OVERALL ROAD TRIP STATS
-69 days on the road (ALL of June & July)
-9 states visited
-29 National Parks, National Monuments, and State Parks visited (+ many other natural areas)
-10,000+ miles driven
-41 nights spent in my van
-20 nights spent with friends
-7 nights spent in airbnbs
-16 photoshoots as either the photographer or model
-18 rolls of film taken of other people
-20 rolls taken of landscapes for double exposures
-29 self portrait sets taken
-140 video blogs taken (I only missed 2 or 3 days the entire trip!)
I’m currently at Ignite! A small burn (think Burning Man but a LOT smaller – like 600 people) in the Virginia mountains. This is my second year in a row coming here. Last year was transformative and I’m excited to see what kind of experiences I have this time around!
I get home from Ignite on Monday and I’ll have 3 days to unpack, do laundry, repack, say goodbye (for now) to loved ones, then I’m leaving on the 31st for my first solo cross country road trip!!!!
I’ve been dreaming of visiting ALL of the National Parks for so long, and this summer I’m going to visit a BUNCH of them! First I’m heading straight over to Denver Colorado. I’ll be there for a day or two, then I’ll be off to Utah for a week or so before I make my way through California, Oregon, and Washington.
I’ll be sending out regular updates so you can follow along on my journey!
Here’s a list of the places I’m hoping to visit throughout June & July:
Dead Horse Point
I’ll be spending most of my time in June by myself in the desert. I’ll be taking a lot of self portraits, video blogs (vlogs), and creating courses (more on that soon!). I’ve never spent more than a week or so by myself so I’m really looking forward to getting to know myself better, and spending a LOT of time outdoors.
In July I’ll be meeting up with creatives in Seattle and Portland, I’m so excited!
Colorado National Mounument
My 2 month solo cross country road trip has officially begun! I left NC Friday the 31st and drove to southern Illinois, stayed with Tiffany Nacke for the night, photographed each other and hung out the next day, then I continued west and made it to Topeka Kansas late Saturday night. Sunday I drove all day and made it to Denver before sunset! I’m really proud of myself for making the trip from Charlotte NC to Denver CO in only 3 days. WHEW!
Monday I stayed with my new friend Singingsiren44
and on Tuesday we drove into the Rockies and took photos in the mountain wilderness. On Wednesday I drove to Colorado National Monument, stayed the night, and explored more on Thursday (and almost got in big trouble with a park ranger but I am privileged and LUCKY AS FUCK and didn’t). After the ranger incident I decided to go ahead and head to MY FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH Moab Utah. I’ve been here since Thursday evening and I’m SOOOO happy to be here again. I’ve taken 11 self portrait sets (10 of them in 1 day), visited Canyonlands, Arches, Dead Horse Point, Castle Valley, and the La Sal Mountains.
Yesterday and today I’m relaxing because I’ve been going non-stop and need a break!
I’m making daily vlogs about my travels, click here to watch them
! (And find out more about the park ranger situation haha)
Dead Horse Point State Park
I’m on day 22 of my road trip and whoa… out in Southern Utah amongst several National Parks it’s pretty difficult to find reliable internet and facilities. It’s been nice being semi off the grid (sometimes I get 4G on my phone so I can post to IG, answer emails etc), but now I have a BUNCH of computer work to do and there aren’t a ton of places to do it. I’ve been able to find showers and laundry easier than I’ve been able to find places with free wifi. Small town coffee shops so far have worked best for me, but they’re not in every town.
I’ve been having a wonderful time exploring so many bucket list places since my last update: Goblin Valley, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase – Escalante, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Valley of Fire, and Red Rock Canyon. I took a bunch of self portraits at Goblin Valley, Bryce Canyon, and Valley of Fire and I’m so excited to look through them!
I’m currently in Vegas, even though I originally planned to skip it entirely. I’d rather be in nature than in big cities, but my body and mind needed a BREAK and I found a great airbnb for pretty cheap, so I’m here for 2 nights and it’s WONDERFUL. I took a SHOWER for the first time in a week, I did LAUNDRY, I’m sleeping in a bed that’s not in the back of my van for the first time in 2 weeks. It feels so gooooooooooood to be in a climate controlled house, in a big bed, on my computer getting stuff done. Also relaxing. Bigtime relaxing. Doing heavy emotional work on myself. Celebrating the fact that I still have over a month of road trip adventure left on this trip and I’ve listened to myself and my BODY when I needed a break from the constant go go go.
If I can find a place to work for like, one day a week, I feel wayyyyy less stressed. I have a lot of stuff I can do on my phone with 4G, but there’s a LOT of stuff that I need my laptop and wifi to do, like this newsletter and uploading videos etc and if I wait for over a week to do anything I start to get really stressed out because I see the work piling up on me. I am here and being productive and also RESTING and RELAXING at the same time and ohhhhhh it feels great. <3
I’ve continued to make at least one vlog every day so you can follow along on my journey, click here for the entire gallery of videos! There’s a LOT.
