This week Brooks and I are taking different trips, road-tripping together up Highway One together before going our separate ways. I fly out from San Francisco and he continues on to Bend in Oregon, where he lived when we first met.
I first visited him in Bend in February 2018 when he lived in trailer on some friends' land in Deschutes Woods. I'd managed to get the cost of the trip covered by shooting a story on treks around the area for Culture Trip. I was nervous and excited to see him, happy to have some work planned to focus my mind.
Fortunately Brooks was keen to help me with the story and those images became the first documenting our mutual love of hiking and exploring. He has much more experience than me, having completed the PCT trail a few years ago (which we hope to repeat together!)
On my first few days we walked through the woods and along the river in Bend, climbing Pilot Butte before dining out at the restaurant he worked in at that time. We took the trail Tumalo falls with his dog Maynard, a gorgeous walk with spectacular views of the falls.
Maynard is a shepherd-mix that Brooks got from the humane society in Bend. We have had some great days with him, either hiking or chilling at the house in Deschutes. Maynard still lives with Brooks's friends, who we try and visit whenever we can. He is a total sweet-heart and still adores Brooks.
I think the highlight of the trip in terms of vies was Smith Rock, where Brooks and his friends climbed while I took photos from down below. Smith is dramatic, with many miles of hiking trails with viewpoints along routes that overlooking the Crooked River and nearby rock formations. The two main trails are the Summit Trail and Misery Ridge.
Smith was meant to be my last day in Bend, but after too many movies and a few mezcals I managed to sleep through my flight (6am in all fairness). So... we found the time to climb another butte (Bessie Butte) and were rewarded with the first snow of the season - my first sight of snow in years!