We were driving along highway 35 in Oregon, returning from an expedition to Mount Hood in the direction of our hotel in White Salmon, Washington. It was a hot July day. The orchards were in fruit. We stopped at a farm stand along the side of the road.

I bought a brown paper bag of cherries, a mix of local varieties. Lydia took a seat on a low wooden bench under a shade tree. A little girl was playing on the lawn in front of us. Lydia is the kind of woman who sits with her body open, to people and experience. The child was in search of an appreciate audience for her stories. In the background the father was taking pictures of butterflies. Lydia might have been a day lilly in the garden, receptive to the little bumblebee buzzing before her.

I picked up my iphone and started taking pictures as I’d been doing all week long. Usually I turn my camera on the scenery or myself. But this trip I’d found myself capturing Lydia as she moved. Her evident joy in the adventure. Compelling.

It’s funny how you can have a friend for years and years and think you know them. But all that knowing is wrapped up in the experiences you’ve had together. The stories so intertwined it is difficult to know who is who and what belongs to each of you. By taking the role of Lydia’s unofficial photographer this week, I’d stepped back and taken myself out of the frame. Let myself see her through the camera’s lens, just as she is. So beautiful and alive.

So here she is as I witnessed her, July 11 – 18, 2014 at the World Domination Summit 2014 in Portland, Oregon and on road trip through the Columbia River gorge and along the Oregon shore. My friend and companion in road trip adventure, Lydia Roy.

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