Valley of Fire State Park
Officially one month on the road and I’m exhausted, but very happy.
Since my last update I…
-Spent a few days at an amazing Airbnb in Joshua Tree with some friends and made some AWESOME art (coming soon to my website!)
-Got a stick n poke tattoo
-Spent an afternoon in Joshua Tree National Park
-Spent 2 days driving through and exploring Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (holy shit Sequoias are huge and old, wow such energy)
-Spent 3.5 days driving north through the Eastern Sierras, visiting Alabama Hills, Sabrina Lake, Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Silver Lake, Mono Lake, and Lake Tahoe
-Had a few days of freaking out because I took the saniderm off of my tattoo too early (late night bad decision that I REGRET), and was scared that I got it infected which turned into me feeling like I’m not taking care of myself and like I’m a failure (it’s healing better now but I’ll probably need to get it touched up)
-Learned that I should probably not get tattoos while on the road
-Had my first experience since being on the road of having trouble finding a place to sleep… a couple nights ago I went to FIVE different places before finally settling down at the SIXTH place. Drove around for an hour and a half trying to find a place I felt safe to sleep. Whew. Glad that’s only happened once so far.
-Spent a lot of time next to rivers, lakes, and waterfalls. If you’re ever at Lake Tahoe I HIGHLY recommend Eagle Falls! It gets busy really fast so go early morning!
-Decided to skip Yosemite because the main road into the park doesn’t open until after the timeframe I’ve planned to be in that area. Plus, I believe Yosemite deserves more of my time than just 2 days. I want to come back next year for at least a week. Apparently there’s a Vipassana center there?! I REALLY want to do a Vipassana and OMG how amazing would it be to do one in YOSEMITE?!
-Am FINALLY spotting on day 45 of my cycle!!!! Last time I went on a road trip my body did this… waited a LONG time before bleeding. I guess it’s the extra stress on my body from all the traveling.
July is when ALL THE THINGS happen! I spent pretty much all of June completely by myself, but July is when I’m being hosted by model friends, having a bunch of photoshoots, and hopefully doing even more hiking!
I serendipitously scheduled myself to be in Portland on the same weekend as the Oregon County Fair and I’ve heard about how amazing it is so I plan to go at some point during that weekend. =]
I’m currently at an airbnb outside of Reno for the weekend so I can do a TON of computer work, shower, and DO LAUNDRYYYYYYY! Clean sheets and wifi are such a luxury.
Joshua Tree National Park
Since my last email I’ve visited Lassen Volcanic National Park, Arcata CA, Redwoods National & State Parks, and (briefly) Eugene OR. I had an overnight camping and half day shoot adventure with a photographer in Lassen, which was a trip! I was NOT expecting it to be as cold or for THAT MUCH SNOW to still be on the ground! There were sections of the park that were still under about 6 feet of snow… IN JULY! A couple of lakes were still ice and snow covered, with just the tiniest bit of BRIGHT BLUE water peeking out underneath. The campground we stayed at was not in the snowy area (thank goodness) but there was definitely a fair amount of snow still on the ground in the forest nearby. Lassen was definitely on the more extreme side of landscapes to model in. I scraped my body up posing on sharp pine needles, rough tree bark, and even inside of a burnt-out tree!
I spent a couple days with friends in Arcata CA, and I fell in LOVE! <3 They live NEXT TO A REDWOOD FOREST so of course I took a walk in the forest every day I was there. It was incredible, I wish I lived close to a space like that. Ferns as tall as I am, clovers as big as my palm, and Redwoods towering above. It’s magickal in there. Not only is Arcata beautiful forest-wise, but it’s also only a few minutes away from the Pacific Coast. They took me to Moonstone beach and my first time seeing/touching the Pacific ocean did NOT disappoint. There were huge rocks, lush green caves, and TIDE POOLS! My first time seeing tide pools, too… such a beautiful mini-ecosystem.
After I left Arcata I went through Redwoods National & State Parks, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, and Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park. I spent most of the day driving through groves of enormous trees and happened to park at the trailhead for Big Tree which is 286 feet tall, over 23 feet in diameter, and estimated to be about 1500 years old. All of the parks were wonderful, but I think my favorite was Howland Hill Road through Jedidiah Smith. It’s a really narrow 2 way dirt road that’s 10 miles long and takes you through a big chunk of the park and has lots of places to stop along the road. There are a few places where the massive trees are growing so close together that only one vehicle can get through at a time. I did part of the Boy Scout Tree trail which was GORGEOUS, but it was almost sunset and I ran out of time to walk the whole trail. I definitely want to go back and spend more time there in the future.
