What started as an engagement shoot in Louisville, KY turned into one of the most seat-of-your-pants girls trips through our beautiful state of West Virginia. I had blocked out a weekend during busy season to travel to Louisville with a friend to shoot a great couple's engagement photos. There were massive rain storms predicted to hit Louisville, so we had to reschedule. Since I already planned on having a few days off, 3 great friends and I decided to hop in the truck and take off. No plan. No hotel reservations. Just hitting the 'ol dusty trail to find some adventures (and a crapload of giggles).
It is amazing how freeing and fun this trip was. We just wandered. Also, Ashleigh thought we'd kick it old school and use an actual map. I was all for it! But no. Just no.
I took my old camera (because everyone knows how overprotective I am about my newer baby), and tried to capture some of the beauty. I know my soul needs a trip like this one way more often than once per year and I am beyond thankful I got to experience it with my beautiful friends.
Ashleigh with the map that lasted 1 minute. Nope.
My beautiful and thoughtful mother made us all treat bags for our road trip with our names stamped on them. She has done this kind of thing for almost every trip I've ever taken.
"Our Lady of the Pines" tiny church. It is REALLY tiny. Seats 12.
Some people with Ashleigh's last name visited this same little church close to the time we were there. So cool!
Tiny post office!! ....Find Bria!
Here is the cutest, quaintest, place we ended up staying the first night.
Not pictured: Our Fun European man friend randomly visiting West Virginia, AWESOME band that was scheduled to play the next night at the Purple Fiddle, next door, that played on our porch for HOURS into the night -jam style. Ask Danielle if you want to hear them. She bought every album they ever made, and maybe even a t-shirt.
Dark Snap chat photo.
I'm sure in its prime or during a certain time of year, the Cranberry Glades are beautiful. The time of year we were here, we felt like it was somewhere bad people hide bodies. Desolate, grown over, and creepily quiet.
The path to the New River Gorge Bridge overlook was having maintenance done. We were pretty bummed. Ashleigh and Bria went over and asked the maintenance man where we should go to get good views and he sent us down a steep, narrow, winding road to the most beautiful spot. We stopped along the road and got some great views too.
Sent this quick photo home to let Bryan know his truck was still in one piece.
Now I'm not sure if this is a regular thing at the little beach we ended up exploring, but it felt special. There were thousands of butterflies hanging out on a very small amount of shoreline. It brought us so much joy. Bria was the butterfly tamer.
This photo is the result of Ashleigh trying to either pick one up or get a perfect photo of the butterflies.
I asked the girls to send me some of their favorite photos that they took during our trip....
A few of Danielle's favorite photos from her phone:
Here are a few of Bria's favorites from her phone:
A few of Ashleigh's favorites from her phone:
After playing with the butterflies at the foot of the New River Gorge bridge, we packed in the truck and headed home. I love you girls. I can't wait until the next adventure!
No matter where I roam, there's no greater feeling than being home sweet home.
Lots of love,
West Virginia Wedding, Family, & Lifestyle photographer