Rock Rugged Takes The Road: Part 1

Well, it’s about time I finally blogged this.

In August of last year (seeing as it’s only the 4th of January, it’s weird to be saying ‘last year’) I went on a roadtrip across 6 US states and Canada. I was invited along with a small startup adventure brand called Rock Rugged, to serve as one of the photographers for the journey. Having returned from Europe less than a month before, I didn’t have any more plans to travel when the opportunity came up, but I couldn’t let myself pass it up. It all sounded too good to be true.

I met up with our group on a warm morning, which consisted of blogger Gentri Trinnaman, photographer Delaina Graff, and brand founder Jake Gibson. I knew none of them beyond a few conversations prior to the roadtrip, but it didn’t take us long to start talking up a storm. I knew we would be good friends before the end of this journey.

Our first leg of the trip took us through Utah and Idaho, across a dry, desert landscape. We stopped at a gas station called the “Middle of Nowhere”, which was very aptly named and was home to an assortment of animals, including several llamas. It was pretty much the perfect way to start off our roadtrip.

(Click on the photos to see them larger in Lightbox)

That night, we arrived at the edge of Oregon in Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area. It was already dark by that time, so after driving through the winding canyon deep into the night telling ghost stories, we found a place to park and sleep. As the sun rose, we finally were able to see the landscape that we had stopped at, and it blew us away.

IMG_7984EditIMG_7989EditIMG_7990EditIMG_8012EditIMG_8008EditIMG_8015EditThere were fires in the area, so it was smokey as I’d ever seen, but still so beautiful. The jagged mountains rose around us, and there was a river running at the base of them.IMG_8029EditIMG_8057EditIMG_8030EditIMG_8036EditIMG_8070EditIMG_8076EditIMG_8082EditIMG_8085EditIMG_8093EditIMG_8096Edit

We continued on our way, winding through empty roads past white-washed mountains. It felt like another world out here, so far away from society and busy traffic. It was so strangely beautiful, all of it.

We finally left the jagged mountains and ventured into a smokey forest pass. We stopped a few times to clear fallen trees out of our path, and I wandered down to the river to take photos and listen to the calming sound of the babbling stream.

Eventually, we made our way out of the forest and found ourselves in a town as small as I had ever seen. There was only one stoplight, but it was a bustling town nonetheless. There was a market, a live band playing, and taste-tests of yummy food and fruit. We stopped to grab a few things at the general store, and directed our maps towards Washington.

We drove for hours through quiet towns and busy metropolises. We stopped to eat at a diner that was full of old-timers engaging in conversation with kind waitresses who brought their children to work with them. Eventually we arrived in Snoqualmie Pass, and I begged to stop at the falls I had only seen in pictures up until then. The crew was happy to comply, and before long we were staring over the railing at one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’d ever seen.

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That night we drove through the endless emerald forests of Washington to finally arrive at the coast, where we would camp ourselves for the night. The beaches were full already, so we found a grassy parking lot to set up our tents in. I surprised myself by sleeping soundly throughout the night, with the sound of quiet waves reverberating far in the distance.

The next morning, we awoke early and walked to La Push beach, which was foggy and cold and perfect in every way.

We spent hours exploring this beach, amazed at the way the waves gently kissed the shoreline in the early morning chill. We climbed giant driftwood remains and took photos and breathed in the fresh ocean air. It was so nice to finally be out of the smokey mountains; it felt like we had finally taken a veil off our mouths and we could now breathe unobstructed.

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I think cold pacific beaches might be some of my favorite places in the world. I ambled along the driftwood piled high along the shore, taking photos to my heart’s content. The misty air made my clothes and hair wet, but I loved every moment spent in this dreamlike place.

The last part of our journey through Washington was to the Hoh Rainforest, inside the Olympic National Park. After stopping through the now-famous town of Forks for some Twilight-themed fun, we made our way to the gigantic forest. I had seen photos of this otherworldly place, which is one of the largest temperate rainforests in North America. Walking through the forest was like stepping into an ancient world, where moss hung from the trees like long bony arms outstretched. I imagine spending the night in this rainforest would be terrifying to say the least, but during the daytime it was a sight to behold.

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The next part of our roadtrip would take us across the border to Canada! I had made plans for us to meet up and stay with one of my dearest friends in the world, Lizzy Gadd, whom I traveled to Iceland with last year, and have adventured with many times over the past several years. She’s more like a sister than a friend to me, and I knew she would give us a fun couple of days in Vancouver.

Keep an eye out on this blog, because some of my favorite photos from our roadtrip are still forthcoming! You won’t want to miss them 🙂

4 thoughts on “Rock Rugged Takes The Road: Part 1

  1. Pingback: Rock Rugged Takes The Road: Part 2 | The Roaming Photographer

  2. Pingback: Rock Rugged Takes The Road: Part 3 | The Roaming Photographer

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