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THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST'S BEST TRIPS 33 AMAZING ROAD TRIPS is a 367-page guidebook in the LONELY PLANET series. As with other books in the "Road Trips" series, the book focuses on tourist attractions in the countryside, and generally avoids disclosing interesting features of big cities, such as humongous museums, stunning modern architecture, and glitzy hotels. The authors are Krause, Brash, Miller, and Sainsbury. The book contains 33 little chapters, each corresponding to a road trip. The first third of these 33 road trips are in Washington, and these are color-coded in green. The next third are in Oregon (red). And the last third are in British Columbia (blue). Every other page contains a color photograph or color map. Unfortunately, all of the pages are on dull white paper, and there are not any glossy photos.
PHOTOGRAPHS. All of the photos are more than adequate, in terms of their ability to communicate the nature of the tourist attraction. Many of the photos show tourists walking here and there, communicating the fact that the destination in question is easy to access, and does not, for example, require 10 miles of hiking. A handful of the photos are of genuine artistic merit. Page 96 shows a stunning aerial view of Mount St. Helens' crater, with another mountain in the distance. The distant mountain is capped with snow. Page 204 shows IMNAHA CANYON, which is located near the Idaho border. Page 225 shows astonishing SALT CREEK FALLS, located in Silver Falls State Park in central Oregon. Pages 242-243 show amazing TOKETEE FALLS. The waterfall photos were taken on an overcast day, which is the photographic technique for many types of landscape, because the overcast day prevents the problem of brightly lit subject matter being cluttered with harsh shadows.
OTHER PHOTOGRAPHS. I was especially glad to see photographs of MULTNOMAH FALLS (pages 18 and 179), Mount Hood (pages 14 and 185), CRATER LAKE (pages 16-17, 238), Mount Rainier (pages 27, 30-31, 86, and 91), HOH RAINFOREST (page 44), and BEACON ROCK (page 134). Beacon Rock is located in the Columbia Gorge, across the Columbia River from Multnomah Falls. I also liked the photos of Heceta Head Lighthouse, perched dramatically over a secluded cove (page 154), CAPE MEARES, with cliffs jutting out of the ocean like skyscraper in Manhattan (page 162), Canadian Rockies (page 260-261, 337, 341), which resembles Glacier National Park in Montana. I have been to most of the above places, and I agree completely with the selection of destinations that the authors chose for this guidebook. In my opinion, Crater Lake is more beautiful than anything in the State of California, with the exception of Yosemite Valley (sorry, Californians, but this is a fact of life!). Also, in my opinion, Silver Falls State Park, which is the location of ten waterfalls, including Salt Creek Falls, is one of ten finest natural landscape areas on the west coast.
OTHER UNIQUE FEATURES. Waterfalls, volcanoes, basalt formations, and dramatic sea stacks, are not the only unique features in the countryside of the Pacific northwest. The photos in this guidebook also include totem poles (pages 22 and 300), and we read that, "This welcoming village [Alert Bay] has an ancient and mythical appeal. Its First Nations community and traditions are still prevalent . . . and the Namgis Burial Ground has 18 totem poles that stand like a forest of formidable art" (page 307). Another unique aspect of the Pacific northwest is the orca whales (photo on page 60), and we read that, "San Juan Island has the good fortune to be right in the migration path of three pods of orcas . . . stop by the Whale Museum . . . to see the real thing, hook up with San Juan Excursions who stand by their boast, see whales or come again free." (page 62)
Each of the 33 road trips has a 1-page disclosure called, "Eating and Sleeping." For example, on page 51 we learn about the lodge at Lake Crescent, where we read, "this venerable shake-sided building is the oldest of the Olympic National Park lodge." (I visited Lake Crescent back in 1962 or 1963.) On page 137, we read about a motel in THE DALLES, called Celilo Inn. Unfortunately, this page fails to mention a motel/restaurant called, "Cousins." Cousins is a homey restaurant and motel, where the waitresses greet everybody with, "hello cousin!" Also, all of the tables have the pattern of a Holstein cow. Also, in the center of the dining room there is a real, full-sized tractor on display.
CRATER LAKE LODGE. Page 245 describes Crater Lake Lodge, where I stayed in 2008 and 2012, and we read that, "this grand old lodge has 71 simple but comfortable rooms (no TV or telephones) . . . with large stone fireplaces, rustic leather sofas, and a spectacular view of Crater Lake from the outside patio." Actually, I do not agree with the characterization of the rooms as, "simple." The rooms in the Crater Lake Lodge are NOT like the simple type of motel room that one finds at Motel Six. In contrast, the hotel rooms at Crater Lake lodge have interesting angles, and elegant wooden chairs, and tasteful upholstery. In fact, I found the architecture inside of the Crater Lake Lodge bedrooms, that is, the positioning of the windows, and the upholstery of the built-in bench, to be so interesting that I took several photos of the room, with my camera on a tripod.
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