Hiking in the Pacific Northwest
I didn't really start hiking until my senior year of high school. I couldn't understand that people went out and walked on muddy trails in the heat (or snow or rain) for fun.
But then I did it (probably because I really wanted to impress my high school boyfriend), and absolutely loved it.
When I moved to Southern Arizona, I did a bit of hiking, but college made it difficult for me to really get out to the mountains.
When I graduated and began my 'adult' job, I started going outside more. It helped that my job offered free hikes every morning with snacks, water, and experienced guides. The views were stunning and massive. I loved being able to escape into the dry landscape, surrounded by cacti and huge rocks.
And then I came to the Pacific Northwest and my mind was blown. I didn't think it was possible to have such expansive, lush views of the world.
I went to Mt. Hamilton in Washington a little over a month and a half ago, and it definitely goes down on the list as one of my favorite days (somewhere between the day the Sims 3 came out and the first time I had a breakfast burrito).
The weather was wonderful, the company was even better, and the view was completely breathtaking. The crazy thing about it is that I've heard there are even more incredible hikes?!? How is this place even real?
Picking up my life and moving to a brand new place wasn't easy. I've never really done anything this big by myself. Sure, I've moved thousands of miles several different times, but there's always been a bit of a security blanket on the other side. I'm two months in and I still feel like a total newb.
When hiking, I'm able to go out into nature and just be. In the last month, I've relied on that quite a bit to get me through the harder times. Nature is a beautiful constant in my life. And I think I picked the perfect place to explore it.