There is nothing quite so magical as the wide open spaces of Northwestern America—from the sweeping, grass-covered plains to the majestic snow-capped mountains. From the early days of designing our Fall Collection, I knew I wanted to travel to Wyoming to shoot these pieces. It’s the perfect Autumn wonderland, with crisp, chilly mornings and warm, sun-filled afternoons. It would be another girl trip, like our visit to Big Sur, just five of us with a van full of dresses and a camera to capture every laugh-filled moment.
It was so fun traveling to Wyoming with four of my closest girlfriends:
Paloma, Ally, Miwa, and Becky. A dream team!
T Cross Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming.
We arrived at T Cross Ranch in Dubois on a Friday night, so tired from our travels that we barely got a fire lit before collapsing into our cabin beds. We awoke early the next morning to frost-tinged windows, our noses and toes cold from the chilly night. A magical quiet had descended on the land, broken only by the occasional bird chirping just outside our window. We made a batch of Canyon Coffee and took it on the porch to spend the morning reading and enjoying the fresh air.
That day we went to Horse Creek, which runs along the edge of the property, and the wonderful caretaker of the ranch, Jacki, brought her drum and singing bowls, which she uses to ward off any unwanted animals. She has been practicing this method for years, and although she’s seen many bears (from a safe distance!), she loves what a gentle and natural way this is to let the animals know you’re there.
Jacki, the caretaker of T Cross Ranch, in The Dawn Dress
The ranch has recently gotten a few horses, and Jacki brought us to meet them all. Ally grew up around horses and has a special affinity with them, and we all loved the energy these beings brought to the day. We couldn’t say no to a quick game of horseshoes afterward!
It started raining in the afternoon, and Jacki made her famous coconut curry soup to warm us up. The rain turned to hail later in the evening, and the night quickly became windy and cold. We played endless games of checkers to pass the time, listening to the rain and hail beat down on the roof of the cabin. It felt truly beautiful to be so off the grid and subject to pure nature and its constant changes. There’s nothing like the still quiet that seems to exist all over Wyoming, especially after a heavy rain.
The next morning, we set out to explore Dubois, finding ourselves at Welty’s General Store, a true time capsule that’s been around since 1889. We browsed the vintage cowboy clothes inside and I even found a pair of sweet moccasins for my youngest son, Sage. While taking photos that afternoon, a bald eagle flew right over our heads! It was such a majestic sight; we were all quiet as it soared and dipped through the open fields. We keep Animal Medicine Cards in the van whenever we travel, and we love looking up the meaning of the various animals we see on our trips. Paloma found the eagle card and read that eagle medicine represents a connection to the Divine, the Great Spirit. It teaches us how to live in both realms—the realm of the spirit and our realm of earth. I felt so connected with this meaning and with the bald eagle, and the message he brought for us.
Eagle medicine represents a connection to the Divine, the Great Spirit. It teaches us how to live in both realms—the realm of the spirit and our realm of earth.
On our last day, we visited Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. We packed a picnic lunch and found shade underneath a tall pine tree, then spent the afternoon basking in the warm, early Autumn sunshine. When we’d had our fill of relaxing, we piled into a hunter green canoe aptly named Discovery, setting off around the lake, laughing as we accidentally splashed each other with our paddles. The only thing left to do after canoeing was a cold plunge into the chilly waters. This practice is one we all love doing—submerging yourself in a cold body of water can activate the body’s natural healing powers, improve circulation, and increase energy. It’s just one of the many ways nature can heal us.
"Submerging yourself in a cold body of water can activate the body’s natural healing powers, improve circulation, and increase energy. It’s just one of the many ways nature can heal us."
We left Wyoming feeling full and happy, from our hearts to our stomachs (thanks to Jacki’s amazing soup!). This place will always hold such a special meaning for us, and we know we’ll be returning one day—for more long drives through the wilderness, chilly mornings, and, hopefully, for more bald eagle medicine.
Jacki’s Recipe for Coconut Curry Soup
2 cans coconut milk
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
3Tbs fresh grated ginger
2-3 tsp curry powder
1-2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Rice of your choice
1 - Cook the rice.
2 - Steam chopped carrots and potatoes.
3 - Mix coconut milk, water, fish sauce, lime juice,
ginger, curry powder, turmeric powder, cayenne powder
and bring to a simmer.
4 - When rice & veggies are cooked, assemble soup
(rice, veggies, soup).
5 - Garnish with cilantro & green onions.