Turn 30... Hike To Punchbowl Falls

This weekend I hiked out to Punchbowl Falls with my friend Heather in celebration of my birthday.  (Not that I really need a reason to hike to the Falls, but declaring it a "birthday celebration" makes it that much more exciting!)

It was a lovely day for a hike with blue skies, bright sun and a crisp fall chill in the air.  The hike was a relatively easy 1.5 mile out-and-back with very little elevation gain, and beautiful views all around.  During most of the hike the path is skinny with few places to pass people and a pretty steep drop off on one side.  But they've secured cable to other side, so if you have bouts of vertigo, there's something to hold onto which is great!  I, thankfully, didn't need the cable, but we saw many who did.  I imagine in the spring when the path is wet with spring runoff, the cable would come in handy for those slippery moments.

Once you reach the rock bed where Punchbowl Falls feeds into Eagle Creek there's lots of beautiful nature to check out!  There's boulders for climbing on, cliffs covered in moss and fungus (neon green fungus that's awesome!) and HUGE trees crying for hugs.

Visitors have left their mark with stacks of rock, and it's really neat to see them poking up across the river bed.  I much prefer this reminder of visitors past to the crude markings on trees and rocks with paint or marker. 

All-in-all it was a beautiful day, beautiful time spent in nature and was filled with good conversation with a good friend.  In my book, this counts as the perfect way to celebrate a milestone birthday!


Thirty, Flirty and Fun (aka HOLY POOP I'm 30!)

So... I'm 30 now...

O. M. G.

For some time now, I've been looking forward to my 30th birthday.  I've felt like that's when I'd have everything figured out.


That's when I'd know myself, have the perfect career, have a family and just be on my way.

How naive was I?!

Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty darn happy, and feel more like myself than ever, but I definitely do not have everything figured out.  And you know what?  That's ok!  If I had everything figured out life would be pretty darn boring.  I wouldn't be surprised when things get shaken up a little bit, or have any challenges to overcome, or goals to attain.  And while I haven't accomplished a few of the things I thought I would by 30, there is so much that I have accomplished that I'm pretty proud of.

So with that, I give you my list of Thirty Before 30 & Thirty After 30.
Thirty things I accomplished before I turned 30, and thirty things I hope to accomplish after.  Some of these things are big, and some are pretty small, but all have (or will) shaped me into the person I am.

Thirty Before 30 (in no particular order)

  1. Marathon
  2. Hiked Grand Canyon
  3. Graduated with a Bachelors
  4. Moved to Portland
  5. Lived by myself
  6. Fallen in love
  7. Healed from a broken heart
  8. Traveled to Mazatlan
  9. Completed a century bike ride
  10. Para-sailed
  11. Traveled to San Fransisco
  12. Published (writing)
  13. Published (photography)
  14. Embraced a job I love
  15. Made amazing friends
  16. Stayed close with immediate family
  17. Asked for a raise and received it
  18. Valued myself enough to leave a bad job situation
  19. Bought and fully paid for my car
  20. Got my first tattoo
  21. Been to Disneyland
  22. Been to Epcot Center/Disney World
  23. Competed in the Dirty Dash
  24. Had my photo on the cover of 3 magazines
  25. Been photographed with the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile
  26. Made a difference in the lives of children at the Boys & Girls Clubs
  27. Taught photography 
  28. Changed my own flat tire
  29. Hit a grand slam to win a game
  30. Been there when family needed me most

Thirty After 30 (in no particular order)

  1. Learn to rock climb and kayak (own equipment for both)
  2. Compete in triathlon
  3. Photograph Santorini at magic hour
  4. Sky Dive 
  5. Get Scuba certified
  6. Visit Great Barrier Reef (and scuba there)
  7. Run sub 6 hour marathon
  8. Run sub 3 hour half marathon
  9. Get a dog
  10. Learn to surf
  11. Zip Line in New Zealand
  12. Adopt a child (or 2) from the foster system in my own city
  13. Hike to the top of Mt St Helens
  14. Start a nonprofit
  15. Sit on the board of a nonprofit
  16. Become debt free
  17. Swim with dolphins
  18. See a Broadway show on Broadway
  19. Run the Race to Robie Creek
  20. Author a book
  21. Cliff dive in Hawaii
  22. Learn to ballroom dance
  23. Be in Times Square on NYE
  24. See a baseball game in every stadium (preferably all in one year on one epic roadtrip)
  25. See Dave Matthews Band in the Gorge
  26. Compete in the Tough Mudder
  27. Get certified and run my own spin class
  28. Have my own gallery show of photographs
  29. Hike each hike in the Curious Gorge guide book
  30. Have the cover photo of a national magazine


Le Happy... That's Me!

Current Things That Are Making Me Le Happy
(aka 5 Things I'm Grateful For Today)
  • My natural strength in networking is helping out a few really special people right now
  • Morning light streaming through my apartment window warms my toes as I type
  • Coffee this morning smells as good as it tastes
  • Conversations in the last 24 hrs with friends and family reminds me just how blessed I am
  • My birthday weekend of awesomeness kicks off in 30 hours!!!


A Heart That's Full

5 Things I'm Grateful For Today
  • Cooler temps in the mornings and evenings... hoodie with shorts weather!
  • Planning a birthday weekend with family.
  • Planning a beach camp out with the bff and looking forward to seeing his son's first glimpse of the ocean.
  • Fresh flowers on the windowsill.
  • New friends to take long walks and chats with in a city that I love.


Weekend Hikes and What I'm Grateful For

5 Things I'm Grateful For Today
  • Waking to the sound of rain outside my window.
  • Morning text conversations that make me feel loved and cared for... even from afar.
  • Neighbors that share my taste in music so I'm able to play it loudly.
  • Sore muscles that remind me that I'm alive and able to traverse mountains.
  • Living in an area that is so green and offers beauty everywhere. 


August in an Instagram

bike rides | beach time | pancakes | cute shoes

personal growth | split lip | dijon catsup | empty tank 

birthday parties | zoo time | flowers | writing

strawberries | coffee | friendships | summer fun

August was a great month, and September is already shaping up to be amazing too!!
How was your August?  Can you believe that fall is just around the corner??


My Labor Day Weekend in iPhonography

It all started with an AMAZING concert at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland.  I was introduced to Civil Twilight last October by a good friend, and instantly fell in love with their sound.  When I read that they were going to be in Portland this past weekend, at a small, intimate venue and the tickets were only $12 I quickly got on my phone and started inviting people.  We ended up with a group of 12, and it couldn't have been better.  Such an amazing night!!

Then on Sunday I spent the day at Cannon Beach with a good friend and his lovely kiddos.  We flew kites, built a sandcastle, played in the surf, collected sea shells, played frisbee and window shopped.  The weather could not have been more perfect, and the entire day was wonderful.

And then today I enjoyed picking flowers on Sauvie Island with a new friend and fellow PDX photog Linnea.  Afterwards we grabbed coffee at an adorable little cafe called Oui-Presse, and I do believe I have found my new favorite coffee shop.

All-in-all it was a wonderful weekend and a great kickoff to September!