We were barreling down I-5 in southern Oregon, happy and expansive in the way only road trips can make you, dreams of California wine country foremost in our minds.
It’s seven hours from Portland, where we’d started, to Redding, our destination, and we were keen to ceremonially mark our entry into the Golden State with a picture in front of the Welcome to California! sign. We dutifully watched our GPS, anticipating the state line. But though we were finally met with a nice Thank You For Visiting! from Oregon, not a word from California. Disappointed, we drove on in silence.
Thirty miles south of the border, we pulled off to switch drivers at an outlook — and I was awestruck. There was Mount Shasta, curving dramatically out of the Central Valley, its peak covered in clouds, these clouds lined with silver. There were rolling hills, sprawled both above and below us, blanketed in the green of newness, birth, and joy. We’d come upon a beauty that palpably breathed glory and life, beckoning us all to join in. It was Spring. It was alive. It was vibrant. It was open.
And something opened in me. I felt everything.
With the golden light warm on my face, I threw my head back with a giddy laugh. California! It doesn’t need to welcome you with words. The land, it speaks for itself.
Mary Campbell, Mylio Digital Apprentice
- I studied abroad in Spain and Morocco this past summer
- I’ve hiked Half Dome in Yosemite National Park three times
- I can touch my tonge to my nose
I like to shoot: I focus in lifestyle and portrait photography, but hope to narrow more on storytelling and photojournalism in the coming years.