BY: CAROLINE ROLF
Photographs by: Hunter Lawrence
Exploring all the beauty the world has to offer is a wonderful thing, but it’s even better with a buddy.
Lucky for Hunter Lawrence, his best friend is always ready to accompany him – whether it be to a majestic landmark or his own backyard.
Meet Aspen, a four-year-old golden retriever who belongs to Hunter and Sarah Lawrence, and is the striking subject of his own Instagram account. Just look into Aspen’s eyes – they’ve seen glacial Canadian lakes, lush forests and winding roads at sunset. They know adventure and wisdom far beyond their 33 dog years. His stare has struck a chord with viewers, earning Aspen more than 160,000 followers. Aspen and his spontaneous owners have found themselves far from their Denver, Colorado home tobogganing, canoeing, hiking and cruising in a VW Camper.
Hunter and Sarah were fortunate enough to travel from a young age. They met people from new cultures and saw how different people lived. The more they travelled, the more fascinated they became and vice versa. Aspen came into their lives on Thanksgiving Day in 2012 from an ad on Craigslist, and Hunter says, “the rest is history.” From day one, Aspen fit right into the travelling lifestyle and the couple’s weekly routine of seeing somewhere new.
“Aspen has always loved being outside. I think it’s mainly because we love being outside and we’ve provided an environment for him to really enjoy space.”
In October 2015, with 8 states checked off, the pair decided to take Aspen to the astonishing Canadian Rockies. Hunter says all they knew was that they wanted to take a fun trip before the winter snow settled on the roads. They left at 10 p.m. and were in Banff by 3 p.m. with no plans, just the desire to see something new. They started in Alberta and made their way to British Colombia then drove the coastline down to Oregon. It was in the middle of Lake Louise with their 100 lb golden retriever that the pair shared the most magical moment.
“The lake is like 250 feet deep and you can’t see anything below the surface because of all the mineral water. It was there that it hit us, we literally just packed our car and drove to Canada, and here we were in the middle of the most beautiful glacial lake, in the middle of Canada. Sarah and I had a pretty good laugh in that moment. Aspen just stared at us, wondering when he could jump in the water.”
“Aspen shows no judgement to people. He doesn’t care who you are, how much money you’ve got, what type of car you drive, your race, religion or sexuality. He greets everyone the same, and makes everyone feel like they are his best friend.”
Hunter doesn’t know where their next destination will be, as they love their Colorado home base and friends as much as they love the open road. Wherever he and Sarah end up, Aspen will be right along side, enjoying nature and providing the best travelling companionship.