The Nature, Wildlife and Pet Photography Forum - Fine Art Landscape Photography

Where's everyone going this summer?

Posted By: Tony Bynum

Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/27/08 02:28 PM

What's on the agenda for national park, or other great shotting locations this summer? I'm curious how much travel people are willing to do with gas now over $4 bucks a gallon.

I'll stick to my usual, montana and alberta, no bit trips planed out of the region. Glacier, Banff, Jasper and little spots in between this year!

So, lets hear where youre planning to go and why. . .

Tony
Posted By: TangoWay

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/27/08 03:15 PM

My wife and I have talked about going back to Crater Lake sometime in July or August. Maybe a late Summer or early Fall trip to the Oregon coast.
Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/27/08 03:22 PM

Awesome Place! I've never shot there before, but I have seen the lake and love the area! Make sure to post a few shots here upon your return!
Posted By: Jim Garvie

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/27/08 06:24 PM

Tony,
I think we'll be sticking close to home this summer. Several factors but no question that the price of gas makes traveling even with only a couple of dogs pretty expensive.

We usually travel into the mid-West for some dog shows both to exhibit one or two of our own and also to take ring candids but I doubt we'll do it this year even though Sundance is almost ready for prime time .

Having said that, I think the challenge of finding more stuff close to home -- whether to photograph or just to enjoy in "vacation" mode -- is a good thing. Remember, we have Disney, Universal Studios and Sea World right in our back yard so it's not like we have to go somewhere to enjoy the theme park experience. And beaches one hour away to both the East and to the West. You know, we're pretty lucky in that regard.

Still, I'd love to get to one of the major scenic wonders withing the next year or so. We'll see. Maybe on my way to shoot the 2010 Rottweiler National in Denver.

Jim
Posted By: Shutter Bubba

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/29/08 12:48 AM

I'm planing on going to Virginia, I will be taking in D.C. plus some of the bird walk trails I was told about..
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/29/08 11:46 AM

Where in VA? I may have a tip or two for you on the bird thing.

Huntley Meadows
Dyke Marsh
Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/29/08 01:08 PM

DC in the summer, better take the air conditioner. . . Have a great time, there's sooo much too see around there, if you get a chance make sure you take a trip up the Great Falls on the Potomac river just up from DC in VA. If you go in the early am, you likely will see kayakers on it, it is impressive and very close to DC, only a few miles west on the parkway!


From the WWW:

Great Falls Park, an 800-acre park located along the Potomac River, is one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The natural beauty of Great Falls Park and its close proximity to downtown Washington, DC make this park popular with local residents and tourists who are visiting the area.

Great Falls Park offers a variety of activities including hiking, picnicking, kayaking, rock climbing, bicycling, and horseback riding. You can view the falls from several observation areas. The falls cascade into 20 foot waterfalls displaying the steepest fall line rapids of any eastern river. On the Virginia side, Overlook 2 and the Patowmack Canal Trail are wheelchair accessible. Follow the River Trail, beginning just downstream of the falls, and you will see spectacular views of the Mather Gorge. Above the Great Falls Park Visitor Center, you can follow the upper Canal Trail and view the head of the falls and the Aqueduct Dam. See a trail map to help you plan your hike.

Great Falls Park is maintained by the National Park Service. Ranger Talks are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 p. m. and 3:30 p. m. at the Ranger Program Area near Overlook 3.

Location
Great Falls Park is accessible from both sides of the Potomac River. The Virginia park is located at 9200 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, Virginia.

The Maryland side is a part of the C & O Canal National Historic Park and is located off of Falls Road in Potomac. There is not access between the two sides of the Potomac River.

Park Hours
Great Falls Park is open from 7 a.m. until dark every day except December 25th. The Visitor Center is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily, with extended hours during the spring and summer.

Admission
There is a $5.00 per vehicle entrance fee and a $3.00 fee for visitors entering the park on foot, horseback, bicycle, or motorcycle.

