, Saguaro, Petrified Forest, Carlsbad Caverns, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Zion, Glen Canyon, Death Valley, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite, and Joshua Tree National Parks. Plus all the sites and places in between including Route 66. We’ve been to a few of these places but not in years or in much depth. Doesn’t this sound like a 6-8 week trip?!!!
- The New England states and while we are there, Eastern Canada as well. This would be new experience as we haven’t traveled in that part of the world.
- For foreign travel, Donna and I both have the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark on our lists. In addition, any trip to Europe is a bonus, we’d like to return to Italy and spend more time exploring Rome and even though we’ve been to Cinque Terre, I would relish a return visit and a longer stay. France will always be on my list and visits to Switzerland, Greece, the Czech Republic, Belgium and the Netherlands would check a few more locations off my list.
- Our lists do diverge a little, Donna has China on her list but I could take it or leave it. I have a road trip to Alaska on the Alaskan Highway but she’s not fired up. I’d also like to visit Vietnam, Thailand, and India but she’s lukewarm on those locations. We’d both like to visit Ukraine and I’d like to also visit Russia.
So lots on our lists. We figure God willing and the creek don’t rise and the travel fund holds out, we’ll be able to accomplish much of what’s on our list.
Now a few photos and narrative about a place in 2015 I checked off my then in my head bucket list. Last year, the Improve Photography travel group organized a photography meet up in February on the Oregon Coast. I debated (mostly with myself) about attending, what kept me from going were the ridiculously high priced airline tickets from Madison to anywhere close to the meet up site. So that’s when Donna and I hatched our plan to take a six week camping trip to the West Coast. Mind you, there were a lots of stops along the way out west and on the return trip but the goal was to spend as much time as we could on Oregon Coast. And I think we achieved our goal as we spent a total of about 8 days transversing the Highway 101 from Cannon Beach to Brookings on the California border.
Out of about 1000’s of images we took along the Coast, here are seven that I hope tell a bit about our experience. While Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach is the iconic photo that most tourists take (I took it too), the photo below was taken in a more remote area after a rather long drive off the highway and walk along the beach. It was a foggy day and later in the day but the reflection in the pool and hazy haystack in the background tell a nice story about the wide variations in weather.
Further down the coast is the Heceta Head Lighthouse. It was late in the day and the gates to the lighthouse were closed so we had to settle for the view from the turnout on Highway 101.
One day we were heading south of Tillamook when a rainstorm passed, the sun came out and produced a double rainbow. It was interesting to see how many people pulled off the road and took photos.
We took a lot of photos of the massive power of the water as it hit the rocks along the Coast. Here’s one of my favorites.
When traveling, one sees some different but interesting sites. This photo was taken in the harbor town of Bandon while walking around the old town. This is probably not the first time these dogs waited outside of the tavern for their owners to continue the walk!
Sunsets along the coast are almost always spectacular, it’s almost a can’t miss photo op. Here a couple from the Brookings area.
So check one off the bucket list, well it’s actually going back on the list because one trip down the Oregon Coast is not enough, lots to see and beauty is hard to beat. We are looking ahead a year or two and starting to plan when and where we’ll go to check some of things off the list.
Keep on traveling my friends,