The smell of crushed conifer needles in hot sun reminds me of the month we moved here. It was hot during the days but blissfully cool at night and in the mornings, a stark contrast and welcome change from east coast humidity. It’s a little bit odd, remembering a time when I didn’t know how to get from my apartment to the Burke, when I had never seen the Cascades on a clear day, when I hadn’t explored much of this glorious state.

Our adventure last weekend took us to Eastern Washington, with its yellow grasses and dull green sagebrush. There is something about the open roads, wild hills, and so much sky that makes it perfect for a road trip. And there’s some quality of that landscape that makes me slightly uneasy, but also makes me want to go back.

This weekend we went to the Olympic Peninsula and camped in the National Forest at Klahanie. We explored wild coast, found sea stars, anemones, hermit crabs, and tiny fish in tide pools, saw an elk, and spent the night among very old moss-covered trees in a lush rainforest.

The contrasts in this state are surreal and stunning. What a wonderful place to live.

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