The Pacific northwest (PNW) is a very special place in the world; adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by mountains, and bordering Canada. A place where picture perfect sunsets in the summer is a daily thing, a place where you get a new perspective of rain. A place where thunder and lighting storms don’t exist, and a place you can go to feel humbled by nature when life starts moving too fast. The Pacific northwest is a place I called home for almost two years.
During my last month there, my best friend from home came to visit for a road trip to the west coast. We started our trip out in Seattle, walking around Pioneer Square, seeing the Pike’s Place fish market, and taking a view of the Olympic mountains from the park.
We rented a bright orange Mini Cooper and started our trek to the west coast of America. If you’ve been to the Pacific Northwest you already know, but you can’t drive anywhere outside of the city without getting gorgeous views of all nature around. Even the highways in Seattle are overflowing with lush green, that get trimmed a few times a year because of how much growth falls over the highway.
Our first destination was a stop in the Olympic National Park, which is home to mountains, but what is more special than that is it’s home to one of just a few rain forests in all of the United States. We drove and made stops along the way just to appreciate the scenery around us.
We spent the night in Forks, which is a small town close to the coast, that’s most famous for the movie Twilight. Which means literally every place we went to had Twilight themed things, including the names of the Subway special sandwiches. Our airbnb was a quaint little cabin along a river, which was the most relaxing sound to hear.
The next morning was our only full day on the coast, so we woke up early to make the most of it. Ruby beach was our destination, which is one of my favorite beaches in America. When you enter, the beach is full of rounded stones and pebbles, but the further you walk down, it turns into the purest form of sand. As you stare out into the ocean there, its easy to be taken away by the waves and the rocks. But as soon as you turn around, you’re reminded of where you are in the world, where all you can see is forests of pointy evergreen trees and logs. Breathing in fresh misty air on the beach is a feeling I hope everyone can experience at least once in their lifetime.
Next on the agenda was Cape Flattery, which is the northwestern most point of the contiguous United States. Cell phone service goes out, roads become more windy, and the excitement builds. The rain starts falling a little it harder than usual as we pull up to the parking lot. It’s a short hike with some uneven terrain but a lot of wooden walkways and tree root steps. The Pacific Northwest has given me a new perspective on rain than what the midwest has given me — the rain is light, it’s mild. It’s not like the heavy buckets of water with lighting and thunderstorms that I’m used to. The rain in PNW adds a bit of life to everything. Our hike was full of shiny, glossy leaves, that reflected all of the light in the most gorgeous way. The sound of the light rain hitting each leaf is one you could meditate to.
After running through the forest, we finally see the coast. The trees start to open up and our excitement took over. The cliffs here are untouched and unfenced, which makes for an unobstructed view of the various rock formations, wildlife, and water. It is a place I would recommend everyone to go to, because its absolutely unforgettable.
As we started our trek back home right before sunset, a bald eagle flew past our car which was really a great ending to a mini road trip.
I’ve moved out of PNW, but it forever will hold a special place in my heart, and it will always feel like a second home to me. This trip shows just a micro-fraction of the beauty this pocket of the country holds, and I am so thankful I got to spend a portion of my life growing here. And who knows, maybe one day I will call it home again. Until then, I will be back soon to visit the mountains and everything else there is to offer.