There’s nothing quite like walking out into the woods with everything you need for the night on your back. All of your food. The tent and sleeping bag you’ll sleep in. An extra layer of clothing. A baseball hat snapped onto the back of your pack. And then you walk. Through forest with tall trees. Over a wooden boardwalk elevated over swampy terrain. Along a cold and clear river. Through berry bushes taller than you are. Your feet get tired, but the sun is warm and you chat with each other about anything and everything. Then for some stretches it’s ok to be silent. To get into a rhythm. My short legs make me a pretty slow backpacker, so I just try to go with the flow. But trips like this provide me with little jewels in my memory. These are little glowing days that stand out compared to the rest of my year. It wasn’t because it was easy. No. It was definitely not a breeze. My body was pretty exhausted after this trip on the Jordan Valley Pathway, but a couple of days in the woods makes your mind slow down. After a trip like this I seem to be able to refocus on the things that are truly important. I can’t wait to plan our next outdoor adventure - I’m already brainstorming ideas for this Summer…
In 2015, our family spent Christmas together in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I had briefly been through New Mexico on a road trip when I was 10 years old, but other than that I had no real knowledge of the area. I didn’t know what to expect, and I certainly didn’t predict that the landscape would captivate me as much as it did. I think about this trip often. I can’t even fully explain it. As I walked through Bandelier National Monument, there was just something so overwhelmingly powerful and beautiful about it. The colors of the rock and moss and cactus against the overcast Winter sky were creating the most incredible color palette. The evidence of human presence in the region that goes back at least 11,000 years. The way the rock became large scale abstract sculpture - some carved by humans and some carved by wind and rain and time. Between our time spent here, as well as exploring the food and art and textures in the area, it was a trip I’ll never forget and a place that I hope we are lucky enough to visit again.
These are just some of the images from this trip, and they make up this week’s “From the Archives” post.
This is the first post in a series that I have found myself calling “Blogging the Backlog”. There are so many fun personal projects, images from our travel, or commercial and editorial projects from the past few years that I haven’t found the time to blog. Some of them I haven’t even truly had time to edit! Yikes. During the weeks of February and March I’m going to try to have one scheduled each week. You’ll see images from Santa Fe, Summer backpacking in Northern Michigan, exploring and scuba diving in Bali, and hiking in Asheville. Those are just the things that are popping into my head that I know I’m planning to share, but I’m sure that I’ll find more to post as I delve deep into our hard drives.
Last Winter I had the great opportunity to join Kendall from Wild Banshee Adventure Co. (and The Revel Rose), Lee from Fieldguide Farmhouse, Heather from Ampersand Lettering Lab, the fine ladies of Juniper & Lace, and the one and only Sandy Michalik, i.e. my mom on a Winter Rafting trip down the Jordan River. Jordan Valley Outfitters led the trip and I would highly, highly recommend it!
Imagine an intimate wedding in Italy. A winery tucked among the hills and fields. A day so warm the bride has to dip her feet in the water. An uncomplicated ceremony. Friends and family laughing, eating delicious small bites, drinking wine. Dozens of adorable babies giggling and toddlers running around playing. Tables simply set with lace runners, candles and red roses. Tiramisu for dessert. Golden light hitting the grape vines.
That was Chelsea and Scott's wedding. Minus one small detail: the location. Surprise, surprise we weren't in Italy last weekend, but the vibe was on point. Cheers you two! What a day!
I've said it before - but I'll say it again. I love extended family sessions. I love the fact that families are gathering along the shores of Lake Michigan to vacation together. To eat meals together, explore a new area, take in the lake views, enjoy the late sunsets and just be together. Cheers to this beautiful family and their time together.
Our Southern Road trip at the end of March took us all the way to the Keys for some diving. If you follow along with us on Instagram you may have already seen some sneak peeks ;) We found a perfect Airbnb in Islamorada and spent three days diving through Islamorada Dive Center. It was a greatly needed getaway for us, with just the right blend of relaxation and adventure. Below are a handful of our favorite shots.
It's April. It's snowing. There is a part of me that thinks - this sucks, I can't wait for Spring to actually be here - but then the other part of me realizes that this will be the last time for many months that I will be able to stand quietly in the woods while the snow falls around me. I love living in a place that has seasons. It's pretty magical.
When we lived in California I actually missed snow, because let's face it - we never got to Tahoe enough. I missed the stillness of winter and the quiet. We are beginning our second winter back in Michigan and I am really embracing it. The snow and the way it blankets the woods is meditative. There is too much negativity about winter, and if you live here you should really challenge yourself to explore it. Because it is beautiful and peaceful, and it allows you to see the same scenery in a completely new way. Just wear the right clothes and get out there.
Shot on Kodak Portra 400 that was accidentally processed in black & white chemicals. Camera: Pentax K1000. The Hartwick Pines' AuSable River Trail and My Aunt's awesome golden retriever, Lily are featured.