What a year! Time sure has a way of distancing us from our past by worrying us about the future. During the winter solstice, I spent some time looking through photographs and videos from 2018. I had a large list of places I wanted to visit this year. But with working a full time job, I only have so much time to take trips. In 2018 I wanted to devote more time to my partner, friendships, adventuring, and growth.
My year started out with my biggest adventure yet, remodeling our kitchen! My partner Benji and I bought a house in October 2017. After spending time in our kitchen the first couple months we quickly discovered what we would change. From old rotting countertops to a miniature oven, our conversations turned into; wait why don't we just do this?! Benji and I set a budget of $6,000 (we ended up spending about $8,000), and he made a plan to finish the remodel in the month of January and February (which he accomplished).
We restored the original cabinets by sanding and painting them. New dishwasher, range hood, countertop, and oven was the largest expense of the project. Subway tile backsplash was the final piece we just finished in November. Benji worked so hard by spending every night after work, and weekends in that kitchen. His drive was so inspiring to me. This was the first time either of us had done anything like this. Let me tell you, if we made it through a kitchen remodel we can do anything.
This year seemed to be the one of connecting with Instagram friends IRL. While I did this some in 2018, I met some gals this year who I went on multiple adventures with. Social media has a way of bringing people together! Eva and I went on our first trip together in January on the McKenzie River. If you know me, I am all about girls getaways, I try and do at least 1 a month. Nothing is more rejuvenating to me.
I also did a long weekend in Bend with my best friends from high school and our partners. We stayed in Sun River, hiked Tumalo Falls, snowboarded at Mt. Bachelor, but mostly got cozy and enjoyed each others company.
Girls weekend of March was visiting my friend Eva in Portland. I had some hot springs on my bucket list, so we got up bright and early to visit them. Emily and her partner Richie joined us! I haven't gotten to explore Mt. Hood area until this year. I returned back in May for some skiing and hiking with Benji and his family. Eva and I also enjoyed a day skiing at Timberline Lodge on a beautiful bluebird day.
I spent the majority of April skiing locally, hiking with the dogs, and snowshoeing. April is a great time to enjoy snow sports in Oregon, as the winter base is plentiful.
In the beginning of May Benji and I met his parents at Timberline Lodge for a day of spring skiing. It was wet and mushy, but beautiful nonetheless. Trillium Lake had been on my list for sometime now, so we made sure to hike around it while we were in the area. It did not disappoint!
For memorial day I met Chelsea and Madi in Southern Oregon for some adventuring. None of us had met before, but having followed each other for a while on Instagram, we were eager to hike together. We explored Umpqua Hot Springs, Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Area, Toketee Falls, and Crater Lake. A memory from this trip that stood out was Crater Lake was a last minute call of Maddy as she had never been before- and if we chose to send it we would make it on time for sunset. We got the most perfect light and had the most fun jumping around in our sleeping bags.
Back in February I had entered for an Enchantments permit. In 2017 I was lucky enough to go on a trip to the core zone of the Enchantments. I wanted to bringBenji to this beautiful place, so I entered for a permit for summer of 2018. To my surprise, I won one ! Luckily we won Eightmile Zone, which is an area I didn't get to see in 2017. Read more on that blog post here. Such a memorable trip of pushing my body to get to beautiful places like this.
Earlier in the year I had met Crystal Frankenbery for a spring hike. Being new to Oregon, Crystal wanted to visit Bend. One thing I love to do is drive down dirt roads and find free dispersed camping in Deschutes National Forest. Bend is full of it! Being right before 4th of July, people had been holding down spots. Just as we thought we wouldn't have mountain views from our camp, we got lucky and scored an amazing spot! Crystal might have bottomed out her Impreza but it was worth it. We hiked Green Lakes trail, Sparks Lake (for sunset), and spend time on Cascade Lakes Scenic Biway.
We also celebrated my sweeties 30th birthday in Orcas Island. I barley took any photos, but we enjoyed our time eating the hell out of the food on the island! Can't wait to go back, such an amazing place.
My girls trip for August was to Mount Jefferson Wilderness! Fransziska of Hike Oregon invited me to come with her. We went in for one night, and I can't wait to camp here again. It is so so stunning here. We had no views of the mountain the first day but woke up with a completely clear sky the next morning.
Benji and I also went on a two night trip to Diamond Peak Wilderness with our dogs in August. We had the lake to ourselves, except for the bees nest that attacked our dog Gouda. Luckily we were able to get her into the water to get the bees off of her. First time for us but now we know to pack Benadryl for the future.
I was turning 30 this month so I wanted to do something entirely for me. It was hard for Benji to understand at first why a solo road trip was how I wanted to spend my birthday. While I wouldn't usually take my birthday off-let alone for a week, I set out to do two back to back backpacking trips. I had never gotten to experience this many days on the trail, and it was something I yearned for. I was about to start a new job before my birthday so having the time off aligned.
First, I headed up to Tuck and Robin Lakes in Washington; a destination that was HIGH on my bucket list. My friend Madi and her partner Ryan met me here. Our first day was completely rainy. We hiked in about 3 easy miles and set up camp in the pouring rain. Over the next 24 hours we hiked up in the rain, only to arrive to snow at our destination. We waited it out in our tents until it was bedtime. Sunrise the next morning made everything so worth it. Clear skys, perfect weather, pink alpenglow.
This summer was all about the weather providing me with lessons in patience when it doesn't go my way.
After hiking out of Tuck and Robin on my birthday, I hit the road to head to Portland. I picked up Crystal and we headed 8 hours east to the Wallowa Mountain range of Eastern Oregon. The Wallowas had been high on my bucket list as well-which is why I needed 5 days of vacation time to truly see the wilderness area. Crystal and I were on assignment with Union Wine Company, a brand I started collaborating with in the beginning of 2018. You can find the blog I wrote for them here.
It was this year that I started to put more energy on my blog and Instagram. While some of my content was created myself with an iPhone or GoPro, I had the pleasure of working with some amazing photographers to get content for my Instagram.
I hadn't yet had the opportunity to work with a female photographer. I came across Disa's page off of some work she had done with Glyder apparel, so I contacted her and we set a date to shoot together. Like most women I have met off of Instagram, she was down for a sunrise adventure. Blue Pool is the first hike I did when I moved to Oregon in 2013, but I hadn't taken any professional images here. Weather, lighting, lack of crowds, we had a wonderful fall hike that day.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, Benji and I wanted to finish the final part of our kitchen, the backsplash. To celebrate, we spent a weekend in Pacific City at Harts Camp. Something about the coast in the winter gives me the refresher that I need. You can read more on Harts Camp here
This month ended the year out with a bang! First, I got to cross off seeing Smith Rock at sunrise with my new friend Brooke, who I met off of Instagram. Luckily for us, it had snowed the night before making for some beautiful desert photos.
For my final girls trip of the year, I visited Cannon Beach, a place I haven't explored much since I moved to Oregon. Eva, Tara, and myself rented rooms at Inn at Arch Cape, a beautiful, cozy spot right on the beach. Read more on my trip here.
Ready to take what I've learned this year into 2019