This year, my family did something we have never done before. You see, my family is from West Virginia. And this summer, we decided to take a family vacation to . . . West Virginia! Not a field trip. Not a day trip to and from a vacation destination. This was a legit, multi-day family vacation to the mountains! We rented a big house. We took off work. We explored the area! In short, we spent a lot of money to explore our backyard.
But it was worth it! Jonathan & Esther (and their family) were in town from Quebec. Robert & Kendalyn (and their family) were in town from Texas. Julianna and I were in town between spring and summer travels. So we took advantage of this unique time and headed off to Snowshoe Mountain!
Of course, I took a lot of pictures while on that vacation. And when it came time to find a photo for this month’s desktop background, I decided I would go through through the photos from that trip to see what I could find. Surely I could find something that would work!
This first shot was from the day we arrived. We traveled up in several vehicles, and Julianna and I happened to arrive first. So, since the rest of the family wouldn’t be arriving until shortly after sunset, we drove around until we found a nice little view to enjoy and photograph the sunset.
The next day, while most of the family slept in, Donald, Julianna and I went for a morning bird watching excursion! We started out our hike along a boring service road. But when we followed little trails off into the forest, we found ourselves in a lush, photogenic wonderland!
We didn’t see too many birds, but we did see some deer on the way out.
Before driving back to the big cabin, I stopped to take pictures of this little cabin that was close to the trailhead. One of my photos was accidently overexposed, but when I pulled it up in post, I thought it was actually a pretty neat effect.
This was more what I was going for.
That day, we took the ski lift from Snowshoe Mountain down to a pristine little lake where we went kayaking. At this time of year, the ski lift was the only practical way for us to get down to the lake. However, there was a problem. It wasn’t safe to take a baby on the ski lift without some sort of baby carrier, and we had 3 babies in our group. So, we put our heads together to figure out what to do. Turns out that Esther had one of those handy front-facing baby carries with her, so with a 7.5min ride one-way, they had all three babies at the bottom 45min later.
In case you were wondering, in the above photo, Jonathan and David are playing Rock, Scissors, Paper with my ski lift companions.
My sky lift companions also enjoyed spotting wildlife along the way too!
I didn’t take my camera out down at the lake. I wasn’t going to risk taking it out on the kayak. But by the time we were finished our time at the lake and had all made it back to the top of the mountain, it was getting on to late afternoon and I couldn’t help but snap a photo from the parking lot.
And guess what else we saw in the parking lot.
That evening, as we sat down to dinner and reflected over a fun day together as a family, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful golden rays of the direct sunlight filtering through the trees onto the front side of the big-cabin porch. I asked Mom and Dad if they wouldn’t mind modeling for me for a few minutes, to which they romantically accepted.
But I think the shot that I liked best from the day to use for the desktop background is a more simple shot of the the exact same golden-hour scene. You can just imagine soaking in the golden light side by side with your best friend.
A Day Together
Monongahela National Forest, Snowshoe, West Virginia
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“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1