One of the blessings about being in a long-distance relationship is the opportunity for frequent travel. As much as I hate having to be away from Jacob, I love that I get to go on adventures to see him. Jacob recently took a new job in Colorado, so I flew up to Calgary over spring break to make the trek south with him. Being back on the road with him, it was hard to believe it's already been nine months since our last big trip together. Even when I was single, my mom stressed the importance of taking trips with a significant other to "test" the relationship. She was right (as always). As Jacob and I deal with road weariness and logistical concerns, the trials and joys of each trip together only seem to strengthen our relationship. This particular trip held some stressful late nights and grumpy (mostly on my part), cold, early mornings, but they were more than made up by dirt road explorations, howling winds heard from inside a cozy yurt, the perfection of the roadtrip sandwich (hummus and avocado are crucial, turns out), steamy hot tubs on frosty nights, copious coffee stops (some better than others), breathtaking scenery even from the interstate, camping among the mesas of Moab, and the simple sweetness of being with each other. In Utah and Colorado especially I was continuously reminded of my parents' trips through these same areas over twenty years ago, just prior to their engagement. It's humbling to think that I am now in that same exciting stage of exploration and discovery, creating stories that I will tell my own children one day.
Although I am now unable to sacrifice as much time to keeping up this blog as I'd like, it is important to me to preserve travel memories here that might otherwise be lost with the tinge of time. Photographs are, of course, a large portion of this narration. I've been reminded this semester through my film photography class of the importance of putting thought into an image, of taking care with framing and lighting. This may seem obvious, but I am grateful that I am pushed to keep these considerations close to my photographic process. Driving through some of the most beautiful parts of the country--Alberta, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Colorado--I was inspired to put these skills into practice again. This set is a depiction of Americana, the back-road oddities and breathtakingly empty scenery. (Infinite thanks to my sweet Jacob, who repeatedly turned the car around for me to get a shot, despite my protests that he didn't have to.) Driving through these often-remote landscapes, I am continually reminded of how much more there is to see. It is almost too much to fathom. I am so grateful that these are the memories I get to create amid the chaos of life.
Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park
Passenger seat views in Montana
Frost-dusted trees on the interstate headed west
An abandoned smelter on a Montana backroad
We stumbled across some old charcoal kilns near the smelter
My cute lumberjack in his element
We spent a snowy night camping after the roads proved too difficult to get to the cabin we'd reserved. Thankfully the scenery made up for what we lacked in warmth.
Our cozy yurt in southern Idaho, the perfect reprieve from the howling winds
A change of scenery in Moab, Utah. It's amazing how different the light is there.
Entering Arches National Park
Jacob in a sliver of light at Double Arch
A classic power stance to accompany the panoramic view
Cairns marking the trail