"when i look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?
— Psalm 8:3-4
thinking of roadtripping with your best soon but need some ideas? you guys, trust me: give oregon a try. i promise you will NOT be disappointed. there is so so much to see. anywhere in the pacific northwest, actually. this is my 3rd october in a row visiting the pnw, not counting my trip to big sur this past summer. i didn't plan to be in the pnw 3 years in a row, it just happened! it's that breathtaking.
the country's flattest state has some gorgeous hidden gems out in the middle of nowhere! & one of my best friends charlotte knew i'd been wanting to go here since i first mentioned this place to her back in the spring of 2014. so when's a perfect time to make the 5 hour roadtrip? a random friday afternoon works for us!
i'd thought about it for a while. my closest girl friends would come over, & their compliments on my space would remind me about it. i'd had friends & friends of friends from out of town visit & stay with me... & i really enjoyed the hospitality aspect of that, making those friends feel at home in my home. i'd stayed in my share of airbnbs during my travels, so i knew that side of it. but taking the leap into hosting on airbnb? it took me a few months to actually decide to do it. it's one thing to let people stay with you while you're there with them. completely different for me to let strangers stay in my place while i'm out of the country.
not a lot of words perfectly express how amazing april 1st, 2016 was for me. i mean, one word comes close: elephants. dassit.
i've been looking forward to this day for months now. esther & i searched for a while for a good place to go to play with elephants that don't keep them in poor conditions of captivity & didn't allow riding them, which hurts the animals. i really wish the big tourist-attraction places that do that would stop... it's actually really cruel how the elephants get treated at those places.
day 2 of our trip was pretty interesting. we didn't get to explore beijing at all, but we got an awesome free breakfast before everyone on our delayed flight from yesterday had to meet to be taken to the airport. once at the airport, it got a lil ridiculous. slowly but surely, esther got bombarded by her very own chinese paparrazzi. it was crazy.
a few weeks ago, i got a small crew of adventurers together for some exploring. a few of them i'd met through instagram but never met in person before, like brandon, taylor, & kelly... others were friends i'd known for a while, like my adventuring partner-in-crime charlotte, & my buddy levi. we met up at a park in lakewood, piled into 2 vehicles, & set out for a spot about an hour away in sedalia about which my friend & co-worker luke had told me.
i do a bit of photo ambassador work (using my iphone6) for companies i believe in. rareform contacted me a few months ago saying they were huge fans of the style of my instagram feed & wanted to send me some free gear for me to take photos, which is always humbling to hear. rareform is an outdoor gear/lifestyle brand creating sustainable products (duffels, backpacks, wallets, & more) from upcycled billboards.
next we headed to the coast. the drives were all so beautiful. one moment we're in the mountains & forests, & a little later we're driving along the coast.we set out to find tree root cave, but never did. instead we blasted old-school steven curtis champman music from the bluetooth speaker Ultimate Ears sent me & explored on the beach at kalaloch campground.
woke up in a vehicle, found a bridge. that is, THE MOST EPIC BRIDGE I'VE EVER SEEN.
i may or may not have a crush on this bridge, you all. vance creek bridge was perfect. foggy. serene. really high up in the air. exhilarating!
esther & i had car-camped the night before, not far from where i'd found out we could get access to the bridge. my friend amanda who had been there before gave me some notes on how to find it, & online i stumbled upon another blogger dishing out some details too.
we didn't plan to spend our whole monday at mount rainier national park, but who could blame us?! the place was magnificent. the clouds were low all day, showing off the park's fog game. but the sun broke through here & there as well, giving us perfect chill weather. we drove freely through the park, stopping whenever we wanted to hop outta our rented subaru to enjoy the foggy breathtaking views engulfing us.
one of my best friends esther & i decided to take a trip to washington & british columbia! this is the first of quite a few trips on which we wanna go. we flew out sunday late afternoon. well, barely. as most of you know, i'm a worship leader at wonderful red rocks church, for our new arvada campus. when esther & i bought our tickets back in early spring, arvada campus was only being talked about.
when your boyfriend (#redmountainbeardman, a.k.a. RMBM) surprises you by telling you he's taking you camping to badlands national park in south dakota, you pack light & hit the road. i'd never been camping, nor had i visited the badlands, plus south dakota was a new state for me too... so you could say i was pretty excited.
one of the many joys of getting to work with one of your best friends: when your boss gives you some days off after a crazy busy easter weekend, you get to enjoy them together. my adventure-bff charlotte & i hit the road for 3 days back in early april to explore parts of colorado we hadn't visited yet, & for some adventure/girl time in honor of her birthday at the end of the month. we'd made a list of some spots, mapped them out, & hit the road.