Through a Rainforest to a Winter Wonderland/ Olympic National Forest and Leavenworth with my love

Three weeks out in the northwest with my love, Hanna. I caught a flight right after Christmas, December 26th and made my way across the country.

Hanna’s father had to work on New Year’s eve so chose to take off a few days before and take everyone to Kalaloch lodge, where they went as kids. Kalaloch is in the Olympic National Forest in northern Washington, and also in a rain forest so I was expecting a ton of rain… and that’s exactly what we got. Along the way, we stopped at Ruby Beach also.

 

Ocean Shores

After Kalaloch, we made our way back south back home to Ocean Shores. We weren’t able to get away from the rain though! Well besides the last day. But all in all, the rainy trip to the coast was amazing.

The coastline had such a mirror like appearance that these photos don't do any justice but I tried my best.

 

The film camera in Hanna's hands she got for Christmas!

Right here is where we made our way up Livingston mountain, a local spot around the neighborhood. Before this, I managed to pick up a mint 35mm film camera and photographed a portion of my roll of Agfa Vista 400 up there.

It took about a half an hour of driving to make it up to this point. Hanna and I had gone up here during the winter but not nearly this far because the road was impossible to drive on at this point. Being so above the clouds puts into perspective of how small we really are. I stood at the edge for a few moments to take this all in.

Off to Leavenworth, Washington

This is where the large part of the trip begins! A five hour road trip north to Leavenworth for my birthday. We were expecting some snow through the passes, but not nearly as much as we encountered.

We had driving for sometime and kept looking over the river. It got to a point where we couldn’t take looking out the window, and we pulled over. The light in the gorge was incredible, and it was actually hard for Hanna and I pick our cameras up and take photos.

Another one of those photos where a camera can't pick up all the beauty.

Leavenworth is a Bavarian town nestled in the mountains with a bunch of Christmas/ tourist things to do. The town is literally Christmas all the time and every building fits the Bavarian theme.

This was the view from our hotel room at the Icicle Inn. It was a bit cloudy when we checked in so we couldn’t take in how large the mountains were. Hanna and I woke up and ran straight to the window as the clouds cleared.

Being right under Stephen’s pass, we drove more north and admired the mountainside.

 

Being in the mountains gave you a sense of peace. Every trip we’ve been on, Hanna and I have always driven into the distance with no real destination, and it always ends up being amazing. This time wasn’t any different.

As we drove more north, we began to run into more and more snow, but we were in Hanna’s Jeep so that didn’t stop us! The roads were windy, snow was getting taller and taller, and it seemed the trees were in such a defined pattern. Tons and tons of snow on the tops of them, and the mountains kept getting taller and taller.

We saw a parking lot so we pulled off for a little bit, and then realized it was a ski resort!

Hanna and I tried to keep heading more north, but the fog prohibited that. It was also starting to get dark and didn’t want to be going through a mountain pass at night, so we turned around. This had to be one of the most beautiful drives Hanna and I had ever been on.

The 59er diner had to be one of the most random sights along this ride back. It was closed when we arrived but still, something out of the ordinary.

That night, local road crews shut down the pass to leave because of the amount of snow, but we weren’t upset! We chose to get a nicer hotel room a little bit out of town and enjoy our unexpected day. Hanna arranged that we go to a real Reindeer farm in the morning and that’s just what we did.

This was our little loft cabin at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort! Well not so small for the two of us. This room actually fits five but we enjoyed the extra space. Even between other cabins, we felt so isolated, like we were the only ones in the forest. And it may seem funny, but Hanna and I had never used a towel warmer before, so we put all of our clothes on the rack and snuggled when they came off.

It’s also a little weird to me that I’ve never photographed Hanna as a model, but we changed that too!

 

We had heard of a hot pool at the resort so we went and checked it out the night before but didn’t bring our cameras. Just went to enjoy it. The morning we had to check out, we headed there earlier to enjoy it one last time and take photos. It was hard to get out and actually check out as Hanna and I could have stayed in the water for much longer.

Ah, the start of the ride back home. I could describe this trip to a winter wonderland with so many words, but I’ll just say what I feel as the strongest one; perfect.

Photo taken by Hanna

I never really know how to end these blog posts. It’s always hard leaving Hanna. It’s like you get used to living with someone and then you’re hopping back on a plane. Every trip has its’ own set of memories that are priceless, and every goodbye is never easier than the last. This birthday has been the most perfect one yet, and I’m getting ready for Hanna’s!