I just got to Portland (after a very brief stop in Eugene for food and sleep), and I’m in a coffee shop getting some computer work done until I can meet my friend at his place after he gets off work. I have an exciting few days coming up! I have a half day shoot with a photographer outdoors somewhere, and the next day I have a modelographer group shoot at a nude beach! AHHHH so excited!
As always, I have lots of new daily travel vlogs for you to watch! click here
Columbia River Gorge
Oregon is GORGEOUS, y’all!
I’ve spent the last several days here in Portland and I’m LOVING IT! I’ve had a shoot every day, including the nude beach gathering group shoot a few days ago which was SUPER FUN! By the end we had a naked cuddle pile of 8 people on the beach while a photographer photographed us with their drone! AHHH! I am SO EXCITED to see all of the images from that day, I got a sneak peek of the drone shots and OMGGGG <3
If you’re ever in Portland and want to see lots of gorgeous nature stuff, go to the Columbia River Gorge area. Just… wow. I’ve spent 2 days there this week and I’m in LOVE. Beaches, waterfalls, forests, mountains… it’s all there.
I’m heading to Seattle soon for another week full of photoshoots. I’m meeting up with some friends I’ve shot with before and also meeting several new people I’ve followed for a long time, so I’m looking forward to creating lots of art. As always. =]
Mt Rainier National Park
I’ve been spending the last 2 weeks with a shoot just about every day, and they’ve all been wonderful! The shoot that I’m most excited to tell you about is the nude beach group shoot I organized outside of Portland.
None of us knew everyone, most of us knew one or two people, and some of us had never even met anyone… and we all came together with creativity and love. We spent a decent amount of time just hanging out at first, then once most of us were there we all got in a circle and introduced ourselves and said what we could contribute to the group (photographer, model, assistant, BTS etc). I led us through a really short group meditation, then we talked about what we all wanted to do first, made some vague plans, then started shooting! The group morphed and changed, smaller groups broke off from the whole, people moved from group to group, and by the end of the day we had an 8 person nude cuddle pile while Jake took drone shots of us from above!
It was an incredible experience and now I’m more excited than ever to start planning more in-person creative gatherings.
Glacier National Park
Holy moly why have I never made a trip to Montana or Wyoming before?! It’s GORGEOUS here!!!
Since my last newsletter, I’ve spent a decent amount of time in Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Tetons National Park! After I was in Tacoma for about a week, I went back to Portland for another last minute shoot, then I headed East for the first time in about 2 months. I drove from Portland to Glacier, spent a couple nights there, then a couple nights in Yellowstone, drove through some of Grand Teton, and now I’m in Thermopolis WY staying with friends of the family for a couple nights. I’m doing as much computer stuff as I can today while I have wifi, and this evening I’ll probably go check out the hot springs in town! I’ve been near a lot of hot springs on this trip but I have yet to get in one… hopefully I’ll have experienced a natural hot spring for myself before my next newsletter!
I probably won’t be doing these newsletters every week (like I have been) once I’m back home because I won’t have as much to talk about. I plan on locking myself in the house and going through the THOUSANDS of photos I’ve taken on this cross country adventure and getting them ready to share with members of my website. I’ll probably do newsletters every 2 weeks or once a month in the future.
*If you follow my instagram and watch my stories regularly, you’ve probably seen that I’ve been going through a lot of emotional stuff lately. I made a really vulnerable vlog about what’s going on with me personally that’s in there with my other daily vlogs. If you’re curious what’s been going on with me, that video explains it really well.*
click here for the daily travel vlogs I’ve been making for this trip!
Yellowstone National Park
I got home on August 7th after 69 days on the road. This is by far the longest trip I have ever been on, and the longest time I’ve been on my own in my entire life. It changed my life, honestly. I now enjoy spending time by myself, and look forward to it! I never wanted to be alone before. I care even LESS what people think of me, which is really awesome because now I have a lot more room in my brain for much better things like what I want to eat and where I want to explore next! haha
I have complete faith in myself that no matter what life throws at me, I can handle it. It might be hard and uncomfortable, but I am capable. I have a large support system of wonderful family and friends and if I should falter, I know they will help pick me back up. I am so grateful.
Since July 1st….
I’ve visited: Lake Tahoe, Lassen Volcanic, Arcata, Redwood, Portland, Tacoma, Mt Rainier, Bainbridge Island, Olympia, Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Thermopolis, and Bloomington! (California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Illinois)
I had 13 photoshoots. I organized a nude beach gathering with 8 other people. I went to 2 different nude beaches. I drove over 5000 miles. I stayed with friends for 20 nights and slept in my van 17 nights.
I saw the Pacific ocean for the first time, saw tidepools for the first time, and had my first natural hot spring experience!
I became single, by choice, for basically the first time in my life. I’ve learned that solo polyamory and relationship anarchy feel the best for me in terms of relationship at this point in my life.