Oregon_Blogging Backwards

April 4, 2016
Kate Pullen

Looking back at the few months of 2016, they seem a blur…

I worked hard this winter to take every opportunity I could to push myself to be a better myself as a photographer and a better person. Three months of intense work and soul-searching. I tried to start blogging from the beginning, but I couldn’t ever get started. So, now, I am going to start at the end of the Winter, and work my way back through the past few months.

Every couple of years we’re able to take a working vacation where we can combine working remotely and spending quality time together. It’s really important to me because during the rest of the year I’m gone a lot… physically and mentally.

Last June Kate ended up finding an amazing deal on tickets to Portland, which just happened to be close to great friends and during the kids’ Spring Break. So, last week, in less than 20 hours of returning from 8 days in Puerto Rico for a David Alan Harvey Workshop, we were back on a plane, this time in the opposite direction, to the West Coast.

We landed in Portland with no plan for the first couple of days until we would visit friends… not even a hotel reservation.

We actually sat in a parking lot at a Walgreens for over an hour trying to figure out what we were going to do.

Totally not us at all, we usually have some sort of plan. (Kate has a plan… I follow.)

Sometimes going without a plan can lead to the best adventure. No plans led us in the first 24 hours to: follow a friend’s advice to our first stop at Voodoo Donughts; take a ride on the Portland Sky Tram; tour Oregon Zoo; browse Powells City Books; eat “The Best Pizza Jackson ever had”; drive through some of the most beautiful forests we’d ever seen; and end up unintentionally with a room in Garibaldi, a small fishing village on the Oregon Coast. On our way to visit friends in Washington State we spent 2 hours hiking in the rain through Tillamook forest, toured (and sampled a lot of cheese) a cheese factory in the “Land of Cheese, Trees, and Ocean Breeze,” and climbed rock cliffs by the ocean.

The next few days we had overdue time with some great friends stationed with the Coast Guard at Cape Disappointment. The time with good friends in itself was incredible, and to top it off we got to hike in Cape Disappointment, see 2 lighthouses, visit Astoria, eat in a restaurant where glass floors gave us a view below to harbor seals hanging out on the dock. On our way inland from the Washington coast to Bend Oregon we drove through rocky coastline, breathtaking forests, and made a wrong turn and ended up down the street of the Goonies house. We saw snow capped mountains, highland desert, rocky gorges… all in a 3 hour drive. Oregon is a crazy incredible state. We spent our last two days catching up with friends, making new ones, hiking in the forest.. the kids having lots of nerf gun wars… all the while it gave us lots of opportunities to shoot, talk “shop”, and spend time reflecting on our lives and work.

It is pretty incredible all the things we got to see and experience having no plan…

Most importantly, this experience gave me time to process through the winter work, workshops, exams, projects, shoots, investments, as a whole. Photography is a blessing to me. I’m thankful to be able to do it. Most important, I don’t ever want to get so caught up in it that I miss out on the real blessing, my family.


Kenzilla looking out the window on the Sky Tram in Portland.


Jackson, Kate, and Kenzey on the Sky Tram… I think this was after a “family argument” at the top of the tram. Family vacations are full of those for sure.


Oregon Zoo. If there is a place with animals in any city, my family will find it.


My wife… seriously an orangutan wannabe… seriously.


Ever travel with a picky eater? Jackson has one main food group in his diet. Bread. He found this bakery in Garibaldi, and was pumped.


First long hike along the Oregon Coast. Kids had been cooped up in a plane and car for over 24 hours… They were driving themselves crazy. Let them out on the beach… and they were happy.


Rainy hike in Tillamook Forest.



Constantly was amazed at every turn.




Our friend Nick, gave us a grand tour at Cape Disappointment. Kenz is standing in front of a WWII bunker.


Flying High in Astoria.


Aerial View of Astoria.


The Beach at Cape Disappointment, Washington.


Mini Kate… “Thing One”


Mini Me “Thing Two”


You know your kids are from Hatteras when every lighthouse they see they say, “Yeah, but ours is better.” Had to explain to them that these lighthouses aren’t as tall as Hatteras because they are on rocky cliffs, and Hatteras sits on the sand.


Kenz’s favorite moment was passing over Mt. Hood. This was more snow than she had ever seen in her life. We had to pull off the road so that she could jump in it.