Four weeks, four hikes. I can’t get enough of the wilderness in this state.
There is something wonderful about waking up early on a weekend, in the cool and quiet of the Pacific Northwest at dawn. I eat cereal and toast and wear an old flannel shirt that my mother gave me, and I fill my water bottles and carry my pack downstairs. The drive into the mountains is filled with still-somewhat-sleepy anticipation, and as we park and start to climb the world opens up into color and light.
The best part of these hikes is the noticing. And being with people who also notice. People who are as captivated and enthralled as I am by this landscape, these leaves, stems, flowers, trees, insects, mountains, skies, clouds, sounds, smells. Who want to discuss it in a passionate and serious and funny way, but are also happy to enjoy the silence of such an experience. There are moments on these trails when I have felt completely at home – not always an easy thing for a girl from a small town who moved to a big city, and for whom it took more than a year to truly find these friends.
This weekend we’re continuing the streak – it will be my fifth consecutive week venturing into the mountains of Washington State. There will be s’mores and cider and sunsets and reading and all the wildness of the Mountain. It will be glorious.