Albany County Adventures

highway 11 // october 2016 

Dad came to visit a couple of weeks ago, and we pulled over on the side of the road to feed these horses while adventuring through the county--a quiet, beautiful little moment. 

pinterest i.

In the vein of posting more content and finding more inspiration in creative pursuits + photography--here are some of my favorite pins from this week. 

Abandoned | cabin on Wyoming's Highway 11

The one common theme that weaves through our family vacations are abandoned buildings. It sounds strange, but, growing up with a mother for a photographer, I never questioned the spontaneous stops to walk around a falling-down building on the side of a highway. (although, thinking about it, it must be strange to see a family of five, golden retriever in tow, circling an abandoned structure). 

In upstate New York, we stood by as my mother photographed a rusting train car, abandoned on the side of the road, sliding into a ditch--in Utah, I pouted about the fact that my parents wouldn't let me go inside a falling down cabin (You're 12, my mother had sighed exasperatedly. What kind of mother would i be if i let my 12 year old risk her life in a potentially unsafe structure?) At 17, I had tiptoed inside an abandoned farmhouse in the countryside of Tuscany, camera on my side for the first time--the photos didn't turn out, but I won't ever forget the thrill I felt from those five minutes of wonder. 

Vacations aside, I grew fond of abandoned buildings, seeking out adventure at a local asylum and exploring empty buildings on campus (like this fraternity). Out here in the west, entire towns can lie vacant, something I can't quite wrap my head around, yet. 

With my father visiting, it was almost an obligation to stop at this little cabin on the side of Highway 11, a few minutes from the town of Albany, Wyoming--population 55. And even though it was small, it struck me as one of the eeriest ones I've ever visited. While the exterior was in shambles, there was still a rug on the floor in the bunkroom and salad dressing on the shelves in the kitchen--almost as if someone had just been living there a week ago. It sent chills up my spine, and I was glad to stray to the outside, instead of going through the whole house. 

some changes

Little Blue Backpack —> Roots + Roads 

As you might have noticed, over the course of the year, this space has become quieter and quieter.  One of the reasons is that I’ve been struggling to define the balance between my personal + professional voice. Senior year, I stumbled into newspaper journalism + photojournalism, and my priorities changed. Before, I would have worked literally any job if it had allowed me to travel constantly—now, I want a legitimate established career as a professional photographer (which will eventually allow me to travel the world). Stories became more important to me than unfamiliar streets. The city girl moved to a small town in the middle of nowhere to pursue photojournalism. Isn’t it funny how things work out? 

But through all that, with all of those changes, LBB didn’t quite fit right. I moved from Wordpress to Blogger, thinking that was it (it wasn’t.) I got a new theme—still not perfect. But the name—the name. 

To be frankly honest, Little Blue Backpack hasn’t been a name I’ve liked in a very long time, mainly because of the “little.” And I know it sounds crazy, trust me—but I’ve never liked it. To me, it sounds a little twee, and I hate twee things (and cute, and quirky—okay, I’ll stop now). It worked when I was 19, and dreaming of a nomadic lifestyle—it worked when I was 21 and actually living that dream. But I’m 22, and trying to navigate a post-college world. I live 1900 miles away from home. While I still love exploring, and I’m happiest on the road, I have a job—a job that does not have a lot of vacation time, meaning that travel posts are few and far between. 

I’ll still be posting a lot about travel, but I want to include more things—practical information about photography + cool artists, personal thoughts, and also things I wish someone had told me about being 22. Because 21, 22, 23, is a weird time—some people are still in school, but some have jobs and some have (oh my GOD) kids. It’s one of the first times that everyone is on different pages, and, I don’t know, maybe my shouting into the void will help someone. 

The new name comes from lyrics from The Head and the Heart, who have been a big part in my life since I saw them live (right before I moved to Germany.) Their first album deals with moving away from home, being far from family + friends, and slowly making your way back—sound familiar? Even the band’s name stands for something—when I first graduated, I had the option to take a “safer” job in Maine (the logical thing to do), but I followed my heart and landed in Wyoming. 

“Roots + Roads” is a combination of two songs from that first album. In Cats and Dogs, they sing my roots have grown, but I don’t know where they are—in “Rivers + Roads,” (my favorite song) they sing rivers + roads, rivers ’til I reach you.We set up roots in each new place, and roads take us away, from people we love but also to new + exciting adventures—so for a blog that covers travel, frequent moves and growing up, this sounded perfect.

(over the course of the next week, I'm going to be working out domains + bloglovin + categories, etc. so please be patient w/me okay thanks) 

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