2014 Trip of a Lifetime

In November 2013 I went to South Dakota to shoot the Professional RoughStock Series World Finals with photographer Jodie Baxendale. We had such a great time we made plans for the me to come back the following summer.

August 2014 I spent 10 days with Jodie. She showed me South Dakota, Wyoming + Montana. We spent five days + four nights on the Crow Indian Reservation during their annual Crow Fair. Montana was in the middle of a drought at the time + it rained for two days while we were there. That’s my luck. Lol We went to King Ropes in Sheridan, Wyoming on one of those rainy days- holy incredible.

I will never be able to thank the Birdinground + Killsprettyenemy family enough for allowing us to camp with me and letting me into their family + sharing their culture and lifestyle with me. I will never forget it.

We drove from Crow Agency to Lovell, Wyoming to stay with Jodie’s grandma for a few days. We drove to Cody for a day + saw the sunrise + a few wild horses at Devil’s Canyon just inside the Montana/Wyoming state line. We went to Devil’s Tour outside of Hullett, Wyo- the first National Monument.

On our way back to SD we stopped in Tensleep + Hyattville, Wyo. Two of my favorite places I’ve ever seen. We stopped at Medicine Lodge to see Native American petroglyphs + pictographs on the bluffs- incredible.

Back in South Dakota we went to Deadwood + Belle Fourche to explore more. The view from Deadwood, SD will forever be my favorite.

The trip was a once in a lifetime experience for an Arkansas girl. It wasn’t just a trip to the mountains but it was a trip with a local guide, it was a trip with a stay during the Crow Fair. Photographers from all around the WORLD come to photograph this event. This trip set my heart on fire for the mountains, the western way of life. It opened my eyes to the rest of the world and so many different cultures. This trip provided me with images to host my first (and only) art gallery in 2016.

SO many great things came from my trip, it literally changed my life, my heart and my business forever.

But this trip also taught me that no matter how well you treat a person or their family- you may never get that respect in return. You may never get the answers to questions that you’ll ask for years to come. It gave me some of the deepest heartache I’ve ever felt in not being able to get closure.

After I returned home from this trip, and during my time there, I did all I could to thank Jodie + the Baxendale family for their hospitality and willingness to open their home to me. Unfortunately, my text messages, emails, Facebook messages and letters have gone unread and/or unreturned since September 2014.

I will forever be so thankful and grateful for this trip. It forever changed me.

I haven’t ever shared all of these images + I’ve certainly never shared my whole story from this experience. I don’t share this story to hurt anyone or to be ugly. It’s been five years of me wondering what the heck I did wrong + I will probably never know but for now…

This post is for my heart + my closure.