On the west coast of Washington, hours from any big city, lies paradise for those of us who love wild places. Huge mossy old-growth trees, waterfalls, rainforests, snowy mountains, glacial lakes, endless pathways, rugged coastline, seastacks... It's all the magic of the Olympic National Park. When Susan and Dustin told me about their plans to get married under the roots of a giant floating tree on a beach in the region, I couldn't wait for the day to come.
The day of their wedding, we went adventuring at Lake Crescent and the Hoh Rainforest for portraits, and back to their oceanside reception. Their ceremony under the tree, surrounded by friends and family from all over, was nothing short of gorgeous. Before I left for the evening, Susan mentioned wanting to get her dress wet. Never one to discourage such things, I walked them down to the driftwood piles of the beach.
"How far in should we go?" they asked, holding hands, toes in the cold cold water of the northern Pacific Ocean.
"Only as far as you feel comfortable!" I suggested, preparing for some splashes and laughter.
What happened next happened so fast that I barely remember photographing it. They ran in, and kept going, and just as I started squealing about a big wave, there it was--BLAM.
Lesson learned: my idea of comfortable is a bit different than that of a military couple who have both spent time in Afghanistan. They were soaked, laughing and covered in sand. I was delighted.
Congratulations to these wonderful adventurers! Well done!