Summer travel schedule takes shape

Travel will be a full-time job this year, as I’ll be writing and photographing fascinating features for publication from my adventures through Idaho, Washington and Oregon as well as treks across the United States. Look for regular trip reports from every possible stop.

Here’s the schedule as it now stands. Family will be staying in, and caring for, our home and garden while we’re gone.

June 23-26: Family caRaft105Portfoliomping on the Payette River in Cascade, Idaho. Hoping much of the gang can come for this lovely and scenic spot for fun and games.

July 7-30: Olympic Peninsula loop, from east to west, starting with the Hood Canal communities and including most attractions all along the peninsula, including Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Angeles, Lake Crescent, Neah Bay and Kalaloch. We’ll wander into the Staircase, Dosewallips, Hurricane Ridge and Sol Duc areas, with the Hoh and Quinault rain forests major stops. From there, we’ll head south into the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway and explore the Tillamook Coast before heading home via Portland and the Columbia River Gorge.

Aug. 7-Sept. 9: Still tons of planning to do for this cross-country driving trip from Boise, Idaho to rural Boxford, Massachusetts for a family visit. Once there, we’ll be going into New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest and into Ogunquit, Maine for a taste of the beautiful east coast. So far, after Boxford, we’ll be camping on Cape Cod and at Newark’s Liberty Harbor, in sight of the Statue of Liberty. We’re looking at  harbor cruises and visits to Manhattan by public transportation. From there…who knows? We’ll meander back to Boise as fast — or as slow — as we can.

Full slate of travels booked for 2016

From dragging my travel trailer all around the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State to a cross-country car camping excursion lasting five weeks beginning in August, the Summer of ’16 will be packed with fascinating new adventures and stories spanning America’s favorite — and lesser-known — highways and byways.

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The travel season began early with a week-long trip to Walla Walla in mid-May, where I attended the Northwest Travel Writers Conference: Travels and Words at the historic and lavish Marcus Whitman hotel. Two solid days hearing from experienced and well-published writers and editors, shaking hands with representatives from convention and travel bureaus and destination management organizations filled my writing palette with a host of new inspiration and opportunities to engage readers with fascinating material.

Following the first day of the conference, we were treated to a lavish reception by Walla Walla’s finest at the Gesa Powerhouse Theater. Exquisite hors d’oeuvres, prime beef, great local wines, whiskey and beer and much more awaited us. Horse-drawn carriages and 1930s-era limousines provided the transportation, and we exchanged handshakes and business cards by the dozens.

eRedWingBlackbird093From there, I took a quick side trip into the Palouse area of north Idaho and southern Washington for a fast photo or two. And it had to be fast, because I was dogged by heavy rain for most of the journey.

So, unfortunately, was a group of vintage travel-trailer enthusiasts, who had come from all over the west for a rally at the campground I was staying in when the first rains hit. Hosted by the Walla Walla Tin Cans, who had invited members from the Rollin’ Oldies Vintage Trailers club to the campout, VintageTravelTrailerCoke008the rally featured about 30 ancient travel trailers ranging from tiny units little more than traveling beds to vintage Coca-Cola themed trailers, mostly ranging from 9-15 feet.

Look for a full-length feature story on the tin can folks in a future blog. Next time, I’ll be posting my itinerary of travels for the 2016 travel season, and hope you’ll follow along as I share my reports from the road.

Frequently requested photos: a special sale of gratitude & peace

By Ken Levy

Here is a very special opportunity to make your Christmas and holiday purchases count twice…at much lower prices. I donate 20 percent of every image you buy to the Idaho Foodbank, and am lowering my prices on many of my clients’ and friends’ favorite images. They can be found here.BarnGrandTetons
Grand Tetons and barn near Tetonia, Idaho     © Ken Levy

See many of my photos at the following venues in the Treasure Valley. The Foodbank also gets 20 percent from the sale of these images.

Stop by when you get a chance to catch the true beauty of these fine images, framed and ready-to-hang. Prints of all of these photographs are available in myriad sizes from my Web site.

