natemeg

3

Joshua Tree, CA.

We camped here with our friends the night before Big Sur. We arrived late at night and didn’t get to see the mountains of boulders, but we did see the most amazing clear sky of stars. Nate and I slept on the ground without a tent and saw tons of shooting stars. It was the most beautiful night sky I have ever seen.

We woke up with the sunrise around 5am and went for a little hike up some boulders before hitting the road to LA, and eventually Big Sur.

Lil’ story for you guys.
When I was looking for wedding dresses I was first appalled at how expensive they were and second appalled by how generic they were. I tried on dresses back in January and the well-meaning ladies at the shops were all saying how the dresses would have to be rush shipped for an extra $200. I’m sorry, the wedding is SIX MONTHS from now. If Amazon can do same day shipping for free, why does it cost extra to have something shipped in six months?! And they’re generic sizes, 2, 4, 6, etc. I wear a zero so I would also have to get the dress altered. Another 200-500 dollars. On top of the cost of the dress alone which was anywhere from 900-4,000. Ridiculous. (Also, this says a lot about the wedding industry as a whole which is equally terrible and money-sucking but I won’t go into that now).

Back track, I started working at REI back in October, where I’ve met some incredible people. One of whom is a particularly inspiring person named Eduar. He’s one of the store managers and is head over the camping area. He’s climbed some incredible peaks throughout South and North America and has an expansive knowledge of gear, mountaineering, and all things outdoors. He also happens to be a designer who specializes in women’s formal wear.
He learned how to sew from his mother and decided to go to design school in South America. He owned and operated a well known fashion studio in Ecuador before coming to the states. He also used to design technical pieces for a company similar to REI in South America.
He now, with his wife, operates a winery in Burleson, TX. And also works at REI.

So I decided to ask him if he’d make my dress. And he did a beautiful job. We met about every two weeks to have fittings and discuss fabrics and sketches. We worked out technical problems and design issues together and I got to know his family through it too. Super cool people.
When it began to transform from sketches into a real dress, it honestly made me a bit hesitant. It was sorta weird seeing myself in these beautiful white fabrics, with flowery lace and delicate details. I couldn’t imagine myself wearing something so clean and pretty. I don’t often wear dresses, and when I do it’s usually something picked up from a thrift store or a last-season’s sale rack. I don’t even really dress nice or do my hair and make up, so seeing myself in a floor length white dress felt so uncomfortable. I was unsure if I liked the dress for a while. I felt like it wasn’t “me”.
But then I realized it feels weird because I’ve never worn anything like that. And hell, it’s my wedding day. The most beautiful and sacred and important day of my life. It’s a big deal and deserves to be respected. I should dress myself up in the finest of clothing. And to wear a piece of handmade art felt like such an honor. I can’t imagine anything more perfect for the cool fog and ocean waves and rugged cliffs of Big Sur.

It was really cool incorporating Eduar’s art into our magical day. Also it felt good to have a very unique dress, with all the distinctions, imperfections, and love of something handmade.
Eduar’s disposition is really inspiring to me. He married a beautiful, ambitious and strong woman and together they have a crazy five year old named Noah. They both have big dreams, they travel the world, and always seem to be looking forward to the next opportunity. In our meetings together, Eduar told me stories about failed businesses and family mishaps, and how he’s gotten through them. He still continues to follow his dreams with more passion than a lot of young people I know. He always talks about how if you follow your passion, things will take care of themselves. He’s living proof of that.

So if you need a dress for anything, look up Eduar Lamprea.

7

The best kind of camping is when you don’t even need tents.
Our wedding road trip was pretty great. Seven of us crammed into two cars with loads of gear and lots of guitars. We camped in some of the most beautiful places in the southwest. Gila Hot Springs, Joshua Tree, and of course Big Sur.
The best thing about road trips is the little places you stop. Like the gas station outside the California border where we met Brett Michaels….?! Or the Mexican restaurant in El Paso where we couldn’t read the menus and we struggled to explain ourselves to the kind Spanish speaking waitress. Or the coffee shop in Phoenix where a lovely friend paid for all of our drinks.
Lots of whiskey, lots of early mornings, lots of conversations about God, books, music, love, and art.
Lots of love and support for Nate and me.
These kind friends made the ceremony happen. They took off work, left friends and lovers behind, packed their bags and spent nearly a week with us on the road. Their adventurous hearts were game for whatever the road had for them. We’re super thankful for Jon, David, Rachel, William, and Andrew. So much love in our hearts for this crew.

Two days before our wedding we found out we couldn’t do the ceremony in the spot we had planned because there were wild bulls grazing in the field through which we would have to hike.

Slightly panicked, Nate and I got up early the next day to scout a new place for the ceremony. After hiking about four miles we finally found a spot that was easy to get to and overlooked an incredible beach area.

I love this photo of the rock just barely getting the light of the rising sun behind the mountains.

4

Lake Tahoe was good to us.
We hiked part of the PCT the other day. We’ve been talking about doing a thru hike since last summer when we met some people hiking the Continental Divide. Going on the trail, seeing others with loaded packs who have been hiking for months, talking to people about logistics was really inspiring. A thru hike is definitely in the works for us.
Lake Tahoe was a huge treat. Magical hiking trails EVERYWHERE, beautiful blue water, incredible sunsets, rock tunnels and waterfalls. Definitely a favorite.
Now we’re headed through the southwest to do some exploring :)