Trip preps

It is less than 2 weeks till Beth and I leave for Tn/NC for our photo vacation. We will be taking a two room  tent, two air mattresses, folding chairs and tables, cook stove and lantern for our camping and cooking. Our food box has mostly easy prep food items to keep cooking to a  minimum. Since this is a photo vacation we want to maximize the time spent taking photos. We plan to camp in the national forests and the national park, especially the ones that offer electricity and showers. We will be taking 5 gallons of water and a solar shower for when there are no shower facilities., along with 5 gallons of emergency gas.

We will have her laptop and my netbook along with a portable HD to back up photos too. We both run Lightroom 3. I am taking a 12V rechargeable battery pack and a small inverter capable of recharging the laptops and cell phone. This will come in handy the latter part of the trip as the camps don’t have power. I can recharge it during the day from the cigarette lighter in the van.

Our first travel will be just slabbing it to Cleveland, Tn. and will be at night. from there we will make a giant loop around east Tn. and west NC and even dip down into northern SC.

Hopefully we can find some wifi along the way to update the blog.

I am keeping up with the fall colors through two different sites. The first covers the eastern part of the US. The foliage network the second is for NC only and is done by regions with biologists reporting. Visit NC. It is amazing what you can learn from the internet. I have spent countless hours planning our route and searching for places to visit.

Speaking of research if you love to drive and take photographs there is one tool you must use. I am talking about google maps and specifically using the street view feature.

You just left click and hold on the little yellow man and then drag him over on the map. The roads that can be viewed will show on blue

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Drop him on the road you wish to view.

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Then use the compass arrows to orientate in the direction you wish to travel you can also left click and drag the photo in the direction you want. Then you can double click the road ahead to travel along it.

There is even a full screen mode if you want to see it larger.

click to see larger

There is a 360 degree view by clicking and dragging the photo around.

click to see larger

This is very useful to check driving or road conditions, photo ops, scenery and determine if this is the road you want. I find it very useful as I love old barns, bridges, streams and colors.

I made changes to our route based on what I saw on these roads. I compared several back roads for inclusion. I could tell Beth to check out a certain road to see if we wanted to travel it. I could also check out roads to see if they were suitable for the mini van to travel.

If you are planning a driving trip these should help you.

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