New Family Portraits

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What was supposed to be an outdoor portrait session turned into a fun and adventurous photos session. Had a great time hiking around and asking “What’s around that corner?” Love photographing new places I haven’t been to!!!


Maternity Photos

I was thrilled to be asked to photograph a very special time for Nicole and Torryn. I knew them before this session, but while watching them interact, I witnessed the beauty of their strength that they will soon pass on to their little one, a love that will never be outgrown.nicole-woods-2nicole-woods-1nicole-portrait-1nicole-and-torryn-woods-2nicole-and-torryn-woods-1nicole-and-torryn-portrait-5nicole-and-torryn-bridge-7nicole-and-torryn-bridge-9nicole-and-torryn-4nicole-and-torryn-5

Birthday weekend Soaking

Had a beautiful and relaxing, most perfect birthday weekend. First of all, got a new car (Happy Birthday to me!) and drove it out to Crystal Crane Hot Springs. We hiked all around there, heading up to Juntura, Malheur Refuge, and the Steens.

So first off…gotta pay homage to my old van, my home. I may not have had a solid place to live after 15+ moves in almost 6 years, but the vanlife evolved into my home and allowed me to learn and experience so many beautiful places. My motto for the last few years was (outside my bed) if I couldn’t fit all my stuff in my van, I didn’t need it. It’s minimalist but taught me so much. I suppose that chapter is over but the life it taught me will always be a part of who I am.



Now…hot springs!!! Click here to watch a little video I put together: Crystal Crane and Juntura. The hike in to Juntura was fun, muddy but fun. Luckily, the river was low so we were able to cross with little issue.



Skydiving and Bungee Jumping

Was given the opportunity to skydive for my third time and bungee jump my first time. The Skydiving was under the care of Skydive Awesome in Sisters, OR. It was the last weekend of September and the first snow had just fallen over the Cascades. I could see Mt. Thielson all the way up North to what I thought was Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens and it was by far the most beautiful view of the Cascades I’ve ever seen.  Flying around Central Oregon in a tiny airplane that barely fit the three of us, with the door open, feeling the wind, listening to the airplane…it was spectacular. As it was years ago, skydiving was just as peaceful as I remembered it to be, except there was no Chicago skyline, just snow and mountains. Since this was my third jump, I’m really tempted to get my cert next Spring. We shall see.

The bungee jumping was…turbulent, lol, but so much fun. We went up to Amboy,  WA to jump off a private PNW bridge over a rushing river. It was a completely different feeling from the skydiving. Once I stepped over the bridge railing, I had to force myself to collect my thoughts and wrap my brain around the thought of jumping. Once I had it, I jumped and what an awesome experience. I definitely would like to try this in various locations, known for jumping around the world.

I don’t have many photos since I was a little preoccupied, but I did put together a little video of my experience:

Greenlakes (cont…)

Haven’t been up to Greenlakes since early in the Spring while there was still waist deep snow. This time around, fall colors have come out and it was a beautiful show. At the top, got the first snow of this upcoming winter season. I wasn’t able to capture it well, but we had sideways snow up there!


McKenzie River Hwy: Sahalie and Tamolitch


Trail to the top of Sahalie Falls


Sahalie Falls


My friend took this photo of me trying to capture Sahalie Falls


My view from where I was sitting in the prior photo that my friend took of me…


Cascades at the top of Sahalie


Bridge and trail to Tamolitch


My favorite bridge to Tamolitch Pool


It really is this blue…


I love it when nature shows heart!


This is now one of my favorite trails to hike…

3 Fingered Jack!


The beginning of the trail…


End of the trail before the scramble up


First views of the Cascade Mountains



Mountain Goats!!!


Ridge of 3 Fingered Jack


Small glacial pool


The very first lake you see hiking into 3 Fingered Jack.


It was slightly hot and the hike was a little grueling…laying in the snow to cool off was fantastic :o)


Shevlin Park

After the maternity photos, I was asked again to take photos for another lovely couple for their engagement. There was more of a learning curve for me on this one; I didn’t plan the sunset very well and it became dark sooner than I’d expected. I’m still happy with the way they turned out, though.


Sparks Lake

Had the opportunity to photograph a beautiful couple’s maternity photos. This was my first time photographing people as my focus rather than nature; I learned quite a bit and at the same time pretty happy with the way they turned out.


Broken Top






Broken Top


Nature’s Soundwaves


A good friend of mine helping me test the light before I shot the maternity photos.


Maternity photo 1


Maternity photo 2


Maternity photo 3


Maternity photo 4

Mt. Hood

Coming back to Bend from Portland, took half the Fruit Loop from Hood River to Mt. Hood. We stopped at some beautiful vineyards, bought some good wine, fresh fruit from the orchards, etc. etc.


