Mount Saint Helens

The Knowlson attempt to cling to summertime...

A few Fridays ago, Adam and I left work on Friday but instead of going home, we drove to Washington. We camped at the base of Mount Saint Helens, woke up at 4am, and began hiking with head lamps through the forest. 

Between the legends of Bigfoot and the volcanic nature of the park, this place had a lot to offer! I would highly recommend this hike. Looking into the crater at the top of the volcano was one of the coolest things - it made the final ascent of uphill hiking through volcanic ash all worth it. 

Coastys Go East, Part I: New York

Fun Fact: This summer Adam and I will celebrate 4 years of marriage!

Fun Fact #2: For most of those 4 years, one or both of us have been students. 

Final Fun Fact: In November, Adam finished his Masters degree. This past March, we had the opportunity to go on a bit of an adventure together, and it was just awesome. 

Highlights included: the Statue of Liberty, Top of the Rock, the Brooklyn Bridge, Seeing "Wicked" and "Stomp", Visiting the Seinfeld Restaurant, Central Park, the MET, Wandering the streets, and a surprise snowstorm!

Mt. Baker

We spend a lot of time in the Mt. Baker area. We love it in the summer (check out the Chain Lakes Hike blog post) and we love it in the winter! We love to snowboard. We love to sled. We love to snowshoe. We love to build snowmen. Most recently, we love to skii. We love the snow. 

What a beautiful world we live in. 

Mt. Seymour

Since we are always looking for new adventures, we have decided to take up skiing. I have been snowboarding since I was 12. In those days, I deemed skiing as "not cool enough" for me... so now, either I have grown less cool, skiing has become more cool, or coolness is in the eye of the beholder. I am loving skiing so far - and I have been trying very hard to keep my skies as "french fries" as possible, and not "pizza". 

We also bought some snow shoes. On a recent trip to Mt. Seymour with some friends, I tried out the snow shoes, and Adam tried out the skins which attach to his skis. It was a beautiful winter wonderland... and I was camera-less, so we had to just capture it the best we could with our phones.

Chain Lakes, WA. USA

Adam and I love "being away". A common "away" for us is the area around Glacier, WA. Primarily, we love getting to the Baker area for snowboarding purposes - but the area has tons of summer fun to offer too. 

Most recently, we completed the chain lakes hike! You can make this hike into an overnight event but we just travelled as a day trip. With a bit of wandering and a quick summit of Table Mountain, my iPhone 'health' app says we trekked about 19km. 

Highlights: Great weather, awesome views of Baker and Shuksan, glaciers, meadows, forests and lakes!

Widgeon Lake

A fun adventure is the canoe ride up Widgeon Creek. After the canoe trip, you can hike a few kilometers to a waterfall and make a day trip of it... OR, you can hike a few hours up to Widgeon Lake. We wanted to make a weekend of it, plus we like to use our camping gear, so we opted for the longer excursion. 

We like to camp. 

Evan's Lake

I recently got to spend some time at Evans Lake Camp. It was such a pleasure to spend a week outside :) Some highlights include: mornings by the lake, sunny days, starry nights, campfires on the beach, and a cougar sighting!

Kylie is a happy camper when she gets to spend her days outside. 

My Earth Day Sweater

I have a special Earth Day Sweater... and I recently bought a new camera lens. Sweater+Lens= True-Hey-Coasty-Joy.

We had a few fabulous sunny evenings a few weeks ago. It was the perfect opportunity to both showcase my awesome Earth Day Sweater and try out my new lens. Happy Earth Day, friends!

Also during a walk on Brae Island we bumped into our dear friend Dayanna and snapped a few pics. Thanks for your great attitude Day. You are so fun. :)

Brae Island, 2016

Look for the Mountains.

My mom sometimes says that she has a map in her head. I believe her. She is like a human compass. She always knows where she is, and what direction she needs to go to get to where she wants to be. This gift of direction was not passed through her DNA to any of her children, much to our chagrin (and hers). I remember in my early days of driving, getting lost and phoning home for directions. This was in the days when people would look up a map on the computer at home, print it off, and then point themselves in the right direction and hope they didn't miss their turn-off. 

"I am lost, mom."

"Look for the mountains," she would say. "Where are the mountains? The mountains are in the north".  

For my 17-year-old self, this was little consolation. Living in the Fraser Valley, I could see mountains in pretty much any direction I look. A few life experiences and a geography degree later, I understand what she meant. These mountains are hard to miss. 

As I get older I find myself sounding more and more like my mom. 

"Look at those mountains!" I tell whoever is in the car with me. Almost any conversation can be immediately interrupted if there is a good view of the mountains. The mountains make me smile. Sometimes they make me want to cry. On a clear day they take my breath away. When I am lost I know where to look. 

Langley, B.C.

Pink

Langley, BC

I have never been a fan of pink. It was a conscious decision I made at the age of 6 or so, to not pursue pink things. There are a number of reasons for this - the first of which is that pink was my sister's favourite colour and I felt the need to stand out in some way and be different. There was something symbolic about it too. I think even at a young age, the colour pink stood out to me as a representation of delicacy, or fluffiness, or something like that. No one told me that pink meant any of those things, but in my mind it was quite clear. I was a tomboy. I was adventurous. Pink had no place in my wardrobe. 

Somewhere along the way I got over my pink aversion. I still don't wear it a ton, but I am not so adamantly opposed to it either. I don't really know how it happened... but if I were to make up a story about it, the story would begin here, in the spring time. 

I am a lover of nature, especially seasons. I love noticing the changes that take place through the year, and the beginning of spring is among my favourite times. The winter is filled with whites and grays, and then suddenly.... PINK! Of all the colours to boldly enter the landscape after months of gray, pink is the one to burst through. Perhaps I didn't give pink the credit that it deserves. Perhaps, pink is not so helpless after all. Perhaps pink is more of a force to be reckoned with than I knew. 

We have a tree in our yard that has been begging to be photographed, so today we spent a bit of time together. 

Oh springtime. Pink isn't so bad. 

Glacier, WA

A favourite get-away spot of ours is Maple Falls. It isn't too far from where we live already, but somehow the act of getting away, and not being physically home, gives us a sense of relaxation and adventure. 

If you find yourself in Glacier, be sure to check out the Wake'n Bakery - it is a favourite of ours. We always stop there after a day at Mt. Baker

A new blog...

I have written personal blogs before - or story blogs. My previous blogs have all had one thing in common: an end date. My previous blogs coincided with experiences that were bound by time - usually a trip that I was on, or a new place that I was visiting. 

What about a blog about this place?

I am blessed to live in a place which, depending on who you ask, might be called the Pacific North West, the Canadian West Coast, Nuu-chaa-nulth Nation, Beautiful British Columbia, or the Greater Vancouver area. Where I live it is mostly green, it rains a lot, we have mountains, ocean, and more coffee shops than we need (although we do not complain about this... we just feel happy about it).

What about an ode to this place? What about the stories that I live out all the time?

This blog is a bit of an experiment, and a bit of a personal challenge for myself to be intentional about noticing the world around me every day. I work as a wedding and portrait photographer, and when I am photographing someone or an event intentionally, I am so mindful of the space that I am in, or the people that I am with. I want that same intentionality to make its way into the way that I see my own life. 

So, the long story short is that I love this place, and I want to show it to you. I want to practice noticing real-life-every-day-unposed things. I love telling stories.

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

 Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island