U. S. A. Roadtrip | Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington

Come along, I will take you on a photo adventure.  Quite a journey it was!  From Phoenix across to Los Angeles and then north up the stunning, picturesque Pacific coastline to Seattle.  We travelled hundreds of miles and made numerous stops along the way at incredible viewpoints, beautiful parks, intriguing cities and fascinating sights.  Several places that I have wanted to see were covered on this roadtrip and many new places discovered.  There is so much to see in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington!  It’s not easy to have a favorite place or two after all that was fit in to less than 3 weeks!!  It was all really beautiful!  Starting off near the end of October, we had nice weather and it was hard to leave the warmth of sunny California but there was always something ahead that we were looking forward to!

It was one of those opportunities that possibly only happen once in a lifetime!  Invited by a friend that is a fantastic photographer to travel with her + her two daughters that homeschool.  It was school on the road and travel really is an incredible, interesting education.  There are so many things that you can read about that are really only fully understood once experienced and viewed with your own eyes!  Travelling is amazing, enlightening and always enriching!!

I will be honest that I have procrastinated putting this blog post together because it felt like a very daunting task to narrow down my favorite images.  With an abundance of gorgeous scenery + neat, fun moments in the long distance we covered and time spent together, it’s impossible to not end up with a huge blog post!!  I hope these photos inspire you to plan a roadtrip and explore somewhere!  Or just grab a map and hop in the car!!

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En route to Salvation Mountain.  This was definitely one of the most unique and colorful places we saw.

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Driving thru and hiking in Joshua Tree National Park was a highlight for me.  I would go back in a heartbeat to explore more of this gorgeous park where the Mojave + Colorado deserts meet!

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From Palm Springs we made our way over to Santa Monica then followed the beautiful, winding coastline and enjoyed stopping in at cute seaside towns.  It’s easy to love the California vibe!

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Alongside Highway 1 is a pulloff for an Elephant Seal Colony.  It was neat to watch them in their natural habitat.  Coming in from and going out to the ocean or relaxing in the sunshine, males getting in little tussles and hearing their noises.  Their life looks pretty chill!

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The coastline became very rugged towards San Simeon and thru the Big Sur area.  The spectacular viewpoint at Ragged Point (below, left) sits on a cliff over 300-foot above the Pacific!  A storm was also moving in which made for neat clouds and a misty coastline by Bixby Bridge.

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A morning walk on the beach at Carmel-by-the-Sea is hard to beat!  Well…the beach and crashing waves at any time of the day is great!!

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There’s no escaping wind when you leave the prairies and head to the coast.  We happened to find the windiest point on the Pacific coast but thankfully not on the windiest day!  You can tell by the trees there’s a very strong west wind!!  Our timing could not have been more perfect to arrive at the gated Point Reyes Lighthouse.  We got to walk down to the lighthouse as the park ranger had to test the wind speed.  Which was above the 40 mph allowance so we only had a few minutes then got a stair workout getting back up the 300 steps!

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Redwood National Park was another incredible stop.  It’s hard to imagine just how large these giant redwood trees are until you are walking among them!!  We stood at the base of Big Tree, saw a banana slug and of course turned off for photo ops at the drive-thru tree!

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It was my first time ever into Oregon!  More incredible and breathtaking coastline starting with this viewpoint for Arch Rock.

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We noticed up ahead there were tons of cars pulled off to the edge of the road then saw a whale tail sticking up so we quickly made a u-turn and were awed by the size of this beached blue whale.  Which a blue whale is apparently a very rare sighting on this coast.  One of those things you could never possibly plan to see!!!  It was really sad knowing it was a sick whale to end up beached but fascinating to understand it’s ginormous size.

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We had a short time in Florence to walk up a sand dune and also visit the Sea Lion Caves.  We didn’t get to see sea lions in the caves as it was the wrong time of year but it was still neat to go underground and we saw some frolicking in the water.  Then we left the coast to visit friends in Eugene and on to Portland.

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We loved Portland and it would be amazing to spend a few days there sometime to see more but it felt good to get back to the coast and we immensely enjoyed the most stunning sunset at Cannon Beach!  Haystack Rock and the Needles silhouetted with so much changing color.  It was fantastic!  Plus we had possibly our best hotel experience and highly recommend staying at the Surfsand Resort!!!

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We went to Hug Point on an overcast, rainy morning and it was worth getting out + soaking wet to take in this scenic spot!

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Crossing the Astoria-Megler bridge into Washington…and on to Seattle!  I stayed with friends that moved to Seattle not too long ago but really know how to tour a visitor around already!!  They were amazing hosts and it was a perfect mix of city sights and nature’s beauty!  With plenty of great chats and laughs in between!!  We got to the Pike Place Market gum wall just a day before they came to clean it off for the first time in 20 years and start over again.  I was shown Seattle’s iconic Space Needle from all directions, even from West Seattle when we explored over there one day.

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A memorable trip indeed!!!!

1 February 2016 - 10:12 pm

Shauna - Amazing talent you have… really amazing pictures here, i see soooo many potential wall canvases!!

1 February 2016 - 6:52 pm

Melissa - It’s not wonder you had a hard time narrowing down your images! I’m in awe!

20 January 2016 - 6:15 pm

Sharmilla - Wow! Looks like an amazing trip! Gorgeous images Jenelle.

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