Oregon & Washington Roadtrip
When I was younger I always thought the perfect job would be one where I'd get to travel and be paid for it. Well, I've had that opportunity recently and I never would have expected it at my current job. It's allowed me to do my outdoor and adventure photography along the way.
So this post covers my road trip from Los Angeles through Oregon & Washington and back. I currently work, though not for much longer, at a signage company and we've been rebranding for a client nationwide. As their main installer, I've been able to travel the U.S. doing these installs. This OR & WA trip was the first of numerous.
First let me say this, I'd call this a true road trip because I never slept in a hotel; I lived out of my car and camped. I have a Subaru Forester that I've transformed into my little adventure home. I put down a pad in the back, have Tupperware to organize food and cosmetics, a large cargo bin on my roof for storage, and installed curtains on the inside for sleeping. If there is an interest, I can go into more detail on my setup later.
My first install was in Eugene, OR, so my trip really began there. Installs for my work always take place in the morning and evenings, leaving the day open for either driving or exploration. After Eugene I went up to Portland, then over to Spokane, WA (Side note, I don't know why anyone would live out there). From there I cut back west to Seattle and Tacoma. After finishing those installs, I was finished and had some time to explore, so naturally I went to Olympic National Park. It was here that I chose to do what the park deemed one of the 'hardest but most rewarding' hikes; Lake of the Angels. It is a 6 mile hike with almost 4,000' elevation gain. What I didn't realize is that most of that elevation gain is in the last 2 miles once it shoots off up the mountain. It was the hardest hike I've done. Every step was like doing lunges or squats or something. I've never had a cramp on a hiking trip, but in the last (and steepest) 400', one thigh was cramping with each step. But I pushed on and rounded the corner to see my camp spot next to the lake. At that moment, I realized it was all worth it. A beautiful lake surrounded by peaks, trees, and small streams. It was also at that moment that it started to rain (welcome to the Pacific Northwest). So I very quickly set up my REI Quarter Dome 1 and got inside. Most of that night I slept cozily in my tent while lighting storms illuminated the peaks around me.
The next morning I woke up to hear grunting, snorting, and chewing outside my tent. The mountain goats had come down to eat around the camp area. I enjoyed greatly the photo opportunity from my tent door for a solid hour before I scared them off to make breakfast and begin my decent. If you're in the southern section of the park, I'd highly recommend this hike (so long as you are up for an exhausting hike). The rest of the day was spent traveling back down the coast to California.
I've inserted a gallery of images from this entire trip below so you can enjoy the beauty with me.