In July, we traveled to Yakima, Washington with two of our closest friends, Cody and Amy, to film a documentary for one of our clients, Palmer Home for Children. We needed to have all of our gear, so we decided to drive the film van instead of flying. We made several stops along the way. The first leg included The Badlands and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. One of my favorite things about South Dakota is that the entire state smelled like honey. It was beautiful and amazing.
We detoured to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. I can’t imagine how people felt when they saw this monstrosity hundreds of years ago. We were in awe when we were driving and saw it appear in the distance. We spent one day in Seattle and saw the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, the filthy gum wall, ate some great seafood and fabulous ice cream. On the way to Yakima we saw great views of Mt. Rainier and got super close to a huge elk in Stevens Canyon.
When I think of Washington state, it never would have crossed my mind that 108 degrees is a normal summer temperature, but it is. We spent 3 days in the Yakima Valley surrounded in smothering temperatures. Dry heat vs. humid heat is irrelevant when you’re in triple digits — it’s still miserable. However, we were able to see some fabulous sites and wade in the Yakima river on my 31st birthday. The water temperature was a stark contrast to the air. The river flows off the mountain and was around 63 degrees. (For comparison, the water in Destin, FL is about 85 degrees during the same time of year.)
We made our way south to head home and traveled through Oregon and Idaho. We stayed in Twin Falls, ID and caught some fabulous views of the Snake River the next day. On our way to Yellowstone, I saw on Instagram where fellow photographers and Southerners, Tera and Wes Wages, were also headed to Yellowstone. We met at Old Faithful and chatted for a bit. It’s crazy how small the world can seem sometimes! Yellowstone was an awesome experience overall — the springs, the geysers, the wildlife, all of it! I was really holding out to see a moose, but alas, only elk and bison appeared.
We traveled to Santa Fe the next day. A little backstory: Josh and I camped our way to the Grand Canyon for our honeymoon. At the end of our trip we stayed in Santa Fe. We ate at a lovely restaurant, The Pink Adobe, and just had to go back. It was just as glorious as we remembered it.
In nine days, we traveled 6,250 miles, covered 16 states and filmed one documentary. It was beautiful, breathtaking, incredible, marvelous and a little exhausting — and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We’re so blessed to have had this experience. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.