Keep an eye on my New Works page for updates to my photography, and stop by my Collector’s Editions page to view some of my clients’ favorite works.

About my photos

These beautiful and dramatic images will add power and interest to every wall, in home, office or business. Printed on archival photo paper, each image is hand-signed. Prices include shipping, and I pay the tax. Email me for details at ken@kenlevymedia.com or visit my web site at http://kenlevymedia.com.

Consider making my images part of your holiday gift giving this year. Because no one should have to go hungry, and beauty makes a great gift for everyone.

 

 

 

 

Fine art + feeding the hungry = Great holiday tradition

By Ken Levy

Thanks to everyone who came out to my photo exhibits at both FrameWorks locations in the Treasure Valley. Because of  your support, I’m able to donate a nice check to the Idaho Foodbank in plenty of time for the holidays.

But it doesn’t stop there. My tradition of giving 20% of sales to the Foodbank runs all year.
Here’s how it works:

You get stunning photograFoggyTreesYachats1966phy for your home, office or as thoughtful gifts; each beautiful photo you buy also helps feed hungry people.

Visit any of my exhibits (below), and my web site, to make the perfect holiday purchase that gives twice:

At left: Coastal Inspiration, Yachats, Ore.

 

 About my photos

These professional-quality images will add beauty and interest to every wall, including those of your friends, family and colleagues. You can find a huge variety of original art on my web site.

Keep an eye on my New Works page for updates to my photography, and stop by my Collector’s Editions page to RedBarnOrchards32view some of my clients’ favorite works.

Email me for details at ken@kenlevymedia.com or visit my web site at http://kenlevymedia.com.

Consider making my images part of your holiday gift giving this year. Because no one should have to go hungry, and beauty makes a great gift for everyone.

 

 Red Barn, Hood River Fruit Loop

 

Win-win: Photo sales help feed hungry people; you get great art

 

By Ken Levy

I’m a firm believer in win-win situations. Shouldn’t everyone get a fair shot? Why should anyone have to go hungry?

They shouldn’t. That’s why I donate 20 percent of every image I sell to the Idaho Foodbank.

Each purchase you make helps feed quite a few hungry folks, and you get beautiful art for your home, business or office. Email me for details at ken@kenlevymedia.com or visit my web site at http://kenlevymedia.com.

At left: Homer’s Barn in the Fall.

About my photos

These professional-quality images will add beauty and interest to every wall, including those of your friends. You can find a huge variety of original art on my galleries or make a purchase from any of my six exhibits below:

Stop by when you get a chance to catch the true beauty of these fine images, framed and ready-to-hang. Prints of all of these photographs are available in myriad sizes from my Web site.Horse Roundup, montana

Keep an eye on my New Works page for updates to my photography, and stop by my Collector’s Editions page to view some of my clients’ favorite works.

At right: Montana Roundup

 

Consider making my images part of your holiday gift giving this year. Because no one should have to go hungry, and beauty makes a great gift for everyone.

 

Six new photo exhibits highlight travel adventures in the west

By Ken Levy

I’m showing some of my most interesting and recent fine-art travel photographs at six venues in the Boise, ID area. These framed and ready-to-hang images make beautiful wall hangings for your home, business or office.

Purchases of any of these images (including photos from my galleries) include a 20% donation to the Idaho Foodbank. With the holidays coming, this is a good time to consider fine art both as a gift and a way to help feed hungry people in Idaho. It’s a win-win situation for everyone, with every purchase.

You’ll see dramatic photographs of the Oregon Coast and Hood River Fruit Loop, scenes from Idaho and California, historical images, wildlife and much more.

FoggyTreesYachats1966Here are the venues where you can see my images. Stop by when you get a chance to catch the true beauty of these fine images. Prints of all of these photographs are available in myriad sizes.

 

 

Coastal Inspiration

I’ll be the featured artist for October at the Eagle, Idaho location of FrameWorks, 600 S. Rivershore Ln., (208) 939-7075. Keep an eye on my New Works page for updates to my photography, and stop by my Collector’s Editions page for some of my clients’ favorite works. Below, Damselflies in Love.