Official Website
www.nps.gov/grfa


Suggested Reading

Best Views in Washington, DC
Camping in Maryland and Virginia
Hiking in the Washington, DC Area


A Guide to Washington, DC Parks
A Guide to Maryland Parks
A Guide to Northern Virginia Parks
Posted By: Tucson Jim

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/29/08 07:10 PM

I guess that my wife and I will be bucking the "stay close to home" trend. We will be taking a road trip from Tucson, Arizona to Glencoe, Ontario, Canada to visit my wife's sister in July. The last time we made this trip, we took the scenic route, logging some 8,500 + miles. Our return route included stops at Gettysburg, the Assateague National Seashore, Chesapeake Bay, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Memphis, among others.

This time, we'll just be heading there and back by a more or less direct route. When we take our road trips, we like to avoid the interstates and stick to the back roads. We really enjoy visiting all the small villages and towns that are the backbone of America.

Whenever we see a sign for a local landmark or attraction that catches our fancy, we make a detour for a visit. There are a ton of tremendously beautiful and/or interesting places in this country that are virtually unknown except to the locals.

Factoring in side trips, I expect the drive will end up at less than 5,000 miles this time around. With the price of gas topping $4.00 a gallon, we could have flown a lot cheaper, but we would not have seen as much.

Unfortunately, the only National Park remotely close to our route is Point Pelee National Park in Ontario. It is supposed to be an excellent location for birders (which I am not), but I would guess that there is not much doing there in July. I plan on spending a day there anyway.

If I had had any sense, I would have scheduled this trip for the fall, when the leaves change colors. As it was, I picked July so I could sneak off to the big Antique Radio Show and Swap Meet in Lansing, Michigan while we are there.

We'll probably take the pop-up out for a month or so in September (after all the kids go back to school) and do a big Northern Arizona/Southern Utah loop again.

Jim
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/29/08 07:52 PM

While obviously the cost of fuel has been hitting everyone hard, the biggest problem for us has been that the car is on its very last legs...and I am not sure it makes sense to replace it (particularly as we live here in Manhattan next to two subway lines).

However, I don't feel that this will alter our traveling plans too much. For example, we have several places that we are planning on going though over the coming weeks and months. In mid-June, we plan on going up to New Hampshire for a couple of days. In late July, we plan on hitting Acadia National Park (believe it or not, I have NEVER been there). In September, we are going back to Yellowstone and Grand Teton. All positive things. The cost of fuel stinks, but it is a necessary evil. I keep hoping that it all drops, but I guess that is probably a fairy tale.

I guess the question for folks is - what is 'close to home?' Do you consider a 200 or 300 mile round trip to be too much?

James
Posted By: Tucson Jim

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/29/08 09:56 PM

Quote:



I guess the question for folks is - what is 'close to home?' Do you consider a 200 or 300 mile round trip to be too much?

James




I guess all things are relative. I don't think 200 or 300 miles round trip is too far to go for a Sunday afternoon picnic.

But then, again, folks here in Tucson routinely drive 850 miles round trip to San Diego for the weekend just to cool off.
Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/29/08 10:00 PM

I'm with Jim, 200-300 miles is a day trip. I often log 100 miles just to get to my first shooting location before the sun rises. I live in east glacier park, and it's 75 miles just to get to the top of logan pass . . . That said, i'll NOT be going as often. instead, i'll be saving up to afford to go to on my fall shooting trips. . .
Posted By: dave_lines

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/30/08 02:20 AM

not really sure yet, I know I can go to Crater Lake very easily, (100 miles) but want to go someplace further away, not just a day trip. I wanted to get up to the Columbia Gorge this spring but prob not gonna make it, grandson is still in school and has baseball clear into July. Kind of kicking around Mesa Verde or Arches, but Arches will be very hot by the time we can go. Sister mentioned something about meeting them in Glacier, but not sure on that either.
Gas hit 4 bucks a gal. here today.
Posted By: Shutter Bubba

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/30/08 03:47 AM

Fredrickburg Area.. Spotsylvania County..
Posted By: Shutter Bubba

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/30/08 03:54 AM

Tucson Jim, is it not cooler (some) down by patagonia in some of the preserve's ? Not as cool as San Diego but lots of birds at different times of year..What about the top of Mt. Lemon.. LOL I've not been up there in years.
Posted By: ricochet

