Travel Buddies

Picking the right travel buddy can mean the difference between night and day while on an adventure. Choose the right person and the trip is great.  You have good conversations, explore more and time flies with little to no drama.  Pick the wrong person and you can find yourself turning back before the adventure even begins.  Or even find yourself in a whole new realm of adventure filled with frustrations and hurt feelings. I’ve had my share of both over the years but mostly I’ve been fortunate to have good experiences when I choose to bring someone along with me and Cole on an adventure.

Jessie Honeyman Memorial State Park

Recently, I experienced polar opposite sides of that spectrum.  A few weeks ago, I took two different trips to the coast.  The first was a planned two night camping trip in Florence with a friend.  I was eagerly looking forward to cooler temps, exploring sand dunes and enjoying some beers by a campfire.  A couple days before the trip, the drama began and didn’t stop until I found myself driving home early in 3 hours of silence because there was nothing left to say to each other. Shortly after that trip, I went on a day trip to the coast, this time in Northern Oregon/Southern Washington.  The trip was easy, fun and time just flew.  Before we knew it, our one day trip turned into a two day adventure with an over night stay in Port Angeles near the Olympic National Park.  It was completely unplanned for and completely fun, regardless.

These two experiences got me to thinking about past travel buddies.  Immediately I thought of Jim, an old boyfriend that was always up for an adventure.  Together we explored all sorts of things: trails, rivers, parks, camping spots, caves and so much more.  This is when I discovered my love of hiking which prompted me to make my photography hobby a high priority in my life.  He was also interested in photography and together we would spend hours snapping hundreds of shots that would probably bore the pants off any of my non-photographer friends.  After each trip, we would compare shots.  It inspired us to try new angles, and experiment more with our cameras.  I like to think it made us both better photographers.

Kalaloch Beach

One of our more memorable adventures is one in which everything went wrong.  We rented tubes and floated down the Sugar River in Wisconsin.  The river was low which made reaching our end point take a lot longer than planned.  The lower water level also meant that our butts scraped along about a hundred different rocks that hid under the surface of the water.  Each time it happened to me, I’d scream out in surprise — terrifying anyone within earshot of us which made Jim laugh.  My waterproof sunblock didn’t hold out for the length of our float and I ended up with a pretty good sunburn.  Somewhere along the river Jim lost his keys, leaving us with no way to get home, so we had to call friends to come out and help.  We handled it all with laughter though and we looked back upon that day fondly.  Sometimes when everything goes wrong is when you realize how right it is.

After everything went “wrong”

Sometimes I think preparing for a trip is less about things like gear, toothbrushes and maps and more about who you are with and the jokes and stories you tell and how resourceful you are along the way when faced with a difficult situation. I’m sure we all have people in our lives who either encourage us to laugh through the turmoil or who make even the best of circumstances the worst of situations. The next time you find yourself packing for your next adventure, my advice is to leave the Debbie or Doug-Downer behind and bring the Positive-Patricia or Paul.

For more photography from my nature-adventures, visit:

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