BlueDragonflies1852

On the trail: The Oregon Odyssey part II

 

Sunset, Yachats, Oregon

Photo above: Sunset, Yachats, Oregon. One of the most beautiful sections of rugged coast in  Oregon. Below right, Upper Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon. Below left, giant anemones in tide pool, Yaquina Head, Oregon. See more images from the Odyssey on my New Works page.

By Ken Levy

Part II

From Prairie City to Portland to Florence and back, the 2,000-mile trek into Oregon from Boise challenged us to photograph Oregon in ways few have.

For example, while our eyes may, indeed, see a coastal sunset as depicted in the above image, creating that image in a photograph is considerably more complicated. The beauty and fine detail, not to mention the exacting exposures and lighting, require careful planning, timing and a good measure of luck to make such a photograph both satisfying and memorable.

Upper Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Even  a wildly popular tourist attraction such as Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge requires a unique vision to create a special image others may not have envisioned or studied. Capturing just a piece of the falls, when everyone else is trying to catch most or all of it, makes for an unusual and intimate glimpse at the details of the beauty hidden right in front of us. In this image, the flowers in the foreground, lacy fern leaves and gentle waterfall mists intertwine for a one-of-a-kind vision.

And then there are the mysterious treasures of the tide pools at Yaquina Head. If you’re not here at precise low tide, you probably will miss the Eye of the Anemone and other creatures lurking just below the surface. If you decide to photograph, you’ll need special equipment, and knowledge, to capture the intricacies of such unusual animals.

 Yaquina Head, OregonYou are invited to take a close look at my vision of Oregon on my New Works page, which features not only images from magnificent Oregon but also other photographs taken through 2015. The New Works page is updated regularly, and I encourage you to bookmark the page and check back frequently.

I will be the Artist of the Month for September at Frame Works, 1048 Overland Rd. in the Five Mile Plaza in Boise. Come by and see some cool photos. I donate 20% of every sale of every one of my photos to the Idaho Foodbank. That includes photographs you can find on my web page at Photographer’s Art Galleries.

Sponsored by:

KenLevyMediaLogo

 

 

 

On the trail: The Oregon odyssey

By Ken Levy

7 campgrounds
27 days (June 22-July 18, 2015)
More than 2,000 miles logged
In search of:
Hidden spaces and destinations

FishJumpTroutFrmCG2332V2

Photo above: A rainbow trout leaps for dinner as a large hatch of flies hovers just over the surface of the pond at Trout Farm Campground, Ore. Fishing folks on the other side of the pond bemoaned the lack of bites. At right, a baldBaldEagleFishWhtSalmon93 eagle carries a fresh fish dinner to its nest near  White Salmon, Washington on the Columbia River.

Introduction: We found some of those hidden treasures, even dragging a 15′ travel trailer behind our Silverado. Leaving Boise June 22, we took the road less traveled, toward Prairie City and Prineville en route to the Hood River Valley at White Salmon, Wa. and thence to the Columbia River Gorge. From there to Portland for the Waterfront Blues Festival for three nights, and then, magnificently, the Oregon coast, from Tillamook down to Florence en route to the McKenzie River and back.

June 22-24:

After breakfast at the Pancake House, picking up the trailer at Nelson’s, and getting fuel at Fred Meyer on Chinden we left town at 12:05. Near Nyssa, fields boasted potatoes, onions, wheat and corn, and there’s a big Amalgamated Sugar plant in Nyssa. (Do they grow artichokes in this area?)

The view as we continued was primarily agricultural and pastoral as we headed northwest along Highway 26. There were several places that offered photogenic opportunities but, alas, would have required disconnecting the trailer to have parking and access to photograph.
At Unity, OR, we bought gas at Burnt River Market ($3.49 per gal., the highest price of the whole trip) The cashier, an older lady said the town did not fit its name. Ken took pix of old trucks and I bought Vodka at $5 off but, as I posted to my checkbook I saw that they had charged the regular price. Ken took the receipt in and got the $5 back. Took a side trip to a state park outside of town. Close to the highway and a nice park, but not spectacular. We moved on and found Trout Farm Campground outside of Prairie City, OR.OldTruckUnity1685

Nothing evokes an intimate relationship with nature more than the sweet, fresh fragrance of moist, green earth.

