Seattle to Banff

Friday, July 11, 2014

We had been looking forward to an epic camping road trip for so long, and it was what kept me alive during finals, knowing that there were good things ahead (like sleep and campfire food and long drives through the mountains). It was a frantic few days of catching up on work and errands before leaving for two weeks, but there's nothing like the feeling of finally being packed and pulling onto the highway with a tank full of gas.

We got a pretty late start on our first day, so we camped at Larabee State Park, not far from Seattle. The next day, we met up with friends in Vancouver for breakfast, then coffee, and lunch (phew!), and continued our drive. Talking about the trip got us even more excited. 

Out of Vancouver, we took Highway 1, which would eventually get us to Banff, our first destination. At the beginning of a road trip, we always stop way too much for photos, not knowing how much amazing scenery lies ahead. That was exactly the case. Every mountain view and motel sign and country cafe looked amazing. We happened upon a flea market on the side of the highway, and did some browsing through antiques. We made it to Kamloops and did some grocery shopping to fill up our coolers and get us hungry. By the time we got to Kamloops, it was dark, and we needed to find a place to sleep. Instead of driving out to a campground, we found a random place in the foothills outside of Kamloops popped up our rooftop tent. It was pretty spectacular to wake up in the morning and realize what a beautiful place we had chosen to park in the dark.

The next day we had breakfast in town and continued our drive. We raced a brightly colored train along the highway, jealous of the train's views along the banks of a river and through rocky mountain tunnels. At some point we got hungry, and made lunch and a fire near a lake. Life slows down when your home is your car and you have no appointments to make. You can even make a fire during lunch.

That evening, our car's brakes went out. And just a couple days into our trip, the adventure got a lot crazier. But I'll save that for another post. 

- Julia

We found a random spot in the foothills outside of Kamloops to park for the night.
Not expecting this scenery in the morning!



47 comments :

  1. This is so lovely, your photos are incredible. I felt like you really captured the whole feel of this trip, excellent work! I will be in Banff at the beginning of August and I'm very excited. Aside from that... YOUR TENT LOOKS SO COOL! It's on your roof, like whaaaaat? Where can I get myself one of those? Am I the only one who has never seen that before? xo

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    1. Aimee - Haha, thanks! It's a TJM Yulara rooftop tent. We got it at a local shop near Seattle. Also check out Treeline Outdoors and Poler Stuff rooftop tents.

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  2. These photos are amazing! & whattt you have a tent on the roof of your truck?! I've never seen that before!

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    1. Julie - We got it before our trip! It mounts to the roof rack and is super handy for road trips where you're camping in a new spot every night. As you unfold it, the tent pops up on it's own. :)

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  3. Ooooh yay! I loved reading this and seeing these photos! Can't wait for more! :D

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  4. How did you compose that star shot?!?! I am a newbie and have tried many a times to get some good stars & moon photos and fail miserably... share??
    Loved the post by the way. So gorgeous.

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    1. Auts - Tripod + long exposure. You have to leave your shutter open for a long time to let the most light in (it was much darker in real life than the photo leads on). Try it again! :)

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  5. Love this post! Your pictures are truly breathtaking and that tent is suuuper snazzy! I look forward to more posts!
    http://www.diariesofarucksack.com

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  6. beautiful scenery. I miss Canada :)

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  7. Looks like a really fun trip!

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  8. It looks like your trip was pretty amazing. Love these photos! <3

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  9. Love this colorful train between mountains and forest!

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    1. Travel Magnet - Couldn't stop taking photos of that train! Hope it wasn't too many.

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  10. you guys are so incredibly inspiring. keep on going!

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  11. amazing pics :) www.bloglovin.com/awanderlustblog how on earth did that tent stay up on the roof??!

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    1. Gina - It's mounted to the roof rack. We didn't just plop a regular tent up there. :)

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  12. I've seen posts about your trip on instagram and I was waiting for this post! It's beautiful (:

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  13. I love your photos!
    I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I enjoyed watching these photos! :)

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  14. what a beautiful scenery to wake up to! it's so good to know that places like these exist and that they are so accessible, because by looking at these photos, you wouldn't think that it's real.

