Travel

Crater Lake, Oregon

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Sorry I've been a little slow at writing these blogs! Life has not slowed down since I've been home from this trip! Schoolwork has been super demanding, I'm in the process of moving and I've shot over five sessions in the last week! I have a ton of photos to edit, on top of serving my two/three days a week!

It's so annoying. I'm incredibly busy and have so much going on, but I'm not financially booking enough Photography related work to quit my job and focus on it full time. One day I will take photos and travel for a living, and I cannot wait!

ANYWAY! Our third day of our road trip was one of the most surprising days, as well as my favorite! We woke up as soon as the sun came up, made our farewell with Erika and headed out the door to Crater Lake, Oregon! We stopped at a cute little donut shop, per recommendation via Erika and ordered cheap breakfast sandwiches and coffees for under $10! Score!

Crater Lake was a five hour drive from Portland, and a three hour drive from Eureka so Monday was a pretty busy day for us and to be honest, I had no idea what was in store. Crater Lake was one of Isaiah's destination suggestions as I had never heard of it. We were slowly making our way out of the beautiful green pine trees that Oregon is known for, and were very soon greeting by snow. 

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The drive was absolutely breathtaking! The tall trees were dusted with beautifully fallen snow, and ice cap mountains were in our view more and more. We stopped on the side of the road to get a few quick pictures of the Diamond Peak. Isaiah wanted to stop at every viewpoint, but I told him that the most beautiful view was within our reach if we just kept on driving.

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Isaiah was persistent on driving down a random snow covered road for fun, so eventually we stopped along the side of the road and hiked down to a gorgeous acre of trees. To our surprise, the snow literally covered our knees. It was insane. I continued to try and take light steps but as soon as I stepped off with my other foot, I just sunk. My boots were full of snow and my jeans were soaked, but it was so worth it. 

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I can't even lie; we walked far enough from the road, unable to move quickly because of the height of the snow, that at one point I started to imagine a mountain lion just peaking through a tree trunk and almost peed myself from the thought. HAHA

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The actual "road" to Crater Lake was unrealllll. We didn't see many vehicles along the way, and passed only a small deserted town so I was slightly nervous to be so far off the grid. The road was sooo packed down with snow, and full of sharp twists and turns that we didn't think a car would have made it. It was about a 7 mile drive to the Welcome Center where we started to see a few other visitors but not many. It was a $10 park pass, that was good for a week! I had a feeling most people don't come to Crater Lake for an hour, like us, lol. We were told to go about a mile further up the snow covered path to our destination where we saw ONLY trucks and suvs. This is where I was happy that we rented a 4Runner. 

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When we first laid eyes on the lake, our breath was taken away. It looked like a REAL snow globe. My photos don't showcase the magnificence of this beautiful landmark. And to our surprise, it wasn't busy, or full of people! It blew my mind that we left Portland, warm and sunny, and arrived in a real Winter Wonderland by mid day. This is why I LOVE OREGON! 

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Seriously guys, LOOK HOW TALL THE SNOW IS NEXT TO ISAIAH! It's that deep. However, it wasn't super cold, and I was perfectly content with removing my jacket for photos. A five minute walk from Lake was a giftshop where we bought a cute shot glass as a memoir. However they charged by the hour for wifi, so I said "let's Skedaddle" and found a nice spot for lunch.

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One of the reasons I love Isaiah: I was like "wouldn't it be so cool to take a photo in the middle of the road?" And what does he do? Looks both ways, pulls to the "side" of the road, (although as you can tell there technically isn't a side) and tells me to jump out to get the shot! I loved this photo, and I'm so glad we were able to capture it! 

 

So a few fun facts about Oregon!

- It's illegal to pump your own gas. Legit. When we were coming back up from California, we knew we were in Oregon as soon as we pulled over for gas, because an attendant came running over to pump it for us.

- It's possible to experience beautiful sun, heavy rain and snow all within a few hours of each other.

- Crater Lake was formed from a sunken Volcano, was founded in 1902, is the 9th deepest lake in the world at 592 meters, and is home to one of the clearest, freshwater lakes in the world!

Portland, Oregon

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The second day of our road trip was possibly one of my favorites! We woke up early, grabbed some coffee and texted my friend Erika, who allowed us to stay with her for a night! It was Sunday, and we were on the West Coast so say it with me. BRUNCH!!! 

Of course we had to go and get some brunch, specifically Bloody Mary's because brunch isn't really a celebrated thing in the small town where I live. I googled some of the best places in Portland for the meal between breakfast and lunch and came across Gravy! We arrived around 10:30 and there were over 30 people OUTSIDE. It was crazy, but we decided stay anyway. Upon walking inside, we were told to put our names on a waitlist. They had complimentary coffee in their sitting area, and about an hour later we were finally called.

