down the coast, through the desert | a road trip

It's taken me a month to prepare to make this post. Austin and I bought a boat, I shot a wedding, moved out of my home in West Seattle, and now, here I am. These photos are very dear to me, and I think that's also why it's taken me a long time to get to them. They are snapshots of three very sacred weeks of wandering and basking and not knowing where we were going to sleep the next night. I was shooting a wedding at the end of April in Orange County, so we took it as an excuse to pack all of our essentials and live out of my car for three weeks. It is a huge privilege to have been able to take this trip, and I am deeply grateful for the lands that welcomed us, the people who fed us and gave us a place to sleep, and the countless moments of warmth and joy along the way. Thank you to everyone who we had the pleasure of seeing and staying with - I don't have words at the moment to fully express how in awe I am of each and every one of you, so maybe these photos will do what I can't seem to articulate. 

Seattle --> Portland --> Point Arena --> Camp Meeker --> Santa Cruz --> Santa Barbara --> San Clemente --> Death Valley National Park --> Zion National Park --> Bryce Canyon National Park --> Grand Teton National Park --> Yellowstone National Park --> Helena --> Seattle.

; While traversing across these wild lands and running our fingers along the rocks and grass, I felt acutely aware of the history of our National Parks, of the sacredness of these lands, of how they were stolen from the people who named them and roamed them and lived off of them. And how these incredible valleys and canyons and calderas are now used for profit by the nation who exiled and massacred the people who first loved these places. And I don’t know how to reconcile being in awe of the earth and loving the National Parks for their education and inspiration, but also remembering the exploitation in their histories. The National Parks are a victory in an attempt to protect our land, but who are they protecting? And what lands have slipped away into the hands of corporations while we celebrate our parks? They are a start, but they are by no means an adequate end, even in all of their good and majesty. ;

Five National Parks, fruitful conversations, nights of gazing at the Milky Way, holding one another in glee at the setting sun. Dancing naked beneath an almost full moon in the desert, swimming in ice melt, picnicking next to mother bison and their calves. Home, in a new definition of the word.