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/30/08 07:32 AM

Hopefully I can scrape up enough gas money for my annual camp trip to the Steens Mountain-Malheur refuge-Hart Mountain refuge area.
Posted By: DavidRamey

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/30/08 07:55 AM

I plan on going to Denali NP, Kenai Fjords NP, and tomorrow I am taking my fly rod into the Kenai NWR and see if I can't introduce myself to every trout in the waters before I release them back into the water. I am leaving at 4am to be on the water at sunrise 4:52am.
Posted By: Tucson Jim

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/30/08 08:46 PM

Quote:

Tucson Jim, is it not cooler (some) down by patagonia in some of the preserve's ? Not as cool as San Diego but lots of birds at different times of year..What about the top of Mt. Lemon.. LOL I've not been up there in years.




Bernard:

Yep, Patagonia Lake and the adjacent Sonoita Creek State Natural Area (Bird Sanctuary), as well as Mount Lemmon, are both somewhat cooler than Tucson.

Although my wife enjoys San Diego, I really hate driving in that town. I'd rather tackle the Los Angeles freeways than San Diego. So, I'm not one who makes that trek very often.

For cooling off purposes, I prefer Oak Creek Canyon, the White Mountains or Silver City, NM. I haven't been through Oak Creek since the fires/floods, however. Seeing the affects of the bark beetle infestation the last time I was there just about broke my heart. I can only imagine what it looks like now. Argh!&^$%$!!

I think I'm ready to try my hand at some bird photography if I can muster the patience, and the Patagonia Lake/Sonoita Creek area is a nice place to start. Do you think it is too late in the season already to go now?

Jim
Posted By: Jim Poor

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 05/30/08 09:07 PM

I got my start in bird photography in the Sierra Vista, AZ area. Bird photography is good in that area year round, great most times, and phenomenal during "the season."

Ash Canyon B&B is great and open for birders & photographers to visit daily. There are several other places in the general area.

Garden Canyon on Ft. Huachuca is good too.
Posted By: Randy T

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/01/08 03:30 PM

We started planning our September trip last year. Our budget included gas purchases at $4.25 - 4.50/gal. We will be in the Black Hills area for 2 nights & in Cody for 1 night. Then it's off to Yellowstone for 6 nights. And finally 3 nights in Glacier before heading back to Wisconsin. September seems so far away
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/02/08 12:35 PM

It sounds like many folks are still attempting to make their trips - even with the cost of gas going through the roof. That is a good thing. I wonder though, if the cost of gas has changed what we drive when we get to our destinations? i.e. do we rent a compact vs an SUV when possible? Or, a small SUV vs something larger?

James

PS David, sounds like you are going to have some great opportunities in Denali and Kenai Fjords NP. I hope you will share some photos when you get back!
Posted By: DavidRamey

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/02/08 04:17 PM

Quote:

It sounds like many folks are still attempting to make their trips - even with the cost of gas going through the roof. That is a good thing. I wonder though, if the cost of gas has changed what we drive when we get to our destinations? i.e. do we rent a compact vs an SUV when possible? Or, a small SUV vs something larger?




I own a mini van, 4wd pickup truck, full size conversion van and a compact car. The compact car gets driven less miles than the others. The mini van hauls my equipment to photography jobs. The pick up truck hauls building supplies, firewood, trash to the dump, takes me places the other vehicles can't go. The conversion van takes me to jobs when I need to spend the night or tows the trailer that has my viewing equipment when they are needed for a job. The compact car takes my wife to work or to the grocery store. Her work is 8 miles away, my work is anywhere from my back yard to 1000 miles away one way. What I drive is dictated by the job at hand, not by the price of fuel.
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/03/08 09:40 PM

Hey David,

I appreciate the comment. You are right - the difference I think between yourself and many others is that this is your job. For most of us, we are weekend warriors, and the cost of going out and doing our passion can be a real hinderence (sp).

I guess I was trying to see if others were in the same boat. :P

James
Posted By: Jim Garvie

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/03/08 10:16 PM

James,
there's no question that when it's your job to go to the shoot location, you go. Period. Maybe you can make up the additional expense in pricing and maybe you can't. But there is no choice but to go.

