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  • Writer's pictureEllie

Mt. Madonna camping

Michael and I have wanted to start camping for the past few years, but being in the midwest has its drawbacks (as far as camping goes) such as rain, snow, tornadoes, and state birds (aka mosquitos). When Michael and I moved to San Jose this past summer, we made it one of our goals to see as much of this beautiful state as possible and tent camping would be our way to do it. After some very generous gifts from our dads including a tent, classic pump cook stove, coleman cooler, and a two-person sleeping bag, we were pretty much equipped. Oh, and I cannot forget the hot water camp shower that Michael’s mom gifted us - a must by Michael. turns out many other people in California share that same idea! We spent close to an entire day researching different campsites within a couple hours of our home and trying to find anything that had openings. The first one we found was at Mt. Madonna just a short distance from our home in San Jose, and we booked it for late September.

Mt. Madonna is such a gorgeous park with redwoods, hiking trails, large campsites, great bathroom facilities, and nearby vineyards. When Michael got home from work on Friday, we loaded up the RAV4 and made it to Mt. Madonna just as the sun was setting. We left the headlights on for 10 minutes while we put the tent together...and then our car battery stopped working. Yes, our car was dead. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if our air mattress didn’t require electricity. So that first night was a little rough! But after a hearty breakfast made on the cookstove and a jump from the park ranger, our vacation was restored! It was such a wonderful weekend getting to unplug, take it slow, have fun with photography, and just enjoy each other’s presence without a “to do” list.

It was fun one morning to play around with the golden light that filtered through the redwoods. Thanks, Michael, for being my go to model!

Michael's favorite lens is the Canon EF 100 Macro, and I've got to say that the narrow depth of field creates the most beautiful bokeh. Right now I'm loving the Canon 24-70 because of its versatility, but prime lenses have always been my favorite.

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