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We got a super cool call from one of my sponsors, Surf Tech, the other day. They proposed an amazing opportunity to be photographed by a National Geographic and Patagonia photographer, Ben Horton, for their catalog. We jumped at the opportunity and before we knew it we were well on our way to Yosemite! Woohoo!! Oh but I was a bit bummed that we couldn’t bring Belle. It would have been too hard and she probably would have wanted to be in all the shots with us My mom and dad took care of her for the day, as they always do when we are away, she is soooo lucky!!
We met up with Ben and his lovely girfriend Izzi in Mariposa, a small quaint town 30 mins west of Yosemite. We had the best breakfast at the cutest little cafe while Ben told us stories about his amazing expeditions as a National Geographic photographer. His last expedition comprised of a 1400 mile trip across Canada with 24 sled dogs and 8 others. From the -20 degree temps to the slippery treacherous icy patches, they covered all 1400 miles without anyone getting hurt. It was so exciting to hear all about this adventure. We also had the privilege of hearing about Ben and Izzi’s trip to Costa Rica complete with details about how close they came to being eaten by crocodiles and bull sharks, YIKES! This couple is one amazing, hard core, super adventurous team. Love them!!
Once we made it into Yosemite National Park, the temps dropped by 10 degrees. It was in the mid to upper 30s which, quite frankly, was way warmer than we thought it would be. We drove up and around the most beautiful scenery you will find anywhere, and settled on a river bed that looked perfect for a little Stand Up Paddling! It was surreal. We were dressed in a couple of base layers, 2 to be exact, and board shorts and booties! I have to admit I was a bit nervous to step foot into the just above freezing river water. Brrr!! Reid was first in and like a pro up on that baord and moving down the river having the best time. I got in quickly, only get my feet wet but those surf booties are amazing. They keep you so warm! As soon as I paddled down the river and looked around at the serene beauty of Yosemite and realized what we were doing, it hit me, that I am one super lucky girl! I was in the middle of Yosemite National park, paddling up and down a river, with El Capitan in the foreground and Half Dome in the background, snow all around, it was just surreal. I am so grateful for this opportunity! Ben shot tons of awesome pics and then we were on our way to another river bed for some different scenery.
The second place we took pics was just as breath taking as the first. How could it not be? Yosemite is one big amazingly beautiful National Park. This next set of pics would be taken from underwater. So yes Ben put on his wetsuit and jumped in with some super cool underwater cameras and lenses and all kinds of sweet stuff!! He was FREEEZING!! But such a trooper. We had to paddle around and under some huge boulders which were right next to where the river dropped off and changed into rapids. It was the coolest feeling ever to paddle around this nature mnade obstacle course and not get swept down river. I could feel the power of the river pulling me down river everytime I made a turn around the boulders. So we had to paddle hard to stay up river After our second set of pics, we warmed up and got dressed in all our super cozy clothes and headed to another spot.
This last spot was so fun! Izzi brought tons of food and we had a picnic alongside the river on thes rocks and made some yummy veggie sandwiches. We had goat cheese, avocado, sundried tomoato spread, tomatoes, and apples. Oh yeah and some cookies for dessert! We were all smiles after our epic day!! Thanks so much Surf Tech, Ben, Izzi, and Reid for an unforgettable day.