I am so fortunate to have such awesome, talented assistants who also share the same passion for outdoor exploring and epic adventures that I do. So that when we book a wedding in the middle of nowhere Idaho (Bonners Ferry), we make a little road trip adventure out of it for good measure... throw a little camping, hiking, and boating in there - WORTH IT.
I'll never turn down a road trip, especially if it involves driving through the gorge.
Ellie is my full-time assistant this year and I absolutely adore her. She has a sweet, quiet, kinder spirit but is such a badass undercover. She shows up with all of the camping gear and all of the outdoor skills. Katelyn has been with me for a couple of years working part time, and she is always full of joy and can rap any song you ask her to. I can always count on her to show up with good vibes all around, every time.
We drove a straight 12 hours from Portland, OR to Banff National Park in Alberta, BC with stopping only a handful of times for potty breaks and snacks. Go us! Our jaws literally dropped as we turned around the first corner and witnessed the majestic mountains, as we approached Banff National Park on the last home stretch. But the sun was setting, and we were trying to avoid setting up camp in the pitch black, so we only stopped for a few photo opportunities and opted for just a few photos out the window as we trekked on.
We spent 2.5 days hiking around and exploring the National Park, making sure to see all of the good spots. Peyto Lake, Two Jack Lake, Lake Louise, Lake Moraine, The Historic Cave and Basin, and the Upper Hot Springs were some of our classic favorites, just to name a few. We also had a lovely rooftop dinner, enjoyed some beers in a downtown dive on a rainy afternoon, and enjoyed making coffee and eggs in the morning once we finally got our mini camping stove working back at our Two Jack Lake camp site.
Our 3rd day, we packed up and drove another 5 hours to Bonners Ferry, Idaho. We filmed a lovely backyard wedding all day the following day and stayed in the cutest, little, small town, family owned lodge (Log Inn at Bonners Ferry) for 2 nights. Seriously the cutest. I would go back to middle of no where, Bonners Ferry, Idaho, again just so I could stay there again. So, so darling. Shout out Katelyn, too, for keeping us fit on our trip and giving us personal workouts in our little lodge room.
Since neither of my girls had ever spent time in one of my favorite places on Earth, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, I saved a day to pit-stop and explore the town on our way back home. We made friends with some kind gentleman with a boat, and gave Ellie her first time (ever in her life) experience on a boat. There were a lot of firsts on this trip :) We shopped downtown that evening, had a fabulous dinner, and went back to what we thought was going to be another lodge hotel, but found out we were basically back to camping in our "glorified camping" 2 bunk hut situation. It was actually so cute that I didn't care. It even had an adorable little porch swing. No complaints.
We saw so many beautiful places and had so many different experiences in a matter of only 5 days. After spending 120 hours straight with you girls, and at least 30 hours of those being in a car with you, I can honestly say I still love you both dearly ;)
Katelyn and Ellie, Thank you for always doing stellar work for me, but more importantly, for always be willing and excited to enjoy life with me.
Until next time Banff... we love you.