For those of us who also shoot for pleasure, the thought of driving 3 - 4 hrs. just to shoot in the Everglades is daunting right now. To drive to Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Alaska? Totally out of the question.

So, I focus closer to home. I look for places I can bicycle to. I carry my gear in a backpack instead of the Pelican 1510 Case. I look small instead of large-scale. I try to see things in my own environment that are interesting from a different perspective.

Now, that doesn't get me into the wild -- although some might argue that having 15 Rottweilers in my house is pretty wild (8 puppies) -- but it does make me use my brain and my eyes instead of relying on the grandeur of the locale. Not that I wouldn't love to be able to shoot in Yellowstone. But right now, it doesn't make economic sense to be able to do so.

Unless, of course, you had a better solution . . .

Jim
Posted By: Durwood Edwards

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/04/08 03:07 AM

My summer's totally complete (maybe my life!). Just spent 3 incredible days in the Grizzly Rain Forest of BC. See photo in Wildlife Forum.
Met a friend of yours' Tony: Dave Slaughter and his wife, Pam! Wonderful folks!
Posted By: Tony Bynum

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/04/08 02:07 PM

Glad you had fun! Yes, Dave did tell me that you two met and that you were a great guy!

Tony
Posted By: rpcrowe

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/13/08 10:20 PM

Kenai Peninsula of Alaska from July 17th to July 27th.

Seward, Soldatna and Homer!

I will visit the Kenai Fjords National Park while I am at Seward...
Posted By: ConnieM

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/14/08 01:39 AM

My husband and I already had our vacation for this year. We spent 29 days in Florida. Stayed on Marco Island but put over 3000 miles on the rental car. Hit Gatorland twice! The first day there, I think I spent at least 10 minutes in shock! I've never seen so many birds in one spot and so darn close! Birders in Florida are so lucky!!

Connie
Posted By: Jim Garvie

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/14/08 11:45 AM

Damn, Connie, I wish I remembered that you were coming -- we live a couple of miles away from Gatorland in Hunters Creek.

Glad you had such a great trip. You know, we've lived here since 1989 and we've never been to Gatorland. We go to Sea World all the time but never to the little zoo across the street. We'll have to walk over there sometime soon.

Jim
Posted By: James Morrissey

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/14/08 01:53 PM

Hey Connie,

I hope you had a great trip. Make sure you post share some!

BTW, what exactly is Gatorland?

James
Posted By: ConnieM

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/17/08 03:21 AM

We had a wonderful vacation. http://www.gatorland.com/
Gatorland is a Theme Park and Nature Conservatory. For birding they have a boardwalk that runs thru the rookery area. The gators stay under the nesting birds hoping for a quick snack! You can get a photography pass which enables you to enter the park at 7am (normal hours 9am) and you can also stay two hours after closing. Check out the webcam on the Gatorland site, it will show you just how close you can get to the birds.
Connie
Posted By: ConnieM

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/17/08 03:30 AM

Jim,
The place is amazing, the guy in charge of the photographers is Mike Godwin, he is very nice and will spend a lot of time if you have questions. He also took us back in an off limits area to let us photograph the woodstorks. The babies are adorable, the adults, well thats another story! My husband isn't into photography but he really enjoyed watching all the birds.
I wish I knew you lived so close. I would of loved to meet you and your Rotties.
Connie
Posted By: Jim Garvie

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 06/17/08 01:29 PM

Connie,
I remembered that you had posted that you were planning to visit Gatorland but then Cassidy had her puppies and things got a little (?) chaotic here. I really had intended to give you my telephone number so we could hook up.

Maybe next time. Glad you had a great trip. Once the puppies are gone, Linda and I are going to need some time off and a trip to Gatorland, Animal Kingdom and Sea World might be perfect. No wasted gas and lots of camera opportunities.

Take care,

Jim
Posted By: Gene

Re: Where's everyone going this summer? - 07/01/08 08:37 PM

I am going to Yosemite. This is my second time, thus, any suggestions for places and times of the day I should shoot will immensely help me. James as you can read I am finally able to sign in, thus, all is good! Great bunch of photographers! I am not a professional photographer but I have nothing but admiration for all of you!

Cheers,

Gene
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