Things work out in very odd ways. I had been going through a difficult time beginning mid April and was in desperate need of a pick up. My friends Jesse and Mike casually invited me on their trip to Seattle and I bought a plane ticket that night. I honestly had no idea what I would be getting myself into but I knew it would be an adventure. I remember when the boys picked me up at the airport I asked "so what exactly are the plans" to which they replied that they didn't really have any set plans; just a general list of things to do while on this trip. So they loaded my (huge) suitcase in the rental jeep and we were on our way.
Upon landing in Seattle we spent the evening buying food, notably croissant donuts that I couldn't even finish eating and lunchables, and trying to find a nice place to camp, but not before we got a chance to see the Vance Creek bridge.
That night was my second time setting up the tent I bought at LL Bean 2 days before the trip. Also, I did not anticipate the temperature dropping so much at night so I woke up around 5am very cold and having to pee... but I refused to compromise the little heat I had trapped in my thin fleece sleeping bag. I woke up feeling like I had a hangover; I felt sluggish and my eyes were extremely heavy. But I was excited to spend the day in Olympic National Park.
We were excited for a hike to some hot springs in Olympic national park, but our excitement wasn't enough to curb the length of the hike we didn't know we'd be doing. We hiked probably about 10 miles uphill until we made the unanimous decision to turn around. We had blisters on our feet and we were simply not prepared for what we had embarked on. But the night was still young so we decided to drive up to Forks Washington for supper and to see what La Push Beach had to offer us.
La Push Beach ended up being the highlight of the day for me. We managed to visit Beach 1 and climb on the giant redwood tree that sits on the beach. We hiked to beach 3 to catch the sunset and I was able to take some self portraits in the lingerie sent to me by Siobhan Barrett Lingerie . After running around on the beach for a few hours the sun had gone down and it was time for us to find our way to our next destination.
The rough plan was to drive to Canon Beach, OR, and find a place to stay in the vicinity. We had no idea that the entire coast of Oregon was entirely booked. We had a model scheduled to shoot with on Canon Beach early in the morning so we decided to camp out in the rental jeep for the night. When we woke up we tried to get our shit together to meet our model, Grace, near the haystack. Canon beach has been on the top of my list of places to see and I was not disappointed. Unfortunately I realized that my camera was starting to malfunction. I ended up experiencing two very common malfunctions withe the Nikon D750; the light leak and the shutter not opening fully. So from this point forward most, if not all, of my photos had to be cropped to remove the top right corner of all the landscape oriented photos because of the shutter blocking part of the sensor. Also most of the images have a light leak on the right side of my photos. But shit happens
From this point we drove to Portland to get Voodoo Doughnuts and then we went to Ambiqua Falls for some more photos for Siobhan Barrett.
We then drove to Idaho and spent the night in a Motel 6. We woke up well rested and squeaky clean and ready to see the Painted Hills. Again, the Painted Hills have always been something I've wanted to see and photograph. Due to my camera not working I felt very unmotivated to take photos. But this gives me more of a reason to go back one day soon. After melting in the dry desert heat we continued our trip east. We ended up camping in a place I've never heard of before. Craters of the Moon National Preserve ended up being one of my favorite days. We woke up in a campground that consisted of mainly just volcanic rocks. We hiked around for quite a bit of time and took a lot of photos and then we continued west to Yellowstone.
We arrived at Yellowstone towards the end of the day but we managed to pack in seeing most of the hot springs, small geysers, paint pots, Bison, and Old Faithful of course. We spent the night outside of Yellowstone and spent most of the next day driving through the park and heading to Montana.
After we exited Yellowstone our next stop would be Glacier National Park. We drove until we found a campsite about an hour away from the park entrance. Glacier was a very impressive park but unfortunately the road through the park was closed part way through; we only got to see a small part of the Park.
Our last stop on our trip was Seattle, but not before a day spent adventuring around Mt. Rainer. We finally got to experience the moody "Pacific North West" foggy weather as we drove up the mountains. As we climbed it kept getting colder and colder until we reached Paradise Peak and were surrounded by a full on snow storm.
We decided to split a hotel room for our last night and hung out in the swimming pool until our fingers pruned up. The next morning we headed back into Seattle to meet with our model Ralu; we wandered around the grounds of the Space Needle and the piers. I got to see some familiar art installations including Marc Dion's Neukom Vivarium.
Before Jesse and Mike had to drop me off at the airport we found an amazing Barbecue walk up/take away place which is probably the best food I've ever had. We returned to the car to eat and talk about all the fun and memories we made during the week.
more to come