Now that there has been conversation about creating impromptu rallies around common interests (see the "affinity group" proposal at http://www.airforums.com/forum...al-19789.html)
, it's probably time to put more concrete proposals on the table in the spirit of generating more focused discussion and creating specific plans.
Here's a start built around photography as a principal focus (pun intended) and flyfishing and hiking as secondary courses (also puns, but admittedly weak).
Also, I'm going to start with places in California and a format that we might use to put more substance in the plans. I'll use Lassen Volcanic National Park as a template.
: Lassen Volcanic National Park
, about 50 miles east of Redding, California, via Highway 44.
Campground (1st choice)
: Manzanita Lake just inside the north entrance to the park. Elevation 5900 feet. About 180 spaces for trailers up to 35 feet, piped water but no hookups, dump station. Pricing $16 per night, reservations needed in the loop closest to the lake but otherwise first come, first served.
Campground (2nd choice)
: Crags about 5 miles south of Manzanita Lake. Elevation 5700 feet. Sites number 45 with no reservations, hookups, or dump station. $12 fee per day.
: From the west and north where the grades are more gentle. Access from the southern entrance should be avoided because of the extremely steep grades and the likelihood of closure in the early season.
: July thru September due to snow that starts early and stays late at this high elevation.
: All four types of volcanic formations, bubbly mud ponds, mountain lakes, nice vistas, painted desert-like dunes, wildflowers, late season snow cover, fishing, vistas including the top of Mt. Lassen
: Lassen Peak 10457 feet starting at about 8500 feet. Bumpass Hell trail. Lake trails including Manzanita, Reflection, Summit, Echo, Helen, and Emerald.
: Mt. Shasta; McArthur-Burney Falls, Castle Crags State Park; Sacramento, McCloud, Fall, and Pit Rivers and Hat Creek.
Can we now build a catalog of other attractive photography locations in California with a similar template? Other places might include:
Yosemite National Park
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Redwood National Park/Avenue of the Giants
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
Mammoth Lake/Devils Postpile/June Lake/Mono Lake/Bodie in the Eastern Sierra
Napa, Sonoma, Alexander, and Dry Creek Valleys
Golden Gate National Recreation Area/Point Reyes National Seashore/Muir Woods
Big Sur coastline/Point Lobos State Park/Carmel/Monterey
Lake Tahoe region
My thought is that once a thorough list is compiled, it might be easier to figure out how to string the destinations together in logical loops or sequences according to proximity and preferred seasons. Here's hoping that others far more knowledgeable than I about these places and probably many more will jump in and build our knowledge base.
Lastly, I'd be happy to create a web site for storing our collective wisdom on terrific photography locations starting in California and even beyond if the interest is strong enough.