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CUhlDesigns Adventures 2017


CUhlDesigns just took a few months off of social media. Where have we been and what have we been up to? ...

Here's a little overview of the last few months:

I went on a road trip and photography adventure. The trip lasted the whole month of September. It spanned 5 states and almost 4000 miles. There was no plan other than aiming for Oregon. Here's where we ended up going.

I car camped through the entire journey with everything I needed to cook, clean, and take care of any emergencies along the way. My dog Kymani was my only companion and he was the perfect one to have. We dispersed camped along BLM land throughout southern Idaho finding challenges on Appendicitis Hill, stumbling upon the Moon's Craters, and into bird sanctuary along the Snake River. We met an interesting couple at CJ Strike Reservoir, and made our way to Caldwell to catch up on uploading photos and answering emails. I got to face time with my brand new niece for the first time before heading over the border to Ontario Oregon

Ontario stuck out for one funny reason. I was low on gas, so I pulled into a gas station and before I could get out of my car a man approached my vehicle and said "How may I help you today?" With a bewildered look on my face I walked through it in my head, and asked "Wait a minute you guys pump my gas for me here?" He quickly and humorously explained that it's Oregon law to have an attendant pump your gas for you. For those of you who have never been to Oregon, there's one common thing that's unique here (and in New Jersey); gas is not self serve, as in, you're not allowed to pump your own gas. It's certainly an adjustment for someone who's not used to it, but I think it's kinda nice apparently some don't.

I kept trekking after that and found a nice camping spot on a pass just outside Juntura Oregon which is the kind of town that "You'd miss if you blinked" as my dad used to say. I must have ran over some type of nail or something because as I got to the top of the hill I noticed my tire getting low and could hear it leaking, I didn't want to be too far away from potential help, so I chanced it and made it all the way to the next town which was Juntura which happened to be about 70 plus miles away from the nearest auto body shop so I ended up having to unload my car, dig out my jack, change the tire and was offered help by three different very kind gentleman that did all the work for me and even set me up with a room for the night at the little multi purpose building that was a truck stop, cafe, motel, gift shop, restaurant, diner, and trailer court all in one.

The next morning I was on my way to Burns to change my tire and track down my friend from Bend. Les Schwab is a tire shop out west and those guys hooked me up! They offer free flat repairs and not only was that the right price but I was in and out super quick, they were super nice to my dog and had coffee and snacks available. I really lucked out with that experience. I got a hold of my friend from Bend the next day when I got there. She had just left that morning. When she was telling me this she happened to mentioned that the friend she had planned to go on her trip with wasn't able to make it so she casually mentioned that she had an extra ticket to the punk rock festival she was headed to in Tacoma. I was ready for some friends in my world, so I plugged it in and it said she was only 5 hours away, so I went for it.

She was camped in Millersylvania campground outside of Olympia and I made it there sometime around midnight. I woke up the next morning feeling like I had found a glorious blend of all of the gorgeous forests I've already known. It was amazing and very reminiscent of the Redwoods. We made our way to our hotel and got ready for the festival. We were lucky with awesome weather for the whole show. It was the NOFX Punk in Drublic beer fest. It was an entertaining display of how the world of punk rock has aged and was a great time.

My friend Sarah had planned her trip as week long tour of the Washington coast. After the show I decided to head along with her and camp out along the coast with her. We went into the heart of Seattle for lunch the next day and got to experience the awe of the Pike Place Marketplace before hopping onto the ferry over to the Olympic Penninsula. Sarah ended up in the Bremmerton line and I ended up in the Bainbridge line. We were both confused but luckily Bremmerton wasn't much further than Bainbridge.

Knowing nothing about Seattle or that area of Washington, I was fascinated by the amount of water, not only was the climate itself wet, but there is SO MUCH water there. Granted I'm from the high desert of the Rockies and the Sierras so I am very used to dry climates. My friends, Northwest Washington is a true rainforest. It's so amazing and so alive and so breathtakingly unique and intimidating in it's own way. I went through Port Gamble and met Sarah at Lake Leland. We stayed there and headed straight into Port Angeles the next day for lunch.

I fell in love with this town. We weren't even there long, but it was my kind of town. Their town slogan is "Where the mountains meet the sea" and as you finish reading it on the way in it opens up and you see a stunning, vast and healthy mountain ridge that runs into a cute little mountain town that doubles as a major port town and the "Gateway to Victoria" before leading into the wide open sea. We ate lunch at the New Day Deli and that place would be a daily routine if I lived in Port Angeles. Eclectic unique options with lots of flavor for a decent price and pleasant staff. Sarah moved on to set up camp, but I had some more computer work to get done so I walked around and on my way back to the car found a place called the New Moon Saloon, They were super friendly, had great beer and had the perfect little nook for me to work in. It was a dated little place with a mini stage set up in the back with a cozy pool table room up front and long time locals bellied up at the bar.

I left to head to the campsite and find Sarah. The campsite was at the far end of Lake Crescent. Highway 101 hugs much of Lake Crescent and when the highway met the lake I got very distracted, It was GORGEOUS. It reminded me a lot of the lake I grew up by in California but it was so serene and untouched the water was bright blue there wasn't a single boat or person anywhere on the lake it was cold but the water was a pleasant temperature. It may have been the most beautiful lake I have ever seen. That campsite was also amazing. The setting was a web of green moss and tree roots. We had a lot of fun trying to make a fire that night.

The next day we went to the next town called Forks stocked up on supplies and headed towards the Hoh Rainforest. I had finally found my National Parks pass, and it was the last month to use it so, I convinced Sarah to go check it out with me. I feel like every time I go to a new National Park, I have that feeling in the back of my mind that there can't be much that I haven't seen, but every time I am purely fascinated. The trail we chose to take was called the "Hall of Mosses." It was exactly that crazy cool massive trees covered in years and years of moss and forest growth. The water was crystal clear. The trail was a quick loop, but I could not stop taking pictures.