Sasquatch 2016!!!

Holy moly…The Gorge Amphitheater is by far the most beautiful venue I’ve even been to. Combine that with epic music from Alabama Shakes, Rudimental, The Cure, Major Lazer, A$AP Rocky, etc. etc….seriously unforgettable. What made it even better was that I was paid to be there 🙂 Check this out:


Glamping at its finest, lol. Seriously, full makeup while camping? Who does that…  😉glamping

Calm before the storm. Our campsite that also had it’s own stage and live music every night.


The EDM Tent


Main stage


What’s a music festival without a wildfire? High winds postponed some shows and fueled surrounding brush fires forcing some campsites to evacuate. I got back to our campsite and it looked like a tornado had come through, but our tent survived! I took this shot of the brushfire maybe a few hundred yards away from our site.


A fantastic lineup….




Tumalo Reservoir

I have yet to capture the tops of the mountains. After several attempts, this is what I have so far…the mountains just keep reaching beyond the clouds. Walked around the “Reservoir” again and it really is mind-boggling to think what a failed project this was. Nevertheless, it’s one of my favorite spots to come to roam and be at peace.






Tumble Creek

Traveled to Portland to hit a party at a club Saturday night and had a fantastic time. Balance is important to me, so on the way home, I was able to stop off at Tumble Ridge trail and appreciate the silence and time to regroup. I was able to snap some photos from my new phone, an LG V10. This phone might actually take better photos than my actual camera! I’m still trying to figure out the manual settings, as they are slightly wonky to me. I’m sure an experienced photographer would be more nimble than I am. I was just figuring out how to use my camera so I fumble around with my cell phone still. Regardless, this is a photo from the LG V10.


McKenzie River

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Spent a nice weekend, and probably one of our last trips of the year, at a cabin on the McKenzie River. On the way there, we stopped at Sahalie and Koosah Falls. We’d been there a few times before, but we’ve never seen the falls as powerful as they were this weekend. All the snow and snow-melt made the falls swell and they were breathtaking.


We didn’t spend too much time in the cabin…we hiked around the Cougar Reservoir, finding old logging roads to explore. As normal, we weren’t disappointed. There was a small one lane gravel road we’d decided to head down and it was washed out in a couple areas. I was concerned because, to me, a Prius is a big battery…and I didn’t know how well it would run in water. I got out and ran through the water to watch my friend maneuver through the waters. No problems, the Prius did fine 🙂 The next two photos below are of the washed out road; the dog in the photo is a 115lb lab, to give you an idea of how deep the water was.


There came a point we couldn’t drive any further; the water in the road was just too deep. We got out to look around and could hear rushing water. We bushwacked our way toward the sound and came across a double waterfall. There was not a good trail to it so we think it might just be from the overflowing waterfalls. It was our lucky day to see it!

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Below is another cascading waterfall  that we bushwacked our way to from the road. Standing from the road, we could barely see it but could tell it would be worth the effort to see. P1080846-02P1080835-01P1080842-01

We enjoyed the Cougar Hot Springs and met some lovely new friends. It was therapeutic for the mind, body, and soul. It snowed that morning just before we arrived, and to me, that is perfect hot spring weather. The mist and fog set a perfect ambiance.



As I always say, I’m truly lucky to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.


Cape Perpetua

The weather report had a high tide warning so I drove out to the coast. Not sure what happened but it was probably one of the most calm I’ve seen it. It’s my luck, I suppose 🙂 Regardless, I enjoyed wandering the tide pools and was able to get a feel for the area and plan to be back soon.


Todd Lake

After a weekend of some crazy weather, we decided to head up to Todd Lake hoping to see some snow and perhaps scramble up an off-trail 500 ft ridge that would land us in front of Broken Top. The thing I love about Todd Lake is that it is off the highway and it’s always quiet. We enjoyed the Lake Rim Trail; there was just a little bit of snow on the ground but warm enough to melt. The BF had just finished Crossfit, so that mixed with soggy ground, gave us enough reason to decide to come back the following day to do the scramble. Unfortunately, it snowed heavily over night and we haven’t made it back…yet (it’s been on my list of things to do since moving here in February).


View of Mt Batchelor


View of Broken Top


Lake Rim Trail


A view of Mt. Batchelor across Todd Lake and, if you could see behind me, you’d see Broken Top.

Deschutes River (cont.)

Very lucky to have trails like this practically in my backyard. The weather was crazy today; storm clouds were off in the distance and I couldn’t see the mountains. Decided to stay local and hike a part of the Deschutes trail. It was incredibly windy, making it even hard to walk a couple times. Once we made it to the treeline, trees were swaying almost violently. Off in the distance, we heard a loud crack and a tree came crashing down across the river from us. Again, crazy weather, but still grateful to be able to decide on a whim to hike such a beautiful trail.

