West Coast Road Trip | Personal - Barkis & Co - Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel, California and Worldwide Destination, Elopement, Engagement, Proposal, and Wedding Photographer
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West Coast Road Trip | Personal

West Coast Road Trip | Personal

We try to go to Olympia, Washington at least twice a year- once in the summer around my birthday, and again in the winter for Christmas. Sometimes it works out that way, sometimes it doesn’t. Our family has been making better habits of coming to visit us now, as well. This summer, we decided to drive north instead of fly because I got a new car and a rooftop tent for my birthday! I was just dying to break it in, and the coastal trip is my favorite by far. Read some of our crazy stories HERE.

This trip was especially nerve wracking because it was the first time Austin was leaving the Pixel Redefined office on its own. Our loose plan was to go north and bring Leslee back with us (Austin’s Mom). She had never seen the California Coast, and we felt it was definitely something she needed to see.

We drove from Monterey to Crescent City (our favorite KOA) and stayed in the roof top camper for the first time. We were really unsure of what to expect, going from a Teardrop trailer to a roof top camper seemed like quite a jump, but we actually loved it. Setting up in the dark for the first time could have gone much worse, but actually went very well, and quick. The inside was surprisingly luxurious and functional, and the material actually gave a blackout effect, so when the sun was rising, we weren’t woken up. That’s somewhat of a win/lose though when camping. Sometimes the crisp morning air with the bright sunrise is the perfect way to wake up when camping, but having the option to completely shut the world out and sleep in was a huge bonus. But, I’ll talk more on the camper later.

We stayed in a new (for us) side of the Crescent City KOA and were very pleasantly surprised when we awoke. Even though we’ve made this drive over 15 times, I don’t think it’ll ever get old. Something about the California Redwoods, that just takes my breath away.

We had our normal morning ritual, closed up camp, and headed to the Crescent City Starbucks for a little morning boost. The pups even got a little “puppuccino” treat!

The rest of the trip was essentially a marathon, but we loved the Sirius XM, perfect weather, and good conversation.

As always, when we crossed into Washington, we were met with rain. By Exit 10, without fail, we always get about 5 minutes of rain when being welcomed into the state.

We finally rolled into Olympia at about 11pm and were met with the smells of childhood and fall.


We spent some time in Olympia, before leaving with Leslee and bringing her back down the coast with us. We got to share with her all of our favorite spots, share stories from when we were Teardropping, climb sand dunes & make priceless memories with her along our very favorite stretch of coast. As a professional photographer, I’ve gotten quite used to handing my camera off, hoping for a great photo of myself & Austin (and usually getting one that’s not too bad) but getting at least 3-4 times the amount of images out of focus.