Along Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail last summer, a fellow hiker exulting over a view told me how a relative visiting from the Midwest saw our mountains and exclaimed, “I thought you had to go to Switzerland for this kind of scenery!”
It reminded me of how happily spoiled we Washingtonians are. And it also made me think, once again: If you travel around this state and don’t carry a camera, you’re leaving too much on the table (the picnic table, maybe).
Now, just in time for gift giving, there’s a new guidebook that should also go in the glove box, pannier or knapsack: “Photographing Washington: A Guide to the Natural Landmarks of The Evergreen State,” by Greg Vaughn (PhotoTripUSA Publishing, $27.95).
This 319-page paperback covers the state’s classic photo spots, and many you’ve probably never heard of. Sure, Picture Lake at Mount Shuksan is in there, and so are obscure spots such as the pretty Lewis River waterfalls in Cowlitz County. Deservedly so, Mount Rainier National Park gets 32 pages.
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For each location, not only do you get driving and hiking directions, and how much time is required to get good photos, but also a “Photo advice” section, with tips on best time of day (or time of year), or even what promontory to climb for the best view.
And, like any good photo book, this one brims with gorgeous images over which to ooh, ahh and dribble coffee.
Vaughn, of Eugene, Ore., has shot for Backpacker magazine, National Geographic Traveler and other publications. The Independent Book Publishers Association selected his “Photographing Oregon” as Best Travel Book of the Year in 2010.