What a whirlwind! Jasmine’s intimate and meaningful session in Summer Lake Oregon was a first for me. Jasmine’s grandmother (and best friend) sadly left this Earth last year, but not before asking Jasmine to grant her one last wish: to scatter her ashes in Summer Lake Oregon. This is a long one, so let me just start at the beginning.
After boarding my flight, and several several layovers later, I was finally in Oregon! Jasmine had been planning this trip with her bff, Katie, for months! When I stepped off my plane, I couldn’t believe after all the planning that I was finally there! They both picked me up at the airport and just like that, we were on our way to Summer Lake. It was about a 2 1/2, maybe 3 hour drive. And when we finally arrived, there wasn’t a lake in sight. Yea. Google maps showed that there was lake right next to us. But we all we could see was desert.
Confused, we kept driving, until we saw a small water spout out in the middle of the this super dry land. We put the two and two together and realized that this huuuuge lake had dried up from the outside in! We didn’t really have a game plan other than to find the lake. We’re spontaneous like that, but maybe this wasn’t the time to wing this cross country trip! After Plan A was basically completely shattered, we decided to drive back the way we came hoping to find a small road that would take us down to the lake. And just our luck, all of it was fenced off. We ended up finding this tiny path that was mostly overgrown with cacti and weeds and took our chances.
After driving 10 minutes down the path, we could finally see the water! But even then, it was still so far away! We would have to get out and walk. And then all of a sudden… bugs. Huge, flying, bugs everywhere. The only thing that could get me out of the car was Jasmine & Katie, and they weren’t going anywhere. So that was the end of Plan B. Kind of freaking out a little, Jasmine called her mama for some reassurance. After getting some peace of mind, and knowing that this would work out one way or another, they started cracking up. The thought of Jasmine’s grandma watching over her, laughing as she watched this entire plan go haywire, was actually very comforting.
We decided that we would head back to Redmond (a 2.5 hour drive) and try to find a location we could use before it got too dark. And almost immediately, our luck turned around. I thought that there MUST be someway to get up into the mountain, but there weren’t ANY roads leading up! And then out of the corner of my eye, I saw a tiny sign that said Fremont Point with a super small one lane dirt road. Jasmine slammed on the breaks and put it in reverse because this was our last option!
30 minutes up and we’re still driving. 45 minutes up and we’re still driving. We knew we HAD to be getting close to a viewpoint or SOMETHING! And then we started talking about bears (Bears, beats, Battlestar Galactica). Are there bears in Oregon? Are all bears dangerous? Etc… All of a sudden Katie gasps and pointed out the window and I seriously thought we were about to encounter a bear. But nope. It was a single cow… Wild cows in Oregon must be a thing because a few minutes up ahead there was a small herd blocking the road! We didn’t know what was going on but it was extremely funny to us!
Finally, nearly and hour up into the mountains that were located in the middle of no where, and we see another sign that says Fremont Point! We made it!! We look the little, red, dirt road to the edge of the cliff and were greeted with a gorgeous view of Summer Lake from above! I knew the view was about to get even better because clouds were rolling in at just the right angle, but the sunset was still about an hour away. So we just killed some time with a mini “best friend” session with Jasmine & Katie!
The mountains surrounding Summer Lake had started turning bright purple so we took a second to wind down from the fun of their mini session and started letting the reality set in. She came all this way to fulfill her grandma’s last wish and it was finally time. Jasmine took a few minutes to say goodbye and then she watched as the wind peacefully swept her grandma’s ashes across Summer Lake.
Jasmine, I am incredibly grateful for you. This is the reason I love photography. This experience was real, raw, emotional, uplifting… and it was a reminder to take a step back and remember the important things in life. You brought me all the way to Oregon, you took a cross country trip with your best friend, you got to fulfill your grandma’s last wish, and I hope you know how special this day truly was.
Jasmine HAD to saw goodbye to the cows before heading down the mountain!! Haha!