Hiking to a little creek just below our campsite, our noses were filled with the scent of that earthy freshness. Nestled in a beautiful mixed-conifer forest, the campground is one of several tiny camping facilities that pepper the Malheur National Forest outside Prairie City.

But this one is an absolute gem. Besides the sweet babbling brook in our backyard, the campground features a tiny fishing pond stocked with trout by the US Forest Service. A few locals come up for the day to catch pan-sized brook and other trout, but on this day we were one of just three overnighters in the 6-site campground.

A rustic trail takes walkers around the tiny pond. Fish jump and splash in the water, while robins and other birds serenade visitors. Western tanagers flit around on the shoreline vegetation, adding splashes of brilliant color to the scene. The air is fresh and clean and, except for the sound of the brook, is virtually free of noise.

Two of the campsites back up nearly to the creek, which runs several yards behind and below them. The others are nestled in closer to the pond. The sites are huge, with ample room to back in travel trailers and fifth wheels. Tables can sit up to 10 people, and there are big fire pits with grills for cooking.

There are also several picnic tables set up in the day-use areas and a large, covered group shelter with several barbecue grills available.

This was a perfect start to our trip, with a great campground in a shady, rustic setting, a creek nearby and the little pond. It’s a very peaceful and beautiful place, and the bonus was the price: $8 for two nights. That’s half off, thanks to our senior passes to the national forests.

Much more to come…

On the trail: Of dragonflies and eagles

By Ken Levy

Part two
As photographers, we all love to travel to a favorite place and get the grand landscape and icons of the place. But there’s an emotional intimacy with close-up photography that immerses you in your surroundings…and those who inhabit it.

PhotogrBlueDragonflies1852aphing the tiny life at Trout Farm Campground outside Prairie City, Ore. involButterflyFlower2229ved getting the insect world to cooperate for the camera. There were tiny neon blue damselflies by the hundreds, some clamoring for attention and some mating on a blade of grass.

There’s an even tinier blue butterfly, contrasting richly against the brilliant yellows of the flowers it’s exploring. It’s a study in peace and beauty.

And there’s a much larger dragonfly, maybe 3 inches long, with double sets of wings. When it’s not landing, it is a speedy, quivering and elusive target that requires the photographer to be speedy and quivering, too, if he’s ever to capture this beast in flight.

DragonflyDoubleWings2126

And then the eagles came…and even from a distance, gave us a fabulous view as they brought fish after fish to the nest a few hundred yards above us…

to be continued

On the trail: Wildlife encounters

Badger2

By Ken Levy

Part 1

Part of the joy of traveling is coming across some pretty unusual critters, whether it‘s a tiny frog on a lilly pad or a very angry badger ready to defend his burrow to the death.

There’s no describing in words the beauty and emotion evoked by a graceful swan loving her tiny cygnet or a pelican floating majestically in the silent Snake River.

The best part of all is immersing intimately in the places and experiences. You feel as if you’re sharing yourself with the creatures in the viewfinder, bonding, as you squeeze the shutter release…

But sometimes the immersion can be really dangerous. I was hiking the Jedediah Smith Wilderness in western Wyoming when I inadvertently came between a cow moose and her calf.

I froze as the young mother passed, parallel to me, just a few feet away. She eyed me with a long, threatening look, as if daring me to move even an inch. But I fired off a couple of quick images, and then I didn’t budge.

MooseTetonCyn740Good thing. As mama ambled downhill toward Teton Creek, still eyeing me, her calf came out of the trees just ahead to the right. I knew mama was watching. Locked in place, I watched her baby slowly approach the trail, sniffing nearly every plant and blade of grass. Finally, it shuffled across my path without a care in the world and caught up with mom.

Together again, they disappeared into the aspens by the creek, and I resumed breathing.