Isaiah and I both ordered the same thing, a delicious meat and veggie omelet covered in sausage gravy with a side of hashbrowns. We sipped Bloody Mary's and chatted, as our food was being made. When it arrived, we both knew we made a mistake. The plates were HUGEEE and Isaiah even ordered a side of French Toast. I couldn't even get through four bites before I asked for a box, but it was so delicious that I know we will be back again.

Next we arrived at Erika's house and came up with a game plan to explore the city! We bought bus tickets, ran a half block to catch it and arrived in downtown Portland like a true local! Erika, and her boo Travis showed us all the cool spots, and even stood in line with us at Voodoo Donuts, because DUH we just had to! With donuts in tow, we walked through a market square full of business owners selling their handmade and homemade goodies to locals, and tourists alike! 

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Next stop was Cannon Beach! I wanted to get there in time for some sunset photos. Erika and Travis tagged along, and after a quick outfit change, we piled in the car and headed west of Portland! The drive was miserable, and it rained the whole 80 miles to the coast. 

As a photographer, and an avid Instagrammer, I see tons of influencers and successful photographers' work ALL THE TIME at Cannon Beach. (Booking an engagement shoot there is a dream of mine!) My excitement when I first laid eyes on Haystack Rock was through the roof! It came out of nowhere and I wasn't expecting to see it while still on the highway, but sure enough through the dark clouds, it was there. 

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*Que the Angelic "ah's!" Also, I have to add in a quick note that the drive to Cannon Beach was the only spurt of bad weather we had the whole trip! And as you can probably tell, it cleared up by the time we actually got to the location! SO LUCKY. 

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This was the first day that Isaiah's photography taking skills were truly put to the test! Mind you, Isaiah isn't a photographer by nature, although I've been trying to turn him into one for the last year. He was such a trooper this whole trip, and continued to grow every single day! And if your wondering, yes it was freezing out!

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Seattle, Washington

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About mid January, I had the crazy idea of wanting to go somewhere really cool for Spring Break. I threw a couple ideas around with Isaiah one evening at home and we came up with either a week in Iceland, or a road trip out West! We thought the road trip would be better, although I've wanted to go to Iceland for a long time, so that trip is definitely on my to do list. 

Most of my family and friends know me as crazy spontaneous, and I would be lying if I said I didn't plan this trip in under three weeks! I love that I'm able to inspire people to do impulsive things, because honestly that's how I live my life most days. A few disclaimers I want to include in this post: this was our first time on the West Coast and we learned a lot of ways to save money, locations to go to in the future and a few other details that I wouldn't advise other travelers to follow. So let's jump right in!

Originally, Isaiah and I had the idea of flying into Seattle, Washington and renting a car to drive back home. It was our plan for a few weeks before we researched and realized that a one way drop off fee for most rental companies is $1000. A round trip plan ticket is cheaper than that, for TWO people! So we scratched that idea and chose to fly to and from Washington. It was obviously the cheaper route. During our first layover, we were at an airport bar looking at our trip itinerary that I created on roadtrippers.com. This was our agenda: Seattle, Portland, Eureka, San Fransisco, Carmel by the Sea, Los Angelese, Anaheim, Joshua Tree, Scottsdale, Monument Valley, Moab, and back to Seattle. For whatever reason, we realized it was way too ambitious for nine days. The beautiful thing about this trip was that although we had a plan, NOTHING was set in stone and we both had the mindset that we were going with the flow. So we decided to scratch all the National Parks :( 

Of course I was really sad, but we are planning a trip out West specifically for the parks next time! My bucket list includes Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Zion, Arches, and Joshua Tree. 

Once we landed in Seattle we picked up the rental, booked a last minute Airbnb and headed into the city for a late night adventure! We didn't make it into the city before dark so we parked near Pike Place and started walking! The market was closed, but we still were able to see the famous Pike Place signs, walk past the FIRST EVER Starbucks and venture down to Gum Alley! 

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It was really cool venturing to Gum Alley, and we even placed two twisted pieces of chewed up gum on a railing to be apart of the art! (The white glob is ours) After spending fifteen or so minutes taking photos, we head out for dinner. We made our way to a hip, little joint in the heart of Downtown called Virginia Inn. We didn't choose it because it was a Seattle must, or had raving reviews on Yelp. Honestly, we walked in because we were starving and there wasn't a wait to be sat. Isaiah got a burger, and I ordered a delicious Fish & Chip dinner. 

I asked our waiter for recommendations of bars in town that wouldn't be packed and he referred us to Cloudburst, about a five minute walk away! It was really cool inside, and we sat at two bar stools that overlooked an open layout brewery. We each got a Market Fresh Saison and relaxed, going over our plans for the next week! After our brews, we headed back for our first Airbnb experience to freshen up and get an early start for the next days adventure, Portland!

See you guys there!

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