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!!!
Took an extended weekend up in Doe Bay, WA. Doe Bay sits on the south-eastern shore of Orcas Island and is home to Doe Bay Resort and Retreat. Orcas Island is home to Moran State Park, which has some breathtakingly, stunning views of the San Juan Islands and Cascade Mountain Range.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
Storms came through and was able to get to the top of Misery Ridge at Smith Rock to watch them pass.
Somewhere in the Sisters Wilderness off a backroad…I wish I could remember where 😉 We hiked for miles trying to find the falls…eventually I’ll find them.
View of Mt. Hood
An old roommate told me about this place a long time ago and I enjoy showing this place off to close friends. It’s a good place to think and enjoy nature.
Top of Green Lakes Trail…in the snow. Lost the trail a couple times which made the hike slightly longer, but well worth it!
Private Music Festival with rad people…
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… 😉
Calm before the storm. Our campsite that also had it’s own stage and live music every night.
The EDM Tent
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….
Good hiking and of course hot springs to relax the soul.
Perfect morning for a hike at Smith Rock! 3.8 mile hike over Misery Ridge with 1,000 foot elevation gain, and gorgeous views of Monkey Face and surrounding mountains…
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
This is the trail I come back to the most. This is the first time I’ve seen it in the winter and it’s spectacular.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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).
The hiking trail follows the river closely and offers so many beautiful views.
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.
“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.
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
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.
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.”