personal: that beautiful pacific northwest

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In my last post I shared some of my favorites from Sam + Dustin’s Seattle engagement session (if you haven’t seen those yet, check them out here). This blogpost will pick up where that one left off and show some moments from the following day spent touring the city, followed by many grand adventures in Bend.

Day 1 // Seattle

I say “moments” instead of “highlights” because looking back at these photos I didn’t document all of my favorite things — like the DELICIOUS brunch where sweet Sam met up with us that was so much fun that I never wanted it to end. My dear friend Allison was in Seattle shooting a wedding the same day I was there for Sam + Dustin’s shoot so we got to MEET UP AND HANG OUT IN SEATTLE TOGETHER SO HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?! Life is awesome. And her friend/room-mate, Natalie, was there too because she had second-shot with Allison the day before so I finally got to meet this girl that Allison had been raving about for months. Win-win. You’ll be able to tell we’re all photographers from the following photos because there are a lot of portraits — we just couldn’t help ourselves.

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The hands pictured above are mine — I couldn’t very well leave coffee out of a blogpost about a trip to Seattle. Photocred to Allison . . . or Natalie . . . either way WOO MILSTEAD & CO!

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The next leg of my trip was actually in pretty little Bend, Oregon to see the area where Allison had been living for the past year after she moved out that way for grad school. I had SO MUCH FUN on all the outdoorsy outings Allison took me on particularly because James is not a fan of the great outdoors, so while in Oregon I took every single opportunity I could find to breathe in the grandeur that is the Pacific Northwest.

Day 2 // Tumalo Falls

This morning was actually super-relaxing. I dropped Allison off at one of her grad school classes and then explored in town a bit on my own, got me some amazing breakfast and laid in a hammock drinking coffee reading Valley of Vision until it was time to pick Allison back up. For a small business owner whose work literally never stops, this was divine. Later that afternoon we met up with Allison’s boyfran Johnny to go belay down a waterfall. Just your average day in Bend.

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Below is my nervous laughter like I’m totally cool with the fact that my life was going to be in the hands of a guy I’d just met that day. (For the record, it turns out Johnny is pretty trust-worthy.)

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Day 3 // Smith Rock State Park

So the trees in Bend were suuuuuuuuper yellow (yes, all 8 of those ‘u’s are necessary) and we spent most of the morning marveling at this fact. The rest of the afternoon was spent at Smith Rock State Park which I really cannot state emphatically enough how beautiful it was. We hiked up Misery Ridge and you’ll notice there aren’t that many photos of our route up because I was panting too much to take photos, but the views were seriously so great I would do it again in a heartbeat next time I get the chance.

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Okay so there is a funny story that goes with the next two pictures. We were walking along the trail deep in conversation when we pass this 3-4 foot snake and Allison just walks right past it like it’s no big deal and I’m all “Ummm, shouldn’t we acknowledge this sizable snake with some sort of exclamation at the very least??”

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Not ten minutes later we’re still walking and talking and all of a sudden Allison lets out a full-fledged scream . . .


To this day I refuse to stop giving her a hard time about her inappropriately proportioned reactions.

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Day 4 // Proxy Falls

OH ME OH MY this was the day I saw the most beautiful site I’ve ever seen — Proxy Falls. We stopped for coffee in Sister’s and I looked every single person I passed in the eye just to check and see if any of them were Rainn Wilson (none of them were, but it didn’t hurt to make sure), then we set out on the most glorious road trip. First we drove through the lava fields (those were made of lava). Next, just picture this scene with me: winding mountain roads lined with massive trees filled with yellow and orange leaves, perfect fall weather, Sigur Ros playing on the radio, and your arm hanging out the window while you take it all in. I think if the ride to Proxy Falls had not been that momentous I might have straight up dropped dead when I first saw the falls but at least this way I had a bit of a warm up.

It was a little hike to the falls, during which we ate our delicious, home-made sandwiches that Allison concocted (but really, Allison, send me that recipe please) and before we knew it we there there.

Proxy. Falls.

Just . . . wait until you see the photos and see if you still think I’m making too big a deal out of this. Actually, the pictures really don’t do it justice, but at least they’re something.

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Obviously any of the photos that I’m in (other than this one below) were taken by the lovely Allison Harp.

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And as if one waterfall per day were not enough, we ended the day at Sahailie Falls.

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The next day I didn’t take any photos because my super-gracious host and I were out of the house by 6 a.m. to get me to the airport. That right there is the mark of a good friend.

Allison, let’s do this all again ASAP, mmkay? Thanks.

2 Responses to “personal: that beautiful pacific northwest”
  1. allison says:

    ciabatta rolls!
    mozzarella if you’re not lactose intolerant!

    literally alllll from trader joes. yummy in my tummy.
    now i’m all about the bagel sandwiches. get an everything bagel and toast it, add tj’s salami + turkey, and squish half of a salted/peppered avocado onto it. it’s the best ever ever ever ever.


  2. Travis Gilley says:

    Jillian! Deb showed me this post because we’ve been thinking about taking a roadtrip through the PNW. Great pictures! I was reading through and just wanted to comment on the fact that you mentioned Valley of Vision! I haven’t heard of many people reading that book but if it’s the same one I have, then props to you! Definitely a good read for a nice quiet morning.

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