Camp Life: The Suiattle River

The Pacific Northwest is a playground for outdoor exploration and is full of opportunity for outdoor activities, but when it's been raining for months on end it can make those activities a little less desirable. Sometimes you've just got to bite the bullet and go camp in the rain! A group of friends, myself and two pups hopped in our cars and ventured North to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in search of some Mother Nature goodness. We found ourselves on a great little spot next to the Suiattle River!

Luckily, the rain cleared at times and there were even spots of sun! A little rain never hurt anyone but it makes it a whole lot better when you have long drives with cool views, camp fires and coffee by a river, and beers with good company.

A weekend in nature well spent! Who else enjoyed Mother Nature this weekend?

16 Of My Favorite Photos From 2016

2016 has got to be one of my favorite years thus far in my 28 years of life. I traveled, I made new friends, started a new job, had many 'firsts', made wonderful memories, and took a ton of photos! Here are 16 of my favorite photos from 2016.

1. Deception Pass, WA - January 2016

A couple friends, my dog and myself packed up the car and headed out for Deception Pass one afternoon in early January. It was cold, beautiful and fun.

2. Seattle, WA - January 2016

I had just purchased my new 50mm lens and I couldn't wait to take photos with it. Luckily, I have some pretty awesome friends that pose for me. We explored the Seattle public library, Pike Place, Post Alley and the pier. This was one of my favorites from the day!

3. Snoqualmie, WA - February 2016

Hiking with my friends and my dog is one of my favorite things to do, so I have no shortage of photos from those adventures. On this particular hike, we made it to the top after trekking through snow that was well above our ankles (with no snowshoes, mind you). As we were resting near the lake, a nice young woman came and sat near us making conversation as she ate her lunch. My dog, Wayland, proceeded to steal and eat half of her sandwich straight from her hands. Many apologies ensued in the aftermath.

4. Ancient Lakes, WA - March 2016

It was one of my goals to go on my first solo backpacking adventure in 2016. Though I had been backpacking before, I thought that somewhere that still had easy access to my car and civilization seemed like a great first trip - so Ancient Lakes was the destination! Only a few miles of trekking to get to a good spot to set up camp. Wayland had lots of fun stealing my hiking boots and running off with them.

5. Seattle, WA - April 2016

Sol concert. Because I love live music.

6. Oregon Coast, OR - April 2016

When you and 3 friends make your way to the Oregon coast, but have no plan for sleeping arrangements (other than camping) and it pours down rain... you make it work. This trip was full of hiking and exploring with great people. 

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7. Chiang Mai, Thailand - May 2016

I was lucky enough to travel Thailand with two friends for a whole month. From Bangkok to Koh Chang, to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, to Phuket, Krabi and Koh Lanta... it was the experience of a lifetime. This photo was taken in a truck taxi when we were in Chiang Mai on our way to Doi Inthanon National Park (the highest point in all of Thailand).

8. Colchuck Lake, WA - June 2016

After not working out or hiking for basically a month (while I was in Thailand), it was nice to come back to the beautiful mountains and trails of the PNW. I hiked Colchuck the day after I hiked Putrid Pete's Peak (which kicked my ass) and it proved to be difficult for me. After reaching the top, dripping buckets of sweat, the only logical thing was to jump in that amazing alpine lake, right?! Well, it was FREEZING. Glad I did it though!

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9. Seattle, WA - July 2016

I had the privilege of shooting my first engagement session! This couple was so much fun to photograph. They were so stinkin' cute and didn't mind my awkward jokes (I think).

10. Rampart Lakes, WA - August 2016

It's hard to get Wayland to sit still for longer than 5 seconds. Luckily, he was tired from the hike up to Rampart Lakes so he stood still long enough for the self timer to catch this moment of us enjoying the view.

11. North Bend, WA - August 2017

I got to photograph a friend from high school's family photos. I hadn't seen this friend in many years so when she hired me to take photos of her adorable family - I jumped at the chance! Capturing the little moments was so much fun!

12. Mount Rainier National Park, WA - September 2016

This photo was taken at sunrise from a fire lookout at Mt. Rainier NP. This was my first time up close and personal with Mt. Rainier and she was a beauty but I had to capture the morning sun rays pouring onto the hillsides. At the time, it was twice as awesome to see Rainier up close because I had recently put down a deposit with a climbing guide to summit Rainier in the summer of 2017!

13. Seydisfjordur, Iceland - September 2016

Honestly, I'm not sure if this is my favorite photo from Iceland - there are too many to chose from and I love them all. But I felt like the little town in Eastern Iceland was a hidden gem and I enjoyed my time there. We picked up a hitchhiker on our way there who was the nicest elderly Australian lady. Explored the town. Hiked to an art sculpture. Went to a college party at the art school and danced the night away. Stayed up until 4am drinking at the local bar. It was definitely one of my favorite places in Iceland.

14. Lester Ghost Town, WA - November 2016

Mostly I just like this photo because I love exploring creepy, abandoned buildings

15. Seattle, WA - December 2016

Met a new friend who taught me a new technique. We went around Seattle shooting until about 2:30am.

16. Snoqualmie, WA - January 2017

Okay, technically this photo was taken in 2017, but I figure that if I'm accidentally writing '2016' on everything, then there is some wiggle room. I'm glad I have awesome friends that hike out to a lake in the dark, cold, and snow with me, just so I can take photos of mountains and stars. 

Cheers to 2017! I can't wait for more awesome memories and to improve on my photography.

Do you have some favorite photos from 2016?