My phone bursts with noise at 5:30 AM. Still dark, I stand cold in my kitchen making coffee. Then, I stare into my computer editing photos for four hours straight from my bike trip I did this summer. 10 o'clock rolls around and I smile at a text from a friend living outside Seattle. He tells me he's coming into the Peninsula with his friend Elly for the day and wants to meet up.
With a now legitimate excuse to stop working on my project for a while we head out exploring for the afternoon. I tell them to follow me as we drive towards Lake Crescent on Highway 101. I look out my window in wonder at the dense forest as the sun glitters through the trees.
I smile at the fact that it's March 6th, 2018 and am free to show Matt and his friend Elly some spots in the Peninsula. I smile at how blessed I am to not be at work right now. I drift off to how my life has worked out over the past 5 months:
I moved to Port Angeles in November and started working at Mervin Manufacturing making snowboards 40 hours a week. With spring came seasonal work for those in the field of environmental science, such as myself. So, I applied all over the place to get out of a factory and back outside working with the environment. After tens of cover letters and resumes later, I was able to land a position with the North Olympic Salmon Coalition starting March 21st. I accepted the position and then broke my wrist only a couple hours later. Because my job at Mervin was based entirely off hand motions, I was unable to work. I was bummed. Yet, I was stoked to not have to work. So, the entire month of March was now free to do as I pleased.
I come back to place as I enter into the corridor of highway 101 and Lake Crescent. We pull over at the first turn out and take a moment to feel the sun on our faces, to just be present in the spring air.
We hop back in our cars and drive to a trailhead that's only a short hike to Marrymere falls. We walk through old growth forest earning ourselves complete peace, tranquility, and serenity. Sounds are muffled by the vegetation gifting us these emotions. It's really like nothing else.
We arrive at the waterfall stoked to play in the shimmering emerald water.
Along the way I am shocked to discover that Elly is actually from Iowa. I was born in Iowa, and then moved to Minnesota. Its not often that you find a fellow Iowan out in Washington. We connected over the flat lands of the midwest, corn, and small towns. Elly was full of energy, enthusiasm, and very easy to talk to. This photo sums her up pretty well.
We hiked out of the falls with Matt and Elly determined for some adrenaline and cold water. Myself still in a cast, behaved while they sent the plunge off some cliffs tucked away along the banks of Lake Crescent.
I determined the day a success after that. I was eager to return to editing photos while I have all this time off work. I snapped this photo of them right before the final trek back to our cars.
I said, "see ya later," because good byes are forever. I knew I'd see them again. I hopped in my car to drive a whopping twenty minutes back to my house. I think you have to be a "out of towner," to fully appreciate this place. I've met many locals who looked at me in disbelief for moving here to just essentially, "be here." They couldn't get why anyone would move to such a sheltered community with "nothing to do." I guess we each define "do," because to me, the things to do here seem limitless.