Last week I did something I haven’t done in a very long time. I took a personal vacation. Sure, I was still taking photos – but there were no clients waiting for images, no emails to be responded to, no phone calls to make. All I had to do was hang out with some amazing people and enjoy the great outdoors.

I boarded a plane heading to Seattle at 7:00 am. Landing at 8:30 am PST, we had the entire day to roam around the surrounding mountains. It was raining, as it usually is in the PNW – but we didn’t care. We headed to the classic Rattlesnake Ridge for a little jaunt through the woods. As we reached the iconic ledge, the rain turned to sleet, which turned to snow. The clouds came and went. We waited atop the ridge until we had a clear view of the Cascades to the north.

The following days we ventured out to the Olympic Peninsula to enjoy two of Seattle’s nicest days all winter / spring. We walked on the sunny Rialto and Second beaches and called it a night watching the sun set beyond the silhouetted sea stacks. Falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore just a dozen yards from our feet, I had one of the best night’s rests I’ve had in a very long time.

We woke before the sun to head to the Hoh Rainforest to capture the morning light sneaking in through the moss-covered trees. You literally feel as though you have stepped into another world when you enter this place. The greens are more vibrant than anything I’ve ever seen before. Honestly, this place needs to be on your must-see list next time you’re in Washington.

We started to make our way home with a few stops planned along the way. First, Cape Flattery, then Lake Crescent to attempt the Storm King hike. Sadly, the weather didn’t want to cooperate with us and we decided not to risk getting stuck in a thunderstorm on top of a mountain. We stopped at a few waterfalls, hopped on the ferry, and headed home for the night.

The next morning, my final morning in this magical place, we made our way deep into the Cascades – chasing waterfalls and incredible views every step of the way. The clouds rolled in and out, sprinkling mist on us here and there, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Stopping at one of the best drive-in burger joints around, we had our last meal together before my flight back to Minneapolis the next morning.

This trip was everything I thought it was going to be and so much more, a perfect little escape to one of the most beautiful parts of our country

Brandon EckrothComment