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Road Trip through the Mountains

This summer I was fortunate enough to have the time and resources to travel through several mountain ranges and either backpack or day hike my way through them. Started in Portland, Oregon, my hometown, picked up my friend in Bend, Oregon and away we went! First stop: Smith Rock State Park! Each time I go, the lighting and sky are so different and I always see something new from a different perspective.

Then we made our way over to the Sawtooth National Forest. Even though I grew up in the state of Oregon and Washington, I had never stepped foot into Idaho until now and I'm so happy I finally got the opportunity to do so because it did not disappoint! We backpacked our way up the mountain and planned to stay several nights there until the thunderstorms came in pretty fierce so we hurried our way back down to the valley to seek a lower elevation campground.

After the storms passed, we made our way carefully into Wyoming after traveling the most gnarly and beautiful pass. Wyoming took my breath away immediately with that pass. Jackson was touristy yet so much fun. Camped with a view of the Grand Tetons and waking to moose mating calls in the field next to us.

We woke at sunrise to capture the most photographed barn in the world but unfortunately the clouds had a separate agenda, covering the mountain views that make this barn so iconic. Yet, it forced me to look at the barn from different perspectives and angles and made me appreciate the scenic beauty around the barn and across the road on the other side. Magpies (my favorite bird) strategically ate bugs from the front of my car and many others in the parking lot as I tried to photograph them flying away all while patiently waiting for the clouds to disappear. They didn't for the rest of the day but luckily the next morning we woke at sunrise a second time and were able to make the second ferry boat of the day to take us to the most popular trail in the Grand Tetons. And popular it was! It felt like a rustic Walt Disney experience until we got past a certain turnaround point on the trail. It was still busy but definitely not as crowded and we even came upon a moose munching in the open field.

The next day was another sunrise morning and was undeniably gorgeous with a beautiful pink and purple hue in the sky before leaving for Colorado. The smoke followed us there, interrupting plans to hike in the Rockies but maybe next trip!


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