road trip

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I feel in love with Oregon. I loved every minute we were there. I felt so at peace and calm during our whole road trip across the state, I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s considering visiting the Pacific Northwest.

The real reason we went was to celebrate my birthday and to visit a place we had never been to. Portland was a city that both Andrew and I had heard was a fun place to be but never been. But we also knew it was the place to be if you like good food and weird things. Both did not disappoint!

Since this was our first time visiting Oregon, we didn’t really know what to expect. We’ve been back for less than a month, I already know of somethings that I would do differently. With that said, we will be back again. Both Andrew and I left with the feeling of wanting to see and do more. But I think that’s the sign of an amazing trip. Prior to the trip, I did tons of research on the Oregon coast on Pinterest and asked some friends who I knew had visited before. Through my research, I quickly realized that Oregon is a very dog-friendly state. Minus Crater Lake that doesn’t allow dogs in most areas of the park, Frankie was allowed everywhere else we wanted to go. So we booked 3 plane tickets off we went!

Here is a recap of everything we did and the things I would do differently next time:

Day 1: Fly into Portland

We arrived early in the afternoon, grabbed our rental car and went straight to pick up the essentials: Blue Star Donuts. I know I don’t normally give food recommendations but if you like fancy donuts, then Blue Star is where you want to be. I’ll have another donut recommendation later on our trip that ended up being our favorite.

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Home from our amazing trip to Oregon. It was Andrew, Frankie and I’s first time visiting the state and in one short week, I feel like we got to see a lot. I was so excited to start looking at my images when I got back that I didn’t really know where to start.

So I started with this one 🙂 I love it and reminds me of all the amazing adventures the three of us got to go on.

This image was taken on the second half of our trip while we were hiking to the Toketee Falls in the Umpqua National Forest. The hike was short, 0.8 miles roundtrip but its heavily trafficked. So much so that it was hard to find parking and there were times where we would have to wait for people to pass on the trail before we could even go further. With so many people, we figured it would be easier to put Frankie in the backpack and go at our own pace instead of his.

We let him out right after I captured this image when we arrived at the waterfall. It was great because there was a little viewing platform for all of us to see the waterfall and Frankie could stretch his legs a bit. After a little rest, Frankie went back into the backpack, we hiked back to the car and drove straight to Bend right after.

I think one of the best parts about this trip is that even though we would have long driving sessions, there would be places where we could park and go on like hikes like this. It was a great way to get a little bit of cardio in while checking out the sights.

My camera settings for this image are F4.5 and 1/2500th sec and ISO 800 with my Sony A7II and 24-70mm lens.

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If I had to guess Sue’s favorite part of our 2017 road trip, it would either have been Santa Fe, New Mexico or the Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Saguaro National Park but while we were there, we were in the middle of a huge heat wave. I thought Arizona was hot in previous visits to the state, but it was so HOT when we were there. Even after sunset and the sun went down, it was still so humid and hot. I even remember hearing on the radio that mailboxes were melting. That’s HOT! Holy cow. And how many times can I say hot in a row? LOL

Since it was so humid and hot, we only spent an hour or so around sunset in the national park. The rest of the time was spent in our hotel’s outdoor pool. We wanted to go when the sun was lower and maybe a little bit cooler, but that didn’t make much difference but you better believe there was lots of ice cream afterwards. Out of all the places on our roadtrip, I hope to visit Tucson again sometime soon because I actually enjoyed the time while we were there. It seemed like a super cute city with so much to do and see. We just didn’t get enough time. I just remember waking up the next morning and wanting to get out of the heat wave as soon as possible. The next stop on our trip was Los Angeles and that was nowhere close to being as hot. So we made our way over and spent the rest of our time in California before flying back home.

My camera settings for this image is F3.5 at 1/320th sec at ISO 400 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

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In honor of our road trip this past weekend, I thought I would use this week to reflect on all the travel and adventures my friend Sue and I have had together. We have been friends for over 15 years. It’s crazy how long we’ve known each other considering we’re just 16 years old. LOL Just Kidding. But it’s safe to say that we have lots of fun and embarrassing stories about each other. Just because we don’t live within 20 minutes of each other now, doesn’t mean we won’t be friends for life.

So this image is from our very first road trip across the country together. Neither one of us had ever been to New Mexico before so we ended up spending the majority of our trip in the state. We went all over but my absolute favorite place was definietly White Sands National Monument. It had been on my list to visit for forever and this road trip was the perfect opportunity to visit. But we were super lucky. The only night that we had planned on staying in Alamogordo, New Mexico was a night a storm was approaching. It was comin in hot right around sunset and made for the best moody skies. It was like a dream.

I distinctly remember being so excited trying to climb up these white sand hills but being so out of breath because 1. climbing up sand is difficult but also 2. because I was so excited to be there. ESPECIALLY with the storm approaching. I handed my camera off to Sue to ask her to take some pictures of me but I could barely get my sentences out. She looked at me with so much concern like “Are you ok?” And I just screamed, “Yea I’m just excited” and ran to my posing spot. LOL.

My camera settings for this image is F6.3 at 1/10th sec and ISO 200 with my Sony A7II and 28-70mm lens.

 

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Photographers, tell me if you feel the same way: Sometimes after you travel, you feel like you need to just sit on the images before you can dedicate the time to edit them all. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the excitement of travel or something but I don’t know if I can do my best work right afterward I return home. Sometimes I’ll edit images along the way and be satisfied with them, but for the most part it’s always when I have had time pass where I’m really excited about an image. Am I the only who feels like that?

For example the image above. I have posted images from this same spot here and here and I really like them but I know I still have so many more images to edit and at the time I wasn’t too happy with them. I just needed some time to breath in between time to really remember the intention behind the image. So I ended up editing a whole bunch of images from Norway this past week. Some that I’ve posted before and redid, some that I have never worked on. I’m excited to share them with you  as time goes on:)

For this particular image, I love the mood that it is creating. Not only from the stormy clouds but the overall glow on the mountain sides and the ripples in the water. Norway is such a quiet country and I feel like this really conveys what it was like there. Ugh just looking at this image makes me want to go back. I loved visiting so much.

Just in case you’re planning on going, check out my road trip travel guide here.

My camera setting for this image is F10 at 1/40th sec and ISO 320 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm ultra zoom lens.

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In a very unexpected turn of events, I ended up going to West Virginia last week! Around 1p, my cousin, Jennie asked if I wanted to go with her on a road trip to Seneca Rocks. We were going to leave that evening, spend the night in an airbnb and wake up in the morning to go on a hike. With nothing much else planned but to prepare for Thanksgiving eating, I was all in! *In a way, this help prepare me further for my Thanksgiving eating LOL* My sister in law, Audrey came too and the three of us had an amazing trip!

It’s been a while since I’ve been to West Virginia. To be honest, I didn’t even know where Seneca Rocks was or what it looked like. So when Jennie told me that we were going to be able to climb on the top of the rocks in less than 1.5 miles, I was very skeptical. The morning was a bit chilli, 30 degrees or so but I learned my lesson from Norway. I knew that as soon as I started hiking for a bit, my body heat was going to warm me up and I wasn’t going to need so many layers. I felt so prepared LOL.

The hike itself wasn’t bad at all. It was a slow ascend up the mountain with nice views along the way. From what I saw on Alltrails.com it looked like it was a busy hike but so I feel lucky that there was barely anyone on the trails! We probably saw 6 people max and for the most part, we were the only ones on top of the rocks. It was awesome and I’d definitely do it again.

My camera settings for this image is F5.6 at 1/1600sec and ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 70-200mm lens