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Zodiac Dress Series: Libra - Hiking Mount Rainier in a full ballroom gown dress

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Published on Sep 18, 2012

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I honestly wasn't planning to hike the mountain trail to the top, but once we got going on the trails it wasn't that bad to keep going, so we made it to the top walking destination, anything beyond the point we got to was for snow shoes. I estimate we walked anywhere from 4 to 6 miles that day. I know epic is a lame word, don't hate me. XP

There might be some non-believers out there, I can't say blame them. All I got as proof is some footage of a dress getting dirtier and dirtier. Plus sure, I could have carried the dress up the mountain and then put it on, but honestly I think that would have been far more labor intensive. Carrying a hoop skirt while not wearing it is one of the most cumbersome things I have ever tried. Hopefully some day I will get to see all the images take by other hikers on the mountain, they pretty much documented the whole hike up and down. =)

I don't recommend hiking in a ball gown or other formal dress unless you know what you are getting yourself into! Mount Rainier while a heavy tourist location is still a difficult hike if you do not do much hiking. For those who haven't been to Rainier it is beautiful! Like a real life Skyrim for those who play games. The valleys below the mountain are filled with conifer forests, so sections being old growth. We got some pictures in the old growth sections but it was not the best lighting conditions with small concentrations with high light. Anyways it was a breathtaking trip up the mountain with great conditions for fairytale photography.

Most common questions and comments we got:

"Why are you doing this?"
(I am a dress maker, and decided to make a dress and then take it up the mountain for a photoshoot.)

"Did you wear that the whole way?"
(Yes, I really did.)

"How far are you going?"
(As far as I can, we shall see.)

"Is that hard?"
(Not as hard as I thought it would be, but I don't recommend it to a new hiker or dress wearer. Also I was wearing great hiking sandals.)

"Are you getting married?"
(No, but that would have made quite a story!)

"Are you a real princess?"
(Kids are adorable, but don't worry I didn't lead any children to believing I was royalty. I did get dubbed by multiple hikers "Princess Rainier" and "Princess Tahoma", it is funny how often people will bring the same things up. =) )

"How did you get up this far?"
(I did what anyone in a hoop-skirt does, I grabbed the front train and hoisted up as I walked. I had to demonstrate this for hikers a couple of times.)

and my personal favorite of the commonly asked questions on the mountain:
"Did you lose a bet?"
(Nope, I did this with my own free will, I really am a nut job. ;D )

Also tons of people asked to take my picture, tons wanted their pictures taken with me, and just as many snuck pictures and video from a distance. XD I obliged them all, it was a good excuse for getting breaks in our hike. We estimate that at least 400 images of me and the dress were taken on the mountain by cameras that were not ours. If you happen upon any of them across the internet I would love to know and see them! =D All images taken on the mountain have my full permission to exist and live on as memories of that day. =)

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I am a photographer/retoucher and dressmaker living in Portland, OR. I have a passion for fairytale, fantasy, and mythical aesthetics and want to help others find that touch in their works as well! Outside of the arts, I have a love of natural sciences and the outdoors in general. With these passions combined, I like to take my shoots and projects to the great outdoors.

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