She needed to get her portraits done and when her mom gave me the liberty to choose a theme, my little cousin and I went to the drawing board. Being a tomboy, she automatically went for the gun and camo theme. Although at least an evening was spent deciding on the type of combat boots and belt – we ultimately decided to go with the ‘white dress’ idea.
That’s where everyone started getting carried away. Now we weren’t just tossing options from our closets into a pile of ‘maybes’ in the corner. My little cousin and I were literally running down the aisles of thrift stores in gossamer wedding gowns, testing to see which would flow better in the wind.
Location of choice? That was another problem. We started with Joshua tree and were suddenly plotting to sneak out of state.
“So, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Zion, Vegas and then back home – all in one weekend?” the fifteen-year-old texted.
“Do you think we can do it?”
It was a mess. A hot mess. My cousin and I had spent the majority of an afternoon coming up with an insane road trip adventure. Four states, three national parks and one night at the Entertainment Capital of the World. All we had to do was convince the driver and our parents that it was a plausible itinerary. But even when there was success with the driver and somewhat with the parents – we had yet to convince ourselves that the planning and financials of the trip where sound. In the end, we stuck with the original plan of going to Joshua tree.
So, how did that go? Well, I spent the majority of my Friday evening laying on rocks, watching the stars graze the earth and wondering where my little cousin was. She, meanwhile was in Big Bear with the second half of the group. They didn’t arrive until the sun peeked over the horizon.
Breakfast was sizzling back at camp when the girls and I snuck away. We walked by families still sleeping in their tents, crossed past rock climbers adjusting their harnesses and even came upon a camp with a lingering sent of cannibals. The repulsively large clown statue in the center of their encampment encouraged us on our way until there was nothing left but an empty desert field.
This was the result:
Lighting was a bit of a challenge, but with a reflector in hand, the images came out decently.
After the pictures, my friends and I went climbing, and on to enjoy the rest of the park.