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Upper Whycus Creek

Checked out Upper Whychus Creek (Whychus meaning “a place to cross the water”) and didn’t spend nearly enough time there. Whychus Creek is run off from the Sisters wilderness and is part of a Steelhead restorative effort. The short time I was there, I saw a beautiful mix of high desert with luscious green around the whitewater. The water was murky for Oregon so I’m assuming it was low. I had to turn around shortly after passing some shallow caves that I assume were cut from lava flow. Upon getting home and researching the area, I read there are incredible views of Sisters and Broken Top, as well as hieroglyphs from Native Tribes. I definitely need to head back in the Spring and spend at least a day in the area; 60 minutes was not enough time!


I heard Whychus Creek is part of a large Steelhead Restorative effort.


There are some areas the dogs can cool off at (and people). This was one happy dog, as evidenced by his tail 🙂


The trail starts out at Creek level but you soon hike up to a ledge that has several beautiful views looking down into the Creek.



Paulina Lake Hot Springs

Advice from a Hot Spring
Let your talents spring forth
Refresh yourself in nature
Keep new ideas bubbling
Stay active
Have deep reservoirs
Be warm and welcoming
Let off a little steam!
~Ilan Shamir


P1080147-02 Paulina Lake is one of the twin crater lakes in Newberry Caldera and located 6,331 feet above sea level. Newberry Volcano, 25 miles wide, is still potentially active. The cone of the volcano collapsed an estimated 500,000 years ago, deepening the caldera; however, eruptions are dated as far back as 480 AD. According to Wkipedia, drilling in 1981 found temperatures to reach 540 degrees Fahrenheit at 3,057 feet below the caldera floor, the highest temp recorded at a dormant Cascade volcano.

Sunset on the trail

Sunset over the lake Caught the sunset on the trail

Fall colors popping through

Always good to soak with good company

A crisp fall day and a knee injury called for a short hike and a soak in hot springs. Good company, HOT water, a beautiful view…it was incredibly therapeutic.

Rte 242 – Dee Wright Observatory and Proxy Falls

Sometimes, having a full tank of gas can be so satisfying…

From Bend, I headed toward Sisters and took Route 242. The road, cut through miles of lava fields, was fun, twisty, and had great views! This highway was built over the wagon route (used starting in the 1860’s) when the Observatory was built in 1935.



View of Mt. Washington and lava beds


Dee Write Observatory


Inside the Observatory, small viewing holes that help focus on distant mountains and craters.

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A view of Middle and North Sister from inside the Observatory


A view of Middle and North Sisters from the Observatory


Beyond the Observatory is the Belknap Crater complex. This lava field was formed by miles of lava vents that constantly erupted over 1,000 years ago.


Further down 242 at MP65 was Proxy Falls. I was running out of time so only made it to Lower Proxy Falls. The hike is pretty easy, the trail is cut through lava flow until you get to the forest.



On the way home, stopped again for another good view of Sisters

Opal Creek (cont.)

Made a second trip to Opal Creek to continue hiking and take photographs. Time was limited so I didn’t quite make it to Jawbone Flats before having to turn around. The hike in and out was incredible, though. Opal Creek is truly a gem.

I want to bring something up, though, that bothered me. On my drive out, I stopped at Three Pools hoping to get some more photos that I’d thought about since the last time I was there earlier this year. Three Pools is an easy access, incredibly beautiful swimming hole. It was a nice Sunday evening, the sun was setting; I walk up to Three Pools and it had approximately 25-30 adults, smoking, and drinking, with loud music and trash everywhere. I was stunned. I walked around a little bit and there were cigarette butts, empty beer bottles and cans, used styrofoam plates, littered on the ground. This is not how we treat our environment, our home. There were children there and this was a terrible example to be teaching them. I left after a few minutes so I was not there to see if anyone stuck around to pick up the mess (I doubt it just from the sheer amount of trash), but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. What happened to Leave No Trace…if you pack it in, pack it out? I left wishing that Three Pools drive up access would be eliminated; if people want to see it, get a map and hike it in or use the van shuttle I saw patrolling for controlled access.

Back to the positive side of things, Opal Creek was amazing. I can’t wait to go back to do some more hiking and exploring. I feel like the photos did not come out as crisp as I’d like; there was a lot of smoke in the air and ash on the trees from the wildfires. I’ll never run out of excuses to go back here, though; I hope you enjoy the photos and get at least an idea of how beautiful the area is.

Rock Climbing at Smith Rock

Had a fantastic evening climbing with my roommate and a friend she’d introduced me to. Since there were three of us, it allowed one of us to take my camera and get some nice shots in while the others were climbing/belaying.