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  15. Wow that star picture is incredible! But they all are, as always. :) You're making me want to head out on a road trip right this second!

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  16. gorgeous photos! what an awesome road trip. the views are breathtaking.

    xoxo, Oleah
    travel-simply.blogspot.com

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  17. Wow this sounds like an amazing trip and I can't wait to hear more about it. It looks like you picked an absolutely surreal stop for the night and your photos are just gorgeous! X

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  18. Wonderful blog and superb photos! <3 You two are so lucky and extremely talented! I love this rooftop tent, I guess I'll get one soon, and could you please tell me, what cam do you use? I'm considering buying Fuji x100s + VSCO package [one or two of many], and to be honest, your photos look a lot like the ones from Fuji. Best wishes to you two, xo

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    1. Ola - Thank you! These were shot with a Nikon D800 and Totally Rad Actions. But we also have a Fuji x100s and VSCO and love both. The Fuji is a great travel camera because it's much smaller/lighter.

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  19. your photos are gorgeous, as always. hoping for a mountain/ wilderness themed mr and mrs globetrot calendar for 2015. :)

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    1. kkp - Thinking about making a calendar with images from Peru. What do you think? Plenty of mountains there too.

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  20. p.s. i love how you and yuriy photograph each other. how you each feel about the other is evident through your images.

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    1. What a sweet thing to say! I wish we could take photos together when we travel, but this is the next best thing.

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  21. Your photos are absolutely awesome! I want to go camp there!
    http://johced-ourjourneytoeverywhere.blogspot.com/

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  22. Oh my goooooooodness these are all beautiful. The photo with the stars and the ones with the logs are my favorites!

    xx
    scarlettandgiselle.blogspot.com

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  23. Everything in your hands always turns out pretty. No other camping road trip was beautifully captured as yours.

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  24. love love love love love!!!! Thank you for sharing! I bet waking up in that tent was just absolutely incredible:)

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  25. I loved following along on instagram. Thanks for bring back my favorite memories!
    http://liveitinerantly.com/

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  26. These are utterly amazing!

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  27. Love all of your photos, of course. And your trip looked fun, even with the snag you mentioned. Sometimes I envy your adventures when it's not quite as easy for us to just get up and go with the little ones, but I always remember that we have adventures too, they're just different. :)

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    1. Jessica - Thank you for the sweet thoughts. I know we'll also have a very different season of adventures when we have little ones. :)

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  28. Fucking beautiful ! I haven't other word !
    Don't stop to share with us your great trips.

    Love from France,
    Anna.

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  29. I felt in love with your pictures and I can't wait to read a see more from you road trip!

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  30. I couldn't love your photos anymore than I already do! You two look like so much fun. I'm wondering how you shot the image of your car with the night sky--it looks like there's a flash? Is this true?

    xx Emily

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    1. Thanks Emily! We didn't have a flash with us. It is a long exposure image. Camera was on a tripod. Yuriy painted the car with a flashlight from outside and I did the same from inside the tent. I was already in my sleeping bag ready for bed. :)

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  31. very beautiful photographs and stunning nature!

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  32. I've made the drive through the three valley gap more times than I can count, and your photos capture how gorgeous it is perfectly. In fact, I think they look even better than in my memory..

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    1. Jesse - Haha, nope it really is that beautiful. :)

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  33. Oh man I can really appreciate bloggers who also take great photos. Love them, especially the ones with the logs! So inspirational.

    http://itsjpei.wordpress.com/

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  34. Wahou! I'm just discovering your blog guys, and I have to say I so love your style. The pictures and everything. This is so... different. I'll definitely follow you. And first, go discovering some of your posts :)

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    1. Miles of Happiness - So cool!! Glad to have you along.

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  35. Next time you're in Washington, make sure to check out Olympic National Park. If you like this kind of scenery, you'd love this place!

    http://www.descendingreality.com/olympic-national-park-washington/

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