My parents gave me the most memorable graduation gift – a trip to the PNW with my boyfriend Michael. And it really was the best trip! It was a nice breath of fresh air after a busy summer of weddings. It was also the trip of my dreams – when I was little I always imagined myself living in Seattle one day, so visiting for the first time was a huge deal for me. It was also a very inspirational journey that allowed me to break out my new film camera and practice being more present, while making images that had more meaning.
It definitely wasn’t the type of vacation we relaxed a lot during, though. This was the kind of trip that we jam packed everything we possibly could into the short amount of time we had in each area.
We flew into Seattle, spent two and a half days in Olympic National Park, and the other two in Seattle and the North Cascades. After landing we hoped in a car to start our drive to the coast, where we stayed for both nights near the park.
Inevitably, it was rainy when we landed in Seattle, and the first half of our drive was also pretty dreary. But after a while the sun came out and completely transformed the views.
My very talented friend and fellow photog Rachel Fugate pretty much suggested every place we visited on this trip. She is a traveling pro!
One of our first stops was at the Washington Lavender Farm, where we met the farmer and got to learn how lavender is distilled and made into essential oil. This was totally unplanned – we actually weren’t sure if we’d even have time to stop because we were basically chasing the sunset to La Push Beach. But I’m so happy we stopped! The wind was wild, the mountain views were endless and breathtaking, and everything smelt like lavender.
Right after stopping in Port Angeles, we started driving through the park. I love the fog and overcast skies that rain brings along, especially through the mountains. But there’s just something about light peaking through the trees and hitting the water of Lake Crescent that was so beautiful.
We honestly didn’t think we’d make it to La Push in time to see the sunset because we (more like just me) wanted to stop at every light crevice, lake, tree, lookout, etc. You get it, my photographer heart was beaming with joy and I couldn’t help it. Every shoulder we turned was something new and I’d say, “Michael, we have to stop here! Pleeeease?!”
It had been a long day of travel and we were both so tired, but once we turned the last bend before arriving at Quileute Oceanside Resort we were both left in awe. We didn’t catch a photo of the view we saw when when we both screamed and our jaws dropped as we turned around the curve to see the magic of La Push for the first time. There was so much haze, the air was fresh, and the sounds of the ocean were so near. We just couldn’t believe it – it’s hard to explain the magic of this place, so I’ll let the photos do the talking. We were OVERJOYED to finally be there and soak in the beauty.
We climbed to the top of a pile of drift wood to catch the last bit of dusk. There was just so much peace and quietness in these moments. It was the perfect end to our long travel day.