Coast to Crest

Five days in Washington, from the Pacific Coast to the crest of Mt. Baker. I'm new to the Pacific Northwest and the land here takes my breath away. I hope that never changes.

Car packed with gear, snacks, and my dog Indiana we made our way to La Push. This small town is nestled between the Olympic National Forest and some of the prettiest beaches I've ever seen. The mix of dense evergreen forest and rocky coast is a unique sight.

Indy and I walked the beach for awhile enjoying the sights, smells, sounds. 

C2C-14.jpg

Around 9pm the sky lit up and gave us quite a show. Usually socked in, I was lucky to see such a rich sunset. There were a handful of us on the beach, standing still, quietly in awe.  

East from La Push and into Olympic National Park we take a nice hike through the Hoh Rain Forest. The lush color and textures here are a bit surreal. 

I've not seen a landscape quite like this. It felt like another planet or, if this one, where dinosaurs roamed. 

Leaving Hoh, we loop around the Olympic Peninsula, the very top left corner of the United States. This part of the country is beautiful and has a way of making you feel small. 

En route to Seattle, we take the Kingston Ferry across the Sound. During the short trip I text a few Seattle friends how neat I thought it was that me, my dog, and my car were all on the same boat. None are as impressed. I'm still new here, ya know? 

A dog, clearly impressed.

A dog, clearly impressed.

In Seattle I meet up with my friend Ben Schuyler. We catch up over pizza and set out the next day for Mt. Baker. 

Mt. Baker is part of the volcanic range in the Cascades, standing mighty at 10,700 feet. Our trip up provides a slow reveal of the mountain. 

Indiana's first road trip, she's taking advantage of the drive to catch up on some puppy z's. 

We get to our cabin, stretch out and settle in. A few hours later the rest of our group arrives. Cold drinks, board games, and catching up on friendships - these are some of my favorite nights. 

The next day the air is clean and crisp, the sky overcast. We take a beautiful hike on the mountain weaving through lakes, lush forest, and up to packed snow. 

I love watching Indy on the trail. Day-to-day she's a sweet, timid girl. Out on a hike she's fearless and indefatigable. Love having her in my life. 

Before heading down the mountain and then home, we drive to the top of Baker. A storm is blowing in, some foreboding skies provide drama down the range.

I say goodbye to my pals and make the long trek from Mt. Baker to Portland. Tired and happy, how I always feel at the end of a great trip. Life is good here in the Pacific Northwest. This summer has brought much joy, hopefully the first of many more to come.