Metolius Springs

Metolius Springs is located about 45 minutes Northwest of Bend toward Three Fingered Jack. The source of the cold springs is unknown; however, the theory is that the Black Butte drainage basin is 300 ft above the the springs which allows water to flow under Black Butte to the Metolius. According to Wikipedia, the springs were created about 1 1/2 million years ago and water flows at about 50k gal/minute. The Metolius was one of the coldest bodies of water I’ve jumped in, next to the water in Oneonta Gorge (the coldest I’ve ever been in).

Metolius Underground SpringsMetolius Water

The hiking trail follows the river closely and offers so many beautiful views.

Metolius RiverMetolius ButterflyMetolius Dandelions

Sahalie Falls

100 ft Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls 1 Sahalie Falls 2


Sahalie Falls 3

Went on a hike after visiting Sahalie Falls and came across some prayer flags at a swimming hole. May the good energy be blown by the wind and spread to all who visit.

Prayer Flags

Smith Rock

I was headed into a climbing store to pick up more gear and it ended up being packed. Instead of sticking around, I thought I’d drive to Smith Rock just a few minutes away to watch the sunset. I’d been there several times to hike and hopefully in the near future to climb, but never really to take any photos other than a selfie 🙂 There wasn’t enough time to hit the trail before dark but at least I was able to capture this.


Opal Creek

Something about waterfalls, the coast, a cascade, etc….it’s where I go to learn to be still.

Salmon Falls

Salmon Falls

Opal Creek 5

Three Pools

Salmon Falls Rock Bottom        Opal Creek 3 Opal Creek 2 Opal Creek 8Opal Creek 1


You have to appreciate the small things in life 🙂

Drive around Tumalo Reservoir

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~Edward Abbey

No hikes this weekend. I had a bad ass workout and got back into climbing as well, so I’m a little crispy. Instead, I took a drive to see what I could find and wasn’t disappointed. Now, as I post this, I’m cozy, sipping on my Spiced Chai tea, going through my photos, truly grateful to be surrounded by beauty.

From the car

Starting the drive off, it was overcast in Bend but as I drove Northwest toward the mountains, the clouds were beautiful. I wasn’t expecting to see anything yet and didn’t have my camera out, so I snapped this one with my cell phone.

Tumalo Reservoir

Originally in a town named Laidlaw, settlers rejected the name in 1915 and named the area Tumalo. Laidlaw was, in today’s terms, the project manager for the Tumalo Reservoir, and hanged in effigy from an abandoned telephone pole by the settlers when the reservoir failed only after a few years of use. It now only holds 5% of its capacity.

Sisters (2)


Tumalo Dam

Tumalo Dam 1 The Carey Act was monumental in developing communities in Central Oregon, except for this one! Tumalo started an irrigation project in 1904 and after years of mismanagement, the state took over. Only a couple years later in 1915, the reservoir was finally completed but failed.

McKay Crossing

I came to McKay Crossing eager to photograph some waterfalls but the rock formations caught my eye. The water is so beautiful and full of energy, yet brutal and wears through stone. “Water always goes where it wants to go…” ~Margaret Atwood


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Trail Creek and Vulcan Hot Springs, ID

Spent the weekend hiking through the Boise National Forest. From Boise, 55 to Warm Lake Road takes you to Trail Creek Hot Springs. Go a little farther and turn on logging road 474 to find the trail to Vulcan Hot Springs.

Trail Creek Hot Springs


Trail Creek is by far my favorite hot springs.

Bikini hot springs

Bring your swimsuit just in case 😉

Bridge hot springs

A forest fire went through parts of Boise National Forest back in 2010. I read that Vulcan Hot Springs used to have pools to enjoy but since the fire and careless people, those pools no longer exist. On my way back to the car, I passed a couple men who had packed tools and materials to repair the pools, so there may be something there in the near future. For now, it’s enjoyable and eerie to walk around the hot springs amidst dead and/or fallen trees.

Vulcan Source

The blue holes at the bottom of the photo are the springs.

Vulcan Steam Vulcan Source stream

Vulcan Camp

Primitive Camping Area

I’m grateful to have been able to travel the old logging roads in this area. I was reminded of the quote by Robert Frost, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

Road less traveled

Black Butte, Oregon

Black Butte, OR: Rises 3,076′ above the surrounding plateaus and is a total of 6,436′ in Elevation. You can see Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Sisters, and Mt. Hood. From the trailhead off of Forest Service Rd 1110, it’s a 1.9 mi hike to the top.

From the trail

View from the trail


Old lookout station facing Three Fingered Jack

Lookout House

I believe this is a house for the ranger(s). What a spectacular view!


Mt. Washington


Two of the Three Sisters

Mt. Washington

A view of Mt. Washington from the top of Black Butte

Mt Washington Side

More views from the trail. Mt. Jefferson

Three Fingered Jack 2