in all earnestness

Friday, June 27, 2014

Man, life is hectic! I started this blog as a means of chronicling my adventures and photographs along the way and I definitely underestimated how time consuming it would be. Between work, trying to find a new, more fulfilling job, and unwinding with friends it's been tough to find time in between to sit down at a computer to go through photos that I've shot and of course, write!

So I've decided to sit down and set up some goals for my photography, this blog, and life in general!

Here goes nothin'!

1. shoot more,
it's the only thing that settles my anxious mind

2. exude positivity
you become what you put out
3. explore the landscape
it's a beautiful world out there
4. take moments to yourself and just, breathe
never forget this
5. hikehikehike
let me not forget the rejuvenation and 
tranquility that comes from physical exhaustion and beautiful landscapes
6. nurture friendships
I've met some tremendously wonderful people
along the way, and I'd like to never lose contact with them.
7. partake in more personal projects
I can't get hung up on work and need to spend more time to myself
8. and of course, blog more!
I want to share all the good vibes with good people

There you have it! Those are my personal goals because I like to be working on something, you know? It gets far too easy to get caught up on the negativity and I'd prefer to focus on the positive and always strive to be better. 

What about you? What are you currently working on?

Lavender Fields Forever

Monday, June 23, 2014

I like to be outdoors. That doesn't always mean hiking and camping though. Sometimes it's nice to just go on a nature walk or simply explore somewhere new, to search out something beautiful. 

We are pleasure seekers, bon vivants, if you will. Searching out an aesthetic that corresponds to our ideals and fulfills what we're seeking out. 

So this portion, curious wanderer, is meant to motivate me to search out the small pleasures of every day life and be ever grateful.

Two weeks ago, I went and picked lavender at the farm on Sauvie's Island. I didn't even know that was a thing you could do, but I'm glad I went!

Imagine these lush, purple fields with the scent of lavender wafting all around you. In my youth, I was always a tomboy and thought flowers were way too girly. Now I have purple chrysanthemums tattooed on my arm and lavender on my walls! Funny how things change as you grow.

What do you enjoy now as an adult that you never used to as a child?

Portland's Naked Bike Ride!

Friday, June 13, 2014

I'm nearly a week late on this, yikes.

But last Saturday marked the kick-off of Pedalpalooza here in Oregon with the World Naked Bike Ride, a worldwide bike ride meant to bring attention to the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and as a protest against pollution-based transport. 

Pedalpalooza is a month-long festivity with bike-centered events and rides like the themed Lebowski Ride or the Ride of Colors. Basically it's all kinds of fun on two wheels.

Portland, you are something else.


That Yosemite Summer

Thursday, June 12, 2014

After a raucous going-away/graduation party that ended in a drunken stupor of familiar bodies strewn about the house, the following morning was dedicated to a much needed breakfast with the best of friends and copious amounts of orange juice to alleviate the hangover. My imminent departure was met with last-minute, tear-stained hugs followed by bouts of hysterical laughter.

I'm not going to lie, it was a daunting task to be leaving behind the comfort of family and friends that had my back no matter the circumstances. I can't even express the amount of times that my shenanigans had gotten me into a situation where I needed my close friends to bail me out. That being said, I knew that my friends were, in essence, there for me no matter the distance. The amount of support and endless love that I had received (and luckily continue to, to this day) left me feeling confident about my endeavor.

Truth be told, it was a long arduous, dehydrated journey for me. I left much later than I wanted to (not until midday) filled with endless stops to get my bearings and pick up last minute necessities. I didn't even end up leaving the Inland Empire until sometime around 1pm, which made my trip quite long.

I didn't reach the park entrance until about 8pm. I was greeted by a cheery park ranger at the entrance. I informed him that I was arriving into the park to work.

"Is this your first time coming in?"
"Welcome!" he happily declared. "Go right on in!"

Exhausted and thrilled to have arrived, I didn't realize I still had about another hour left on my journey. I was set to work in Wawona, which is a mere 5 miles from the Southern Gate entrance that I had just passed through. But first, I had to stop by the Yosemite Valley, another 35 miles and the heart of Yosemite National Park for a weeklong orientation. For someone at this point severely exhausted and not particularly used to driving through mountain roads, this was an ordeal. I remember stopping at least three times just to get my head straight.

But eventually, I got there. I gazed up at El Capitan bathed in the moonlight, the largest granite monolith in the world and a favorite for climbers and gleefully noticed all the headlamps atop it's face, climbers' setting up shop for the night, continuing their climb the following day. It was the night of the Supermoon, I remember vividly loving the view of the roads and forest being illuminated by the moonlight. I learned after the fact that such a thing as a moonbow exists and that this would have been a prime opportunity to view it at the base of Yosemite Falls. I never did get a chance to see the moonbow that summer due to scheduling conflicts with work and eventually it was warm enough that the seasonal falls (including Yosemite Falls) had dried out. I do vow to return and see it, one day!

The first week was filled with endless encounters with new people, each that I absolutely adored. I tell you, it takes a certain kind of person to drop everything and live in a national park for a summer. There was an instant sense of camaraderie and acceptance that I have yet to discover anywhere else. There is without a doubt a sense a family that comes about amongst the employees. Never was there an instant in which I went anywhere within the park that I wasn't welcomed with open arms.

It's an interesting sensation being cut apart from all connections. I think given the circumstances of being away from society and most of us being without any means of contacting friends and family outside the park further encouraged us to just... live in the moment. The experience was almost like a no holds barred summer camp experience for adults.

My roommate and I, who were holed up in a small and hot room with three bunk beds (that's SIX people, count em, and a whole lotta bags) met up with some fellas who inarguably had some of the best temp housing setup yet so we decided to just squat with them. Two people to a room!? Yeah, you do the math.

On one of those first nights we all we started to hear a steady drum beat. We ended up following the drum out towards the Merced River where we encountered a small gathering of other employees, just hanging out and having a good time. On our way back later that night as we drunkenly stumbled back to our employee housing I remember a majestic stag crossing our path, it's antlers raised high and it's eyes illuminated by the red light of our headlamps.

This was it.

We were in the wild.


Mt Hood National Forest + Bagby Hot Springs

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

As my journey to exploring all that Oregon has to offer continues, I am thrilled to have had Casey and Matthew (plus Yoda and Padawan!) join me on this trek. This week I ventured out to Mt. Hood National Forest in search of Bagby Hot Springs.

I can't express how wonderful it was to venture out into the Mt. Hood wilderness. Something about the turquoise waters, tall trees and brisk air felt like home. This was the wild that I was searching for and I'm pretty sure I'll be coming back here repeatedly over the course of this upcoming summer. I'm looking forward to it.


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