The Journey North : Part One - Washington + Oregon
Whew. It feels good to be getting back on this space. For the past month, I've been more or less (but definitely more) on the road, heading the furthest north I've ever been. It felt surreal to watch our progress on the map, to quickly slip past the familiar and confront the unknown head on. I can't pinpoint the exact moment I mentally agreed to this journey, but physically, I could feel the pull of this wild land since I left it a little over a year ago. Alaska.
My friend, Brian, is the driving force behind this trip. After making the decision to spend the summer in Anchorage, and driving from California to get there, something clicked inside me. THIS was the moment. The way I was meant to go back. I instantly knew I wanted to be on this adventure of a lifetime with him. Lucky for me, he was still in need of a co-pilot. And so, I booked my one way ticket west to Oregon, where we planned to meet after he completed the first leg.
A few initial bumps in the road ended up being a welcome surprise. And here in lies the major truth about road trips : they never go according to plan. Day one, and I learned this lesson fast. Lucky for me, this lesson came with a new friend. Bayley was as eager as myself to enjoy the unexpected blue skies that graced the Northwest that day. So, after some speedy intros, we made our way to the beautiful Mt. Hood. I was reminded of what I love about this community. How amazing it is for strangers to quickly turn into friends over our shared loved of the outdoors.
Finally reunited with Brian, we spent our second day further exploring along the Columbia River Gorge, this time on the Washington side. With some weather more appropriate to the PNW, we hit the trails in search of Spring greens and waterfalls. After a good night's rest, we finally gathered our things and started the journey north.
A couple days just north of the border, Brian and I found ourselves back in Washington, en route to Mt. Baker. It was the first time either of us had been there, and the mountain truly showed off. The clear skies that we experienced for the first leg of this trip only made it that much more special, knowing that we were being graced with some truly mesmerizing sunsets. And after a few days of hot, sunny weather, it felt SO good to be back in the snow. It was wild to think, this mountain was just a taste of what was to come. The peaks were only going to get bigger from here.