Summer Road Trip Series: from Big Sur to Seattle

Summer Road Trip series

The Great American Road Trip was the stuff of my dreams in high school.

When we were teenagers, my best girlfriends and I used to fantasize about taking a Volkswagen bus (the color of which was negotiable) across the country all the way to sunny California. We didn’t talk about what we’d do once we got there—the trip itself would be adventure enough, possessing the same aesthetic as a Free People catalog.

When I finally did take that epic road trip from Baltimore to Los Angeles, the circumstances were a bit different (moving with the boyfriend, headed for grad school, with no way of justifying $80 Free People jean shorts), but the trip was no less magical than I’d dreamed up years before. Driving through the mountains, the plains and the desert all the way to the coast was satisfyingly surreal.

Almost just as surreal as that life-changing trip was then is the fact that it happened a year ago this month.

An anniversary like that can’t go unacknowledged. So I invited a few talented and adventurous friends to share their travel stories for a Summer Road Trip Series. Once a week over the next few weeks, I’ll introduce you to a bold traveler who will tell you all about their road trip—destination anywhere—in their own words and, of course, through their photos. And what better time to start than on the Fourth of July?

Kicking off the series, meet David of Death to the Stock Photo (a site some of my blogger friends might recognize… I’ve used it for gorgeous, free photos!). He traveled more than a thousand miles along the West Coast and saw some beautiful sights along the way.

In David’s own words:

“We started in San Francisco renting a car and driving it down the coast to Big Sur. From there we traveled around the area, then back to San Francisco and up to Seattle. We went north of Seattle about an hour to Deception Pass for camping.”

Big Sur

Big Sur to Seattle


“The purpose of the trip was that we had crowdfunded it to create really quality imagery for designers and bloggers to use in their work. So each location was filled with shooting everything we saw that inspired us and sharing it with the backers who had been following along.”


David bridge


“Catching sunset at the Bixby Bridge was incredible. The contrast of all of the elements from the hills to the rocks to the water was incredible and we got to share it with some other people who had been waiting there for the sun to go down. At the end of that night we went to these really private hot springs that only open from midnight to 2 a.m. at a place called The Esalen Institute. The hot springs were under an amazing night sky full of stars and the hot water and crashing waves below were incredibly relaxing.”

Bixby Bridge



“I really want to go to Iceland to explore around and see the Northern Lights. There’s a promo called Iceland Airwaves which is tickets to a music festival, hotel, and plane ticket for under a thousand dollars because they’re trying to promote tourism. I’d love to explore that landscape and capture it with my camera. Thailand has always been a place calling my name, as well.”

DavidDavid on Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

I hope David takes that trip to Iceland soon so I can swoon over the photos.

Where is the Summer Road Trip Series headed next? I’ll give you a hint next week, and you can see if your guess is right next Friday for part two.


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  1. That’s so cool! I myself did a few road trips last year, how did you find the photographers to display on your blog? I’d love to be a part of this series. You can view my photographs here
    the two notable road trips that I did were from San Bernardino, CA to Arizona and the Grand Canyon, and then from San Bernardino up through Big Sur to Yosemite National Park where I spent my summer working and exploring. 🙂

    • Cassie Paton says:

      That sounds amazing! The series has filled up pretty quickly, but I would LOVE to have you join in on the series “finale.” (I checked out your blog and love your photos!) Send me 3 of your favorite shots from one of your trips (and any blog/social media links you’d like included), and I’ll definitely include you. 🙂

  2. Dude, this series sounds AMAZING, and I can’t wait to read about everyone’s adventures. What an amazing start – I love scrolling through all the images on Death to the Stock Photo and it’s great to hear about the trip behind the images!! I am desperate to travel the US one day and am more than sure this series will do nothing but add fuel to that fire in my belly to do exactly that!!

    • Cassie Paton says:

      It is shaping up to be a pretty incredible series – so many talented photographers on the way! I hope you do make your way to the states. If so, you’ll have to hit up L.A. 😉

  3. Awesome! This sounds like my kind of series. I saw Bixby Bridge in full daylight, but I would love to go back for sunset…and I didn’t know about that hot springs! Totally gonna hit that up next time.

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