Christmas Socks and Calendars

My dad is one of the most difficult and one of the easiest people in the world to Christmas shop for. He is difficult to shop for because he doesn't want "things". I've scoured dozens of "Top Christmas Gifts for Guys" type lists, and finished the lists discouraged because every single item listed is one that would make my Dad a bit puzzled as to why I spent money on that for him. He doesn't want the latest tech gadget or bacon Band-Aids.

He is easy to shop for though because he likes new socks. For years I've defaulted to getting him new socks for Christmas. And when I say socks I'm not talking about the fancy stylized ones with cool colors and patterns. Nope, they are the black or white cotton crew socks that come in a big bag and happen to be the socks that he wears to work every day.

You may be thinking at this point..."What in the world do Rochelle's dad's socks have to do with calendars???". Well you see, this year he actually asked for the Wandering Washington calendar for Christmas! Which means that calendars are officially a fantastic Christmas gift for the people in your life who are difficult to shop for.

This year you can elevate your gifting game from socks and give that difficult person (or people, let's be honest!) a stunning calendar they will enjoy throughout the entire year.

Check out the calendars available here!

Pssst... Dad, you still have to act surprised on Christmas! 

 

Fantastic Trees And Where To Find Them: Crater Lake, Oregon

Crater Lake National Park was actually one that surprised me. Some places or parks are so well known and so photographed that visiting there for the first time almost seems too familiar, like you've already partially experienced the place. Crater Lake was a pretty unknown location to me. I knew it was a crater, and a lake, and had heard that it was gorgeous, which was enough for me to want to see and photograph it.

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I visited on a cloudless day in early October, and in those conditions the lake looks Photoshopped it's so blue! The lake doesn't have any water flowing into or out of it, and it happens to be ridiculously deep, giving the lake it's pristine, vivid sapphire hue! It's the deepest lake in the United States and comes in at ninth deepest in the world. To give how deep Crater Lake is a sense of scale... you could stack the Eiffel Tower, Washington Monument, and Statue of Liberty in the deepest point!

Have you been anywhere that has surprised you with how amazing it is?

Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: Okinawa, Japan

This post might be a little more accurately titled "Fantastic Tree *Roots* and Where to Find Them... but it just doesn't flow quite as well as the original title! 

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These fantastic roots were found in Okinawa, Japan. I was off on an adventure to find some wilderness, or at least a night away from the city lights with the intent to camp on a little beach cove I'd found on a map. At the time I had a mini-minivan, seriously it had the sliding side doors and all, only it was the size of a car. The road to get down to the beach just added to the adventure with how rough it was, but Dobby, my mini-minivan dealt with the giant potholes and rutted trail, which meant that I was actually able to get to and camp at the beach cove. While I was there I hadn't planned on doing much photography, but these tree roots growing around a boulder caught my eye, so I grabbed my camera and captured some photos of the fantastic roots.

Has anything caught your eye to the point where you change plans to photograph it, or even just go back to see it a little more closely?

Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: Glacier National Park, Montana

To say that I was unimpressed is a HUGE understatement to what was going through my mind upon arriving at the St. Mary Falls trailhead in Glacier National Park. The last few miles along the road wandering through the park all of the trees were burnt. A forest fire must have swept through a few years ago, leaving the trees charred and the landscape looking barren. The road through Glacier had been full of grandiose landscapes, jutting mountain tops, distant glaciers, and a few really adorable mountain goats, which made the stark, crispy landscape even more disappointing to me. So there I was at the trailhead, unimpressed, uninspired, underwhelmed and unable to see the beauty that was hidden by my not so great attitude. 

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It took around half of the way to St. Mary's Falls along with some pretty stern mental conversations with myself before I started to begrudgingly see the beauty amongst the blacked trunks. I think I may have needed the reminder though, to not just look for the beauty around the trees, but to find the beauty in them as well. So here are some fantastic trees, even if they are a bit on the charred side. This view was looking down river from St. Mary's Falls.

Fantastic Trees and Where to Find Them: Joshua Tree National Park, California

To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely sure where Joshua trees fall on the range of tree to cactus. However, they have tree in their name, so it's just going to have to count today! 

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Joshua trees can only be found in a pretty small swatch of the southwest, concentrated in the Mojave desert. I think that Joshua trees kind of look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book with their spiky poofs of leaves. The place to really experience them though is Joshua Tree National Park. While you're at the park you can wander through forests of Joshua trees, or pick your way up to the top of one of the ginormous boulder piles. Look closely and you may see some smaller cacti blooming and use sun protection while you're there... I learned that one from experience!