Eagle Cap Wilderness by Kiley Melicker

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I made a promise to myself at the end of last summer that I would explore more of my new home through traveling, hiking, and camping.

I spent last weekend in the Eagle Cap wilderness in Eastern Oregon to see the "alps" of Oregon. High altitude, crisp air, and cerulean skies filled my lungs. Every body of water I saw was crystal clear and cold. With my two hiking companions, we scaled 1500 feet of mountain to find windy alpine lakes and quiet emptiness. I have never been in the middle of nowhere like I was on the beach of a mountain lake. I have yet to backpack, but I'm adding it to my wish list for next summer. 

August is ending and I'm already planning places to see for next summer.

More photos of the hike can be seen here.

When you get film developed that is years old... by Kiley Melicker

I found this portrait of my dear friend Eric basking in the sun wearing his most Eric of Eric sweaters. I love it. I think this is from 2013 - the film was definitely expired by the time I got it developed a couple weeks ago.

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I found the most wonderful camera and film development store in Portland called Blue Moon Camera in the St Johns neighborhood. It takes me an hour to get there by bus, but it is worth it. I brought in 5 rolls of film that were untouched from 2013ish (some earlier) and expired. Sadly, many images did not come out in development. The owner of the store helped me out with my 35mm Nikkormat camera which has been acting up. He sent me home with some film and testing to do to pinpoint some issues. I was ready right then and there to just drop of my camera for a full spa day, but taking the time to test the camera will save $$$.

I'm slowly working my way back into film after a 5 year hiatus and it feels right. The hard part at this point is getting all my equipment back into working order - dead batteries and light meters, dusty cameras (dusty brain), mystery film and expired film. I do miss it though, which I take as a sign to return.

Painted Hills, Oregon by Kiley Melicker

I've been wanting to go to the Painted Hills since I first moved to Oregon. July was a hot time to go, but it was worth the sweat and the dust. I saw many monumental rock formations while exploring the John Day Fossil Beds, but the Painted Hills were by far the most beautiful and bizarre. I might have gone to a different planet and not a national park - I'm still trying to understand what I saw.

The John Day Fossil Beds cover a large area of central Oregon. Brandon and I drove miles between units to see formations that varied by color depending on age. It was fascinating but difficult to visualize how much of Oregon that is now a high desert used to be a dense rain forest.

If you're in Oregon and haven't gone, I highly recommend it. We camped near the small town of Dayville in the middle of nowhere with hardly anyone around. That alone was worth the trip. The clear air, the stars, the bats, the views, and the sunsets filled me with peace.

More pictures to see here.

 The Painted Hills

The Painted Hills