Adventure Awaits! A New Resident's Take on Washington State
In the Fall of 2013, I was living not in Washington but in Denver, Colorado. It was early August, and the sun was bright and warm. The air was thick with nostalgia, and I decided to set down my bags for a moment to take in all the feelings of home. Up to that point I had lived in the exact same house my entire life, but I was on the precipice of a big change. The college I had chosen to attend was over 1,000 miles away, in Walla Walla, Washington. I had only even ever been in Washington State once before, and the thought of living somewhere completely new felt utterly foreign but also deeply exhilarating. I could tell that I was standing on the edge of a grand new adventure, and I was excited to think about just how much was waiting out there for me to discover. I took a few minutes to stand in the heat of the sun and look over the place that I grew up in—it would be months before I could be back to see it again, and by that time I knew it would already feel a little different without me in it. For the next four years at least, I would have two hometowns, one familiar and comfortable, and one new and exciting, brimming with potential. I took a few deep breaths, picked up my bags and hopped on a plane to Washington.
Adventure awaits in WA!
It was there in Walla Walla that I met my partner Molly, who was a long-time resident of Ellensburg, Washington. We became attached at the hip early freshman year, and since that time not much has changed. We love to go on adventures together, and over the last six years we have done plenty of that. During those first four years we traveled all over the state together, taking in all the wonderful things that Washington has to offer. Together we have spent time wine-tasting in Walla Walla, and laid in the wheat fields surrounding that city—they make the perfect spot to soak in the endless sky underneath a fiery Washington sunset. We have hiked in the Cascades and filled our lungs with the fresh, lush air that you can only find in the Pacific Northwest. We have driven east to Spokane and taken in their stunning riverfront park before attending a concert. We have gone rock climbing in Frenchman Coulee outside of Vantage, where tall pillars of basalt stand as stark monuments nestled in the rolling, scrubby hills of Eastern Washington. In Seattle, we have edged our way through the bustling crowds in Pike's Place Market and eaten clam chowder on the pier. We have shed our clothes and plunged ourselves into the icy waters of Lake Cle Elum. We have wandered the ancient mossy forests of Olympic National Park and looked in awe on the towering behemoth that is Mount Rainier. In such a short time, I have been very lucky to have the chance to indulge in all sorts of recreation that this state has to offer, but we are far from done yet.
Even with all the amazing experiences I've had in Washington, I still feel so new here. I feel wide-eyed and naïve; I haven't even scratched the surface of all that this state has to offer. Every time I take the time to look, I find something completely new that I hadn't seen before. Each time I get in the car to drive to some new hike, or park, or meal, I am struck by how much variety, how much limitless opportunity for memory-making there is in this part of the country. No matter who you are, or what your taste, there is so much potential here to do whatever it is that you love. Whether you like to hike, or make new friends at the dog-park, whether you like to get your adrenaline pumping OHVing in the mountains or if you like simply putting your boat in the river and watching the world go by as you float downstream, there is something for you here, and Washington Hometown can help you find it. That is what excites me most about being a part of the Washington Hometown project. The amazing recreation opportunities that this state has to offer are not concentrated in one place. In fact, every town, every new trail, practically around every corner, there is something new and exciting to discover. Whether you are looking to stay close to home, or visit somewhere you've never been before, Washington Hometown maps can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. It is my hope that the maps brought to you by Washington Hometown will help people like me, whether they be new visitors or long-time natives, discover more of what they love about this state. I hope that you will enjoy following along as I explore, share, and learn more about this beautiful state.
For my first post, I would like to share with you a beautiful place I visited around two years ago, Tongue Point, WA.
Salt Creek Recreation Area has access to camping, hiking and tide pooling. It is a stunning place to spend the afternoon, or the whole weekend! The salty ocean air mixing with the smells of the rainforest is something not to be missed. Click the map if you are looking to find Salt Creek Recreation Area, home to Tongue Point/