So yes, if you’re wondering, I am referencing that cinematic masterpiece, Bruce Almighty… If you weren’t wondering, Google it.
Okay, so apparently this is what I’m doing now; writing about multiple weeks at once. Because, well, honestly this blog is not my top priority.
I worked for a Chiropractor for a while, and while there were many things I couldn’t stand behind in his practice, (hence why I no longer work there) there is one ideal he held that really stuck with me. If someone doesn’t show up, whether it be for an appointment, for a party, or even in a friendship, if they say they are too busy or don’t have enough time, that’s not the simple truth. The truth is, whatever thing they aren’t showing up for just isn’t a priority in their life.
Now, my former boss took this as a bit of an insult, and it frustrated him daily. He wasted so much energy trying to figure out why his practice wasn’t number one on patients’ lists. I on the other hand, saw this as a sweet reminder of what I choose to put first in my life. I would much rather spend a Saturday morning walking the beach in Mukilteo with Bryce, coffee and bagel in hand, than sitting on the couch staring at my computer typing about my adventures.
For a long time, I was my one and only priority. So, if sitting at home in a bubble bath would be better for me mentally than going out to a club, yes, I would absolutely turn down that invitation. As my sense of self has changed over the years, so have my list of important things. Today, I have this awesome person in my life who I just really enjoy being around every single day. Even if we’re not doing anything, there are days that I would absolutely prioritize making dinner with Bryce and watching a movie over seeing a friend. And guys, I’m sorry, I love you all to complete pieces, but the truth is, I will most likely put my relationship with Bryce over my relationship with you.
Some people think this is an old fashioned point of view, and I should always put my girls first. You know, “sisters before misters”, “hoes before bros”, “chicks before dicks” however you want to say it. But I feel like I was lucky enough to find the greatest friend I’ve ever had in the person I want to spend my life with, and some days, for me, that’s all I need. So yeah, some nights I’ll turn down that invitation to watch OITNB with you, because Bryce and I are already on the 2nd to last episode, but that does not by any stretch of the imagination mean that next weekend I won’t want to stay up until 3am with you and a bottle of wine talking about how completely insane the world has become. – Sorry for being a little rude and also a little sappy –
I guess moral of the story, I might be that girl who disappears into a relationship, but I haven’t lost myself, this is who I am, and I absolutely love it. This isn’t to say Bryce and my relationship is my only priority, I might also choose a night with my siblings, my mom, my dad, my cats, or being outside, over an activity with someone whose DNA or house I don’t share. And I would tell you that I’ve been too “busy” to write this post, but that’s nonsense. I just felt like doing other things with my free time. SO here’s what I’ve been up to.
– Week 18 –
I actually did zero hiking during week 18… Whoops! Well, kinda whoops.
I hurt my leg at some point, I can’t quite figure out when or how, but I woke up on a Tuesday morning unable to put weight on it. Well, I could put weight on it, but it would really hurt and try to give out under me. So after a bit of stretching and rubbing, and trying to walk, I decided to just suck it up and limp my way into work.
The pain would go away at night, and then I’d wake up the next morning feeling like I couldn’t even role over my leg to get out of bed. It would happen randomly, so thankfully, by Friday of week 18 I was feeling okay, because my college roommates and I were heading out for a girls weekend in Vegas!!
I’d never been to Las Vegas before, and had a wonderful time with 3 of the nicest, funnest people I know! (See, I do have friends) Absolutely no hiking, nor real physical activity took place (it was 110-115 degrees!!) but I’m going to go ahead and say it was good for my leg, and a totally necessary break.
– Week 19 –
Weekend 19 started off with my favorite day of the year – my birthday!!
This year I got to participate in a fun adventure race called Questival, which is a 24 hour app-based competition of sorts, where you and your team of 4-6 people have to perform a whole bunch of tasks for points. There are chances to win trips and gear, but really it’s just fun to spend an entire 24 hours outside with your friends, going camping, doing silly things, and seeing parts of Seattle you’ve never seen before.
For Questival, we camped along the Snoqualmie River, hiked to Wallace Falls, went to Snoqualmie Falls, and Bryce and Michael ran to Coal Creek Falls because at that point in the day my leg was killing me again. We walked/drove all over Seattle, flew a kite with LeVar Burton’s face on it while singing the Little Rainbow theme song, and I got to try Korean food for the first time which was delicious!
So, due to the plethora of activity, I am counting my time at Questival as TWO hikes! (I make the challenge, I make the rules) So I’m still behind by one in the grand scheme of things, but DANG that weekend took a lot of energy!
Oh, also, Bryce fell in the river, and I pretty much saved his life, but I did not save his pants… 🙂
– Week 20 –
Guys, this weekend was pretty great. Bryce and I wanted to get a backpacking trip in, (first one of the year in July! It’s an abomination!) and I really wanted to go somewhere we haven’t been before. I was looking at Ptarmigan Ridge up on Mt. Baker but apparently they still have a few feet of snow (as in there are still walls of snow lining the road) so that wasn’t really what I was looking for. So after a lot of research into Mt. St Helens and Mt. Rainier, we headed to Glacier Basin in Mt. Rainier National Park.
Bryce and I were both surprised by how short the drive was to the trail head. At just about 2.5 hours, it’s comparable to going out Highway 2 or I-90 from where we are in Everett. Now, the park entry fee was astronomically higher, but worth it for this impressive hike.
We started from a campground along White River, and the trail rose steadily, keeping an equal distance above the loud, swift moving, river. We hiked under tree cover almost the entire way (a blessing as we didn’t get on the trail until almost 3pm) but could look out over the impressive river, and gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier beyond. Being in Seattle, you know that Rainier is a big mountain… But getting that close you suddenly realize it’s freaking ginormous!
We passed plenty of wildflowers in bloom on our ascent, and there will be even more popping up soon. The trail did have snow in some areas, and our campsite was just one giant snowdrift, (we camped in a semi-dry tree-well) but the views… oh were they worth it….
This is where the trail ends. The primitive path across the meadow leads to Emmons Glacier, and we saw countless groups hiking back down the trail with skis and snowboards on their packs. Up in the outer reaches of the woods, I’m fairly certain I also spotted a baby black bear, though I didn’t get a good look, but I’m not sure what else would run the same way on 4 legs, appear to be about the same color, have no noticeable tail, be about the size of a young bear, and have very bear-ish ears. Not taking our chances, we decided not to wander too far away from camp.
We had a beautiful dinner in the meadow, after which I unfortunately started to feel sick (I was also ruthlessly stabbed by a tree). I don’t know if it was the ramen I ate, my recently placed IUD, or if I accidentally drank some unfiltered water, but my stomach was cramping, and I was so tired I conked out at 7:00. When I woke up around 9, Bryce was understandably getting tired and ready for bed, while I was ready to go out and do things.
In case you noticed that my picture quality has drastically improved, that’s because Bryce got me a fancy schmancy new camera for my birthday that I took along with us! Unfortunately I had a Loki (cat) nose smudge on the lens for most of the pictures I took. But we had hoped to stay up and see some stars, try to get a long exposure, but by about 10:30pm, while the sun had set, the moon was still illuminating the sky. (Not that I’m complaining, because it was magical) So we decided to hit the hay (again) and get up early for a brisk morning hike back down. The snow was definitely more challenging to cross on the way out, aka downhill, but this 6.5 mile round trip, 1600 ft elevation gain hike was a great intro to backpacking for the year, and I would definitely recommend it to people wanting to see something new.
* Good to know side note: When we arrived at the park, access to the Sunshine parking lot was limited because the lot was full (this was a Sunday afternoon). While Burroughs Mountain (in Sunshine) would have given us similarly spectacular views, White River Campground has great access to essentially the same area if you ever encounter this issue. You can also choose to extend your hike up to Burroughs mountain from the Glacier Basin trail.
Also, here are few of the gorgeous wild flowers we saw, AKA me playing with my new gadget. – Thanks for reading!