In my experience, some of the best photographs in my portfolio were taken on some of the most unexpected adventures. It was a Saturday evening in August, and the sun was slowly beginning to go down. My brother and I (both photographers) were bored and a little tired of light pollution and car noise, so we thought we'd get in touch with our friend (also a photographer), and see about taking a small trip out of town to photograph some stars. Not a half an hour later, we all loaded our minimal amounts of camera gear in to our sedan, picked up a couple of five dollar large pizzas for the road, and set off on our way to who-knows-where. After three hours of driving up winding mountain roads and making random roadside stops to take pictures, we ended up on the shores of the very secluded Waldo Lake, in the Willamette National Forest. We stepped out of the car, and immediately realized we had under-dressed. While it was balmy back in town, it was downright freezing at Waldo Lake, and none of us brought more than a light jacket along. Nonetheless, the milky way was stunningly bright, and reflecting in the eerily-still lake, so we braved the cold and began shooting. It was the single most spectacular nighttime scene I have ever photographed. Brilliant stars and a bright milky way band, reflections in the lake and the dark silhouettes of fir trees made that scene a visual jackpot. After an hour and a half of shooting, my brother had the horrifying realization that he had left his camera backpack sitting on the shoulder of the road 20 miles back at one of our random roadside stops. With this horrible realization, we jumped back in the car and sped off back into the night to rescue the backpack. Although my hands were numb from the cold and our shoot was cut short, I felt completely at peace with nature and inspired by wilderness. All of us still wowed from the star scene at Waldo Lake, we made the trip home, back to the land of light pollution and car noise. The image above encapsulates the memory of that spontaneous and hectic night, and stands as one of my favorite photographs I have ever taken.