Our Pacific Northwest Camping Trip

Hi guys! First of all, sorry for the radio silence on the blog last week. Quite honestly, I just needed some time to play catch up after some travel and so many photo shoots.  But this week we’re back in the swing of things, and I’m working on a couple of really fun projects that I can’t wait to share with you all so soon!

For now, I’m dying to show you the images we captured while we were away on the most epic trip.  It was my 32nd birthday, and I was dying to go camping – so without hesitation, Chris made that happen in the most magical of ways.  It worked out perfectly since one of my dear friends, Jess, was getting married in Portland the following weekend, so we just made a weeklong road trip out of it.

I had never been to Seattle, so we chose to fly in there for a quick day trip – and though we didn’t spend a ton of time there, I vibed with it hard.  The people are intoxicating and so friendly, the food (and the coffee, duh) was amazing, and just the energy flowing through that city had me feeling all the feels.  Not to mention the markets! Chicago is amazing, but what is UP with the lack of street markets on a regular basis? I wish so badly we had more of that around here.

We arrived in Seattle really late (like around 11 or so), and pretty much headed straight to bed since we were so wiped from a long day of travel. When we woke up, it was my birthday, and quite honestly all I wanted was a filling breakfast, some cold brew coffee, and to walk the markets (where Chris bought me a bouquet of flowers, that we ended up hanging in our tent throughout the trip)

The breakfast was a MAJOR hit, and thank goodness because we waited for our food for about 40 minutes, haha! We went to Biscuit Bitch which was amazing – from the customer service, the coffee, to the food itself. Highly recommend it if you visit Seattle!  Chris didn’t want to eat on the street tables, so he took me to this quiet little rooftop garden that he had been to during his last trip there. It was so cute and serene (pictures below)


After we were well fed, we drove over to REI (which just so happens to be headquartered in Seattle – like a kid in a candy store if you like that sort of thing!) and bought the gear that we knew we’d need for the week. A tent, sleeping bags, some shower stuff, we rented a camping stove – you know, the works. We kept it pretty minimal, and survived quite well.. thought we kept laughing at the little things that would have made our lives much easier. Like a lantern (ha)  Once we were all packed up, we started heading towards Mt. Rainier – the campground that we would stay at for the first 2 days.  The drive completely blew my mind. I knew Washington as beautiful, but oh my gosh. We kept pulling over what felt like every 15 minutes during our two hour drive because we either wanted to take photos or put the drone up.

We also came across this little waterfall that was just the cutest. I have this thing with waterfalls – they’re so powerful and though they carry a big kick, they make me feel so incredibly calm. So I was geeking out over every single one we saw, no matter the size.

How To: Tent Camp in the Pacific Northwest - The Calm Collective

Packable Hammock

Once we arrived to the campground, we got everything set up. It was near dinner time by the time we settled in, so we poured some wine (boxed wine for the win!) and whiskey, and began cooking steaks and broccoli on our camping grill while listening to music and enjoying the quiet. I can’t remember a time I had been that relaxed. The bonus? We had zero cell service. Like, zero. 

The next day, we knew we wanted to get a good long hike in, so we decided to do the Comet Falls hike. No one told us how aggressive it was going to be (ha), but all I can say is that it was worth it. I had to stop about 10 times, and thankfully we kept wanting to take pictures and drone footage so it all worked out fine, but there wasn’t enough water in the world to make me feel like I was in shape for that kind of a hike. It was literally straight up the entire way!  But I’m telling you, once we reached the Comet Falls, I almost started crying. It was so beautiful and worth the effort.

Traverse City Whiskey Hat

Isn’t she pretty?! As soon as we got there, Chris grabbed my hand and carefully got us all the way down to the bottom. It was unlike anything I had expected. SUPER slippery and windy beyond belief. If I wasn’t on such a euphoric high from the sounds and the scale of it all, I would have freaked out! The wind was literally trying to knock us over, and we kept having to grab on to each other and the rocks around us. We let out a large HELL YES of sorts (because you have to), took in the water, and walked away soaking wet, smiles permanently on our faces.

The whole way down (much easier, I might add) we just kept saying, “that was so incredibly cool.”  I’ll honestly never forget that moment for as long as I live. Nature, you’re pretty amazing.

DJI Mavic Pro

The 3rd day we decided to camp at Alder Lake. I had this vision of being able to camp on the water at some point during our trip, and holy hell did this deliver.  When we were driving up to it along the highway, it was across the water and I remember saying to him, “oh my gosh – if we could just camp right *there*, that would be perfect.” Guess where we ended up camping? ;)

I’m so beyond thankful for this experience – that I not only survived camping, but loved it, and to have such amazing company alongside me. I should also give him a shoutout and say thank you for putting up with my nightfall terrors! Ha. I swear the minute the sun would go down, my head would be darting in every single direction followed by “what was that?” Also, sidetone: I’m deathly afraid of birds. So poor guy had to put up with my fear of a very occasional occurrence.

Hands down, best birthday yet.  * Bonus: keep scrolling down to see the highlight film we made during our trip!

A little highlight video of our trip: