What we do when we’re not Photo Tour guides in Europe

After Jim and I were done being photo tour guides in Europe this spring and summer, we returned home to the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Happy campers!

This was our first tour season since Covid. Our 8 tours this year were great fun, exciting, and at the same time challenging due to the lingering presence of the pandemic. Regardless, it was wonderful to reconnect with old friends in Europe as well as with repeat tour participants. And we were thrilled to welcome new participants to Photography Travel Tours (one of them joined us on 5 tours!!!). It was exciting to be able to travel and shoot again.

We get asked quite often what we do in our off-season.

Other than working a lot on various forms of marketing to get the word out (check out the 2023 lineup), we ski in the winter and hike and ride bikes in the fall (and we watch a lot of movies). Magrit also works as a self-employed graphic designer (corecreativeteam.com). A job she loves as much as photography.

Mount Stuart in WA

Sloan Peak in a smokey haze due to wildfires

Here are a few images from our recent 4-day backpacking trip.

This trip happened about one week after we returned and jetlag added an interesting challenge to the exercise. The large images are Jim’s taken with his trusted little Fuji. I took the small snapshots with an admittedly very old iPhone (got to do something about that). Carrying a whole pack with food, water, shelter, and clothing for the 4 days was enough weight for me.

The weather was beautiful but quite hot. We experienced wildfires fairly close by and at times a lot of smoke.


Smoky sunsets are gorgeous for all the wrong reasons.

An especially rustic experience with a great view.


Fall glory

a threatening cloud from wild fires

A threatening cloud caused by wildfires

Heading south, we encountered numerous “Through Hikers,” who were nearing the end of their 5-month trek from Mexico to Canada on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). They were of all sizes, genders (but mostly people without wrinkles and a lot of single young women — impressive), and nationalities — German, Italian, Dutch, Czech, Mexican, Canadian, French, and even an occasional American. We ran into a young guy from Taiwan who was going crazy munching on wild mountain blueberries.

Magrit takes a morning stroll", along the PCT in Washington State

Magrit takes a morning stroll, along the PCT in Washington State

We spent 3 nights in the mountains with Jim snoozing away happily and Magrit not even closing an eye: “Did you hear this? What was that? There are bears here, right? How close do you think are the fires? I think the tent is on fire!” Clearly, for somebody who loves hiking in the European alps and especially hut-to-hut where a good glass of red wine, a bowl of pasta, and a Sacher torte await at the end of a long day’s trek, the millimeter-thin tent walls leave ample room for the/my imagination (and grim tales of survival).

A friend calls these "Dr. Seuss" plants

A friend calls these “Dr. Seuss” plants

Beautiful gradations in Washington's Cacades mountain range

Beautiful gradations in Washington’s Cascades mountain range

 river crossing

This river crossing on the log in the background required some scooting on my bottom and a few deep breaths.

I love the graphic patterns on these rocks.

Hiking through sun-dabbled forest.

Hiking out through the sun-dabbled forest.

Fall is absolutely beautiful in Washington State — even now, as temperatures are beginning to drop and the rains will soon be upon us.

We love it here and at the same time, we can’t wait to be back in Europe in 2023. Come join us! We’d love to be your personal Photo Tour guides.