USA Westcoast 1996
(May 1996)

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

We undertook a major roadtrip from 11May - 05June, driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco.. via Seattle,WA !
The idea was to do a lot of camping, but the weather did not cooperate at first. It was also about buying a motorcycle and visiting a friend in Richland,WA.

Travelogue USA Westcoast
We did some camping in the Sierras, but during the night we had a terrible rain and the tent started to leak.
You can see the type of weather we had on this photo, eh?
Bassett's Station is a general store in a literal sort of way: it had anything and everything for sale!
One could buy groceries, all kind of stuff to go looking for gold, etc.; the restaurant gave us a breakfast that put us right back on our feet after a night of broken dreams.. in the car!

 

 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
In this stage of my travels in the US I was actively looking for propliners, as well as some military aircraft.
During the 1970s until mid-1980s I was a fervent military aviation enthusiast, taking pictures and trading slides. From the mid-1980s to the early-1990s I was much less interested in aviation and for photography selected subjects such as landscapes, ghost towns and other travel items. Then in the 1990s I became interested in vintage propellor transports, skytrucks or propliners, and this trip I did a mix of both..

Travelogue USA Westcoast
I wrote letters to Public Affairs Offices of military airbases, to try to get access and a photo permit.
For propliners it was often a matter of visiting some primitive airstrip, many times there was no one around.

 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
We were rained out of the Sierras but we found the sun again in Redding, where we went to see a rodeo.

Travelogue USA Westcoast
In the northern parts of California, we spent some time enjoying the awe-inspiring nature of Trinity National Forest, Shasta National Forest and Klamath Nat'l Forest. We enjoy getting out of the car and hike some trails.

Travelogue USA Westcoast
On a clear day... in a clear lake! The trees and clouds are mirrored in the peaceful water.

 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
The weather did not cooperate here either! We had been looking forward to do the rim drive on Crater Lake (Oregon), but in recent weeks a lot of snow (late May!) saw a lot of snow here; the rim drive was blocked.

 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
After driving for hours from Crater Lake to Redmond,OR the weather cleared nicely upon our arrival.

Travelogue USA Westcoast
 
 
 
Travelogue USA Westcoast
The drive from Redmond to Portland was a bit adventurous. We crossed the Cascades behind a snowplough as I didn't have chains to drive in the snow.. Then we had to rush to Seattle as I had planned to buy myself a motorcycle and shops were about to close for Memorial Day weekend and I had a long drive for San Francisco still ahead of me. The purchase couldn't wait until after the weekend.
Well, as one can see, things worked out: Alexander sits proudly on my 1986 Honda VT700C Shadow.
I had it shipped home by Martinair Cargo, while I continued my vacation..
 
 
 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
This part of the trip the weather was much better and we enjoyed our camping. Somewhere near Wenatchee,WA.
For some reason there are always railroad tracks near campsites, or is that just me..?

 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
The Oregon coastline is glorious! We enjoyed the small scale communities and the campgrounds in primeval, old-growth forests.Imagine, sleeping among a landscape, trees, which go back for centuries!
We'd hoped to see some whales but found that May isn't the season to do this here.

Travelogue USA Westcoast
Someone in quiet contemplation perhaps..?

 

 
 
 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
We continued down on the famous Highway 101, following the Oregon coastline.
We visited several lighthouses, such as this one at Cape Blanco.

Travelogue USA Westcoast
California brought sun, sea, wind and mist together.

 
 
 
Travelogue USA Westcoast
I like derelict buildings like this; I think I could start a seperate gallery on abandoned gasstations!

 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
Mill Creek Campground provided camping opportunities amidst the famous gigantic Redwood trees.
This forest has such an unworldly atmosphere that Steven Spielberg filmed scenes of 'Return of the Jedi' here.

Travelogue USA Westcoast

Travelogue USA Westcoast
In awe among the giant trees..

 
 
 

Travelogue USA Westcoast
For a short while I owned a Hasselblad camera and shot black & white photos: serious photography, with a tripod and all that. But I couldn't afford any extra lenses so I traded it in for a Mamiya 645S, but kept printing my photos in a selfmade square frame... I took this camera with me, besides the SLR camera, until I was fed up with the extra weight and sold the Mamiya too. That also was the end to my B&W photography.