Denette and Frank are set to have an intimate elopement in Oregon early fall near the Red Woods. These two are the dream team adventure couple. The two met each other through mutual friends while hiking Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon. They reached out to me because they really wanted photos together as well in the desert, their home. We planned an epic adventure session set to take place starting at Butcher Jones Trailhead, which turns out to be a place they adventure often together. Just a couple of weeks before they had come here to kayak. I love when locations align with client’s lives and mean something to them and their relationship.
Denette and Frank drove down from Prescott, where they are currently residing, for their session. They made a romantic weekend of it by staying at a resort in North Phoenix for some R and R since Denette just finished up with her degree. We had an odd weather day in the valley for sure where it was gloomy and dark. Luckily as we started out on the trail we the clouds parted and the most colorful sunset shown as we captured part one of the session. As we hiked and chatted in between shots Denette and Frank shared with me many of their travels, adventures and hiking memories. We chatting about gear and shoes, Denette had the cutest Chacos! Speaking of odd weather one story they shared with me was when they headed up to Alaska, where she is originally from, to visit some of Denette’s family over the last holiday. They said they were in Alaska enjoying the untouched land in warm temperatures while if you remember their region of Arizona was getting an insane snow storm!! We bantered about future dreams and goals. As they are working to move to the Phoenix region soon they are also reaching for the goal to move overseas somewhere, most likely in the Asia region. They had orginially gotten a truck to be able to get an RV to live on the road full time! Owning their own business together in marketing allows them so much possibilities and I can not wait to see where life ends up taking them, but I know it will be one heck of an adventure!!!
Besides cacti, Denette and Frank were super excited to do photos by a camp fire, of course with more cacti!!! So after we finished up on the trail we headed for a near by service road where camp fires are allowed. We found the perfect spot and began to set up camp and build a fire. Denette and Frank are the real deal, along our hike on the trail they were picking up trash that other folks had left behind. At camp Denette showed me the way that she starts fires, laundry lent!!! She showed me the bag she had saved from doing laundry the last couple of months and how quickly she can start a fire with it. I love how passionate she was about our laundry lent being put to use rather than shipped down to the landfill. So folks, save your laundry lent and take it camping with you, just one more thing you can do to help save our Mother Earth!!! After we got the fire going of course we still had to end the session with popping a bottle of champagne in congrats to the engaged couple!! It was the first bottle of champagne that Frank had ever popped and considering it was in the dark by a fire, he did a pretty good job!!!
It was such a great session!! A fun adventure, ending with a cozy fire surrounded by the desert and nothing else. I wish these two the best of luck on their trails, business and life!! I can not wait to see their elopement, I am sure it will be beautiful!! Also, thank you friends for being care takers of our planet. In honor of this scroll more into the blog to read exactly how you can follow Leave No Trace Principals during your elopement or adventure session!
I am constantly reminding you all in my blog posts to follow LNT principals and linking you to their website. I thought to myself are you guys clicking on it and reading it? Do you understand how it relates to you on your elopement day or adventure session??! So I thought I would take a second and break it down for you!
The seven principals are:
Plan Ahead & Prepare
Travel & Camp on Durable Surface
Dispose of Waste Properly
Leave What You Find
Minimize Campfire Impact
Be Considerate of Others
….AND bonus Minimize Geo-Tagging on Social Media
Believe it or not when you choose to elope all of these directly relate to you! Planning ahead is a huge one!! Knowing which trails and areas you can be in, knowing what not to bring into a certain area and preparing the best you can to avoid any emergencies is super important. How do you prepare and plan?? The best advice, as always from me, is communication. Once you have selected your elopement location chat with the local service rangers to know the current conditions of the area and regulations. You can also do a lot of research online and communicate with your photographer!
Travel and camping on the right surfaces!! Do not take cars off the path designated for them. Camp where you are allowed to only! Rock, sand and gravel are best for setting up camp. If you are eloping in the desert please, please never stand on cryptobiotic crust, if you do not know what this is and are heading out to the area soon please google it so you know what it looks like!
Disposing of waste means your waste, your pets waste and any trash generated by us on the trail or at camp. If you are bringing your pup to your elopement please come prepared with doggie bags! If you need to go to the bathroom on the hike during your elopement, no big deal! This is a natural part of life, but be ready to dig a cat hole or pack it out as well! Waste is a big deal and effects other hikers and our planet, I highly suggest reading more from LNT here. Other waste to make sure you are not leaving along the trail is champagne corks, flowers from your bouquet and any food you bring along. If you are having friends and family and they want to do a sort of send off please refrain from using rice, bird seed, confetti or anything of that nature.
Everyone camping wants a camping fire!! Please respect and understand that if there is a fire ban in place you can not have a fire. If you are planning to have a fire and it is permitted try to use fire rings or areas already made. Be sure once you are done with your fire that you drown and stir it. Never leave a fire not 100% out. Often times during an adventure elopement you will run into wildlife, the best thing to do is admire and do not approach. Never, ever carve into rocks or trees! Just as much as you want to respect the outdoors and critters that call it home we also want to respect other adventurers. We are lucky that people can elope in our National Parks, State Parks, BLM land and more. As much as I want you to enjoy your elopement we do not want to others to not enjoy their time in outdoors.
If you have any questions about how to follow LNT principals while eloping, feel free to reach out or leave your thoughts in the comments below!