NAVIGATION ∧

the photo journal + misc. news of Emma Kisiel

To Washington for the Truck

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On the last Saturday in January, we drove to Ellensburg, WA, to pick up Nathaniel’s truck from his friend Aaron who had been working on it / getting it ready for Nat to actually drive! (It has been mostly sitting in the garage since he bought it in October 2018.) We just went for a night, and it wasn’t really a vacation since we weren’t even supposed to be leaving the state because of COVID. We stayed in Kittitas, 15 minutes east of Ellensburg, at a no-contact place called Brew House Boarding. It is a tiny town. That giant Trump sign on a vacant building was out our window. For dinner we got takeout from Ellensburg Pasta Company. We ate while we watched a virtual event through my library. We went for a long walk around the town in the dark.

The next day we walked the dogs on the John Wayne Trail. We went to see a statue of Washoe the chimpanzee, who lived in Ellensburg and used sign language, and then got donuts before hitting the road back to Portland. We stopped at the Maryhill Fruit Stand, the halfway point in the gorge where we had met Aaron to hand over the truck in early December, to take photos. Nat had just shaved his beard the week before! Hadn’t seen his bare face in over a decade. It’s pretty freaky to look at these pictures, as his beard has been fully back for a while now. And he has been driving the truck pretty regularly since! It’s fun and speedy. Definitely my favorite of all the auxiliary cars he’s/we’ve bought. I will learn how to drive it someday.

Cannon Beach & Bunnies

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In January, for the MLK Day long weekend, I went to Cannon Beach by myself. I left on a Friday, checked in to my Airbnb, and walked Juniper to the south end of Cannon Beach, Silver Point. That evening, I watched the first of three Jimmy Eat World virtual concerts that I had gotten me and my dad tickets to :) Then it was low tide, so I found a flashlight in my place and took Juniper to the beach for some tidepooling at the haystack rock. It was super fun. The next day I walked Juniper on the beach and then made breakfast and just hung around my Airbnb watching The Good Place. I drove around town photographing bunnies, and drove to Indian Beach, where I saw lots of elk, and to Chapman Beach for Junie to run around. Nat ordered dinner for me, so I went to pick it up and then did yoga and watched a virtual library event. On Sunday, Juniper and I went back to Silver Point for tidepooling. Nat arrived that night, and in the morning we got breakfast from Sea Level and then went back to Silver Point, so he could see how cool it was. On the way home, we went to the Salmonberry and walked on the train tracks. I walked 23 miles over the weekend.

Pacific City & Bunnies

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Well, this was almost four months ago now… Let’s see what I can remember. I had mentioned my Cannon Beach bunnies project to my chiropractor, and she told me that there are also bunnies in Pacific City, 60 miles down the coast, at the RV park right across from the beach. I knew the situation wouldn’t be like the one I had been photographing for the past few years in Cannon Beach, but I definitely wanted to see these campground bunnies and spend some time photographing them. Nat and I spent the few days before Christmas there. The day we left for Pacific City was the day of the annual neighborhood cookie exchange, done in a driveway this year, and it was the first backyard flood of the season.

When we got to Pacific City, it was already dark, and it was raining, so we just hung out at our Airbnb, which was on the Nestucca River on the south end of town, as opposed to on the ocean. The river was so high the whole time we were there, and the wind was so strong that we thought our roof might break off and blow away (based solely on the sounds it made – I’m sure the roof was in good condition, as the house seemed pretty new). We spent three days, and we went to the RV park in between pretty much everything we did. The first day, we visited the bunnies and drove + walked on the beach; it was extremely windy. We were looking for a trail to take the dogs to, and we found Sitka Sedge State Natural Area, which we loved. We walked the forested trail that leads out to the beach. The next day, we visited the bunnies, went to walk in the dunes at Bob Straub State Park, visited the bunnies, and then hung out at the Airbnb, working on our paint-by-number. Our last day, we visited the bunnies in the morning, checked out of our Airbnb, went back to Sitka Sedge to do that walk again, then visited the bunnies one last time.

The bunnies in Pacific City are so fun – they’re obviously fed, and “bunny food” is sold at the kite shop at the campground, so they run right up to you, sometimes in a swarm. But that’s not really what I’m after in making this series. Plus there are only so many photos you can take of bunnies who live at a campground, with their poop literally covering the ground everywhere. The light was so bad most of the time we were there, and I knew from the start that I wasn’t going to like the way I processed these photos. But here they are, for the record! Photos of bunnies with shadows twice as long as bunny height since I was photographing at the solstice and we were there on some rare sunny days.