Pacific Northwest landscape with mountains and lake

There is little in our world that has not been mapped, reviewed, and photographed – most of it many times over. But that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty left to be discovered. Especially if we think of discovery in more personal and individual terms: as a place you haven’t yet visited, a trail or road you haven’t traveled, or even something you previously failed to notice despite walking by it countless times. We’re continually amazed by all that awaits discovery – in our neighborhood, in Portland, in Oregon, in the Northwest, and in all sorts of places further from home.

Driving at dusk in the wilds of Oregon

We’ve been thinking more than usual lately about discovery and the unknown because we were part of Mercedes Benz’s “Uncharted” project. Focused on “uncharted destinations” the project aimed to recover a sense of adventure and excitement that is all too rare: “Innovation means going into uncharted territory. So we invited two photojournalists to drive the innovative Mercedes-Benz GLC300 to rediscover the thrill of a first.”

Adventure by an Oregon River with GLC300

Photographer Danny Christensen (@dannycdreams) took a five-day journey from Seattle to Portland (Note: the photos shown here are his). Along the way he passed through some absolutely spectacular natural scenery, including Olympic National Park and Klickitat County. He also took in some wonderful out of the way spots and shops in Seattle, Portland, and places in between. We were thrilled to host him at our store. You can see much more of his journey at Mercedes' Uncharted site.

The GLC300 and Danny Christensen in Portland, Oregon

We loved working with Danny. And lest we forget, the GLC300 was astounding. We admired the well-appointed leather interior and marveled at the car’s self-driving capabilities.

In the end we also found ourselves reflecting on the relationship between discovery and preparedness. It is, after all, easier to discover uncharted places and simply have a wonderful time if you are well prepared. Some preparation is mental or spiritual. You need to be ready to be amazed, to take some risks, and to give yourself fully to your experiences. But there are, we must admit, more material dimensions to preparation. To be sure you’ll be well prepared for any back road adventures if you’re driving a GLC300. And if you’re carrying an Orox bag you’ll be well prepared for wandering, walking, and traveling. Our bags are made to last a lifetime and we sure hope that each and every one of them makes it to a few uncharted places. Happy travels as you wander the uncharted!

November 12, 2015 — Mark Feldman