Crystal and I actually had more than a weekend off together for the first time in a long time, so we decided to go check out some local trails. The Sweet Creek Falls Trail in Mapleton, Oregon is so gorgeous. My main lens for my Fuji had to be sent in for repairs (got a dud), so most of these are taken with an iPhone or my cheap TT Artisans 27mm (which is very soft verging on out of focus most of the time), so this is not my best set of photos of the year for sure. However, the trail was breath-taking and we can’t wait to go back in the Summer to see what it looks like without so much water rushing through. The sound of the rushing water was so loud we could barely hear each other talking.

I also started learning how to bake bread. So far, I’ve made a loaf of rustic, roasted garlic & rosemary and a load of roasted garlic and cheddar. Both turned out really well. I’m not a garlic fan, so Crystal enjoyed them by herself. I found a recipe for a honey white sandwich bread that is supposed to be a perfect, low-sugar substitute for the grocery store stuff full of bad ingredients – and tons of sugar.

On the way back, of course, I stopped at Heceta to get a few shots of the lighthouse at dusk and the resident sea gull. He’s always there and has been the focus of many of my shots since we moved here three years ago.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday break. Crystal and I have had the most relaxing and recharging break we’ve had in a long while. Here’s to 2024!

  • Steven Trotter is a graphic designer (UX/UI, web & branding), photographer, and maker living and working on the Oregon Coast. Trotter Steven