Our Favorite Photos of 2016

This year has been a total whirlwind for us, thinking back to where we were at the beginning of 2016. Though this has not been the most amazing year on record for the world, for us we can honestly say this year has been increadible. We have experienced, grown, and learned so much. To reflect on our year and the first 8 months on the road we each picked out each of our top 5 favorite photos of the year and some details about how they came about.


MAK

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Photo 1: Luna on a Bucket

Date: April 9th, 2016

Location: Our house in Atlanta, Georgia

Photographer: Owen

Camera: Sony A7R

This is Luna. She is our lovely cat of 6.5 years. As much as we have tried to turn her into an adventure cat who loves vans…our efforts were fruitless. If there is anything that Luna likes less it’s moving. This picture was taken during our yard sale where we got ride of the last of our possessions before we hit the road. Prior to this room being totally empty, there was a couch against that window it was Luna's favorite place to sit and guard the house. As things started to leave the house we were constantly switching in different objects so Luna could remain at her post. After the yard sale, this empty rubbermaid was all that remained. Im sure you can tell that she was totally thrilled about it. For those that are curious Luna has taken up post in South Florida protecting Owen’s parents from geckos and frogs.

Photo 2: Owen Leaving the Beach

Date: August 8th, 2016

Location: Somewhere on the Oregon Coast

Photographer: MAK

Camera: Sony A6300

After spending a ton of time on the California coast we started to work our way up into Oregon and didn’t expect a huge change in scenery. We were so blown away by how we could go hours with out seeing anyone. We stopped at every beach that we had time for. At this particular beach we spent a few hours running up and down the beach, climbing the rocks, and talking with two of the funniest/goofiest locals we have ever met. It will be a long time before we forget those two. We headed back up to the van during the last moments of the golden hour. With the light and tunnel made by the foliage it was a beautiful end to an idyllic day!

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Photo 3: Tanner, Jackson, & Marco 

Date: August 17th, 2017

Location: Seaside, Oregon

Photographer: MAK

Camera: Sony A6300

When in Portland, Oregon we stayed with our good friends Danny & Kristin and the boys Tanner & Jackson. We all decided to go out to Danny’s family beach house for the weekend to surf and hang out. The fog was thick most of the time, so the second it cleared out we all made a beeline for the beach. We all frolicked in the water and tossed shells into the waves for Marco to fetch. Days like this are hard to describe, it was just wonderful in everyday. This picture is the only way that can accurately sum up the evening.

Photo 4: Waiting in Line for Bao

Date: September 14th, 2016

Location: London, UK

Photographer: MAK

Camera: Olympus MJU2, 35mm

While we were traveling the the United Kingdom we were with our good friends from college the whole time. We left London a day after everyone else so it gave us a little time to wander just the two of us. Owen and I are really into food, so we did some research and found that with our last remaining night this is where we should go. Warned of lines we went happily and hungry. This tiny little hole in the wall is located on a side street in a trendy neighborhood in London. We stood in a line across the street from Bao for nearly an hour…it was worth ever second. Small, delicious, and full of style. This picture is a perfect representation of our fond memories of that night and of Bao.

Photo 5: Sunset Crew

Date: November 18th, 2016

Location: Double Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Photographer: Owen

Camera: Sony A7R

We spent a good amount of time In Utah this year, and two + weeks of that was in Moab. Moab feels endless to us. There is so much to do there and we barely scratched the surface. On this particular day we hiked into the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park, an area requiring a backcountry pass to enter. It was a full day with new and old friends exploring a part of the park that is void of trails or designated view points. We all totally wore ourselves out that day in the Furnace but decided that we had time to catch Double Arch and the surrounding arches by sunset. It was well worth the effort. Owen caught me, Thomas, Austin, and Kyle watching the last moments of sun from the day at the edge of double arch as the super moon started rising over the park. It was another increadible evening. 


OWEN

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Photo 1: Sunrise on Stanley

Date: June 16th, 2016

Location: Indian Break Rocks, Arizona

Photographer: Owen

Camera: Sony A7R

In the middle of a race across the country we stopped for a night at some BLM land called Indian Bread Rocks. Having no expectations of the place we were completely blow away. Just 10 minutes away from I-10 was this wild place that had some Joshua Tree-esque rock piles (not pictured here). This was also the first night that really felt like we were alone. Something about that feeling really got us excited for all that was to come this year. This picture was taken the next morning when I ran up a pile of rocks to catch the sunrise. 

Photo 2: Admiring the Night Sky

Date: June 24th, 2016

Location: Death Valley National Park, California

Photographer: MAK

Camera: Sony A6300

Absolutely my favorite night photo we have taken. We had just gotten the van back from the shop after a few breakdowns around Las Vegas. The breakdowns were only happening in extreme heat and there was a lot of that in Death Valley this summer. We decided to wait until late afternoon to go through Death Valley to avoid the hottest part of the day. We made it through without any issues and pulled over for a bit to take a look at the stars while we basked in the glory of no breakdowns. It is still the best night sky we have seen. Mak snapped this and a bunch of other great shots while we were admiring the stars. 

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Photo 3: Shelby (Owen's Sister) Standing in Among Giants

Date: July 4th, 2016

Location: Sequoia National Park, California

Photographer: Owen

Camera: Sony A7R

For the Fourth of July my parents flew out to Los Angeles to see us and my sister (who lived there at the time). I wanted to show them some of the amazing scenery out there and settled on Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. We left very early and didn’t get back until after midnight but it was so worth it. Getting to share that experience with my family was a particularly special moment amongst a year full of them.

Photo 4: MAK Jumping into a Swimming Hole

Date: July 23rd, 2016

Location: Tahoe National Forest, California

Photographer: Owen

Camera: Sony A7R

One of the best weekends of our year had to be this one. We met up with Ben, Matt, and Allie who were strangers to us. We instantly hit it off. The next day we did a 10+ mile hike (round trip) to this little pool. At the swimming hole we lounged and perfected our jumping skills (as you can see). On the way back we ran out of water but still managed to survive although there were some doubts. We made it back in time for a great sunset to cap off the day. Doesn’t get much better.

Photo 5: Cape Sebastian at Sunset

Date: August 8th, 2016

Location: Cape Sebastian State Park, Oregon

Photographer: Owen

Camera: Sony A7R

The Oregon coast is an amazing place. We’ve all heard about the California coast, but Oregon has a lot going on too. It seems like there are state parks all along the highway up the coast. We were coming off a beach and struck up a conversation with a couple of wind surfers. They were a funny couple of dudes but they did point us to Cape Sebastian. We made it at the perfect time. The light was simply amazing and we managed to take some pretty sweet photos there. This one looks like a painting but it was real.


We hope that you guy have enjoyed the journey thus far! Happy New Year to all of you from the bottom of our hearts! Stoked for all that lays ahead! <3 MAK, Owen, & Stanley