I've returned! Seattle was wonderful, with wonderful people and wonderful clean streets and wonderful coffeeshops and wonderful flowers. We got there quite late, woke up at a decent hour, and walked across the street to have breakfast at Janine's sisters house. This is Janine in her finest:
She is a good friend of mine, a tough, kind, creative woman with an unbeatable style. She and her adventurous husband Mark, along with their baby daughter Adeline, were in charge of us hooligans as we swam through Seattle, exploring Pike's Market, eating marvelous chicken teriyaki, going to a mediocre concert, and generally being tourists. The next day we woke up early to get our hiking boots that were individually approximatly half my weight and packed all of our stuff up. It looked like this:
We drove to the Canadian Border (hi, Canada!), where they let us pass without delay, and took a ferry to Vancouver, I think. The views were "boatiful," as Mallory so cleverly coined them. We got to this place in the middle of nowhere called Egmont, stayed the night camped out on the dock where there was bioluminescence in the lake, which basically meant that anything that moved in the matter was surrounded for an instant by PIXIE DUST. Screw science, pixie dust is the only explanation for it.
Next day we took a Water Taxi to Malibu, the base camp. The staff POURED, literally POURED out of the woods to the dock to cheer for us as we approached. They were all super friendly and cheerful, and I would be perfectly happy marrying almost any one of them (of the men, anyways). We made our way to the bungalow, had an emotional campfire (the tears flowed freely), and passed out. Here is a view from the bungalow:
NEXT day, we got our 40-50 pound hiking gear (read: a large pile of BRICKS), hopped on a little boat, and boated to Mt. Jay Jay. By the first day I was keeling over, surrendering myself completely to the mountain, even weeping a little tiny bit. In my head I apologized numerous times to various parts of my body, my hips, knees, back, feet, and soul. It was a hard day, but it went all UPHILL (haha!) from there! We belayed down a cliff side, and it was wild (THAT'S REALLY ME!):
Our guides were fantastic. They were Sheehan, Collin, and Alissa, and I wish they all lived down the street so I could have them over for dinner every day. Sheehan was the ideal representation of the kind of person I wanted to be (but in a masculine form), Collin was a bearded cheeleader that kept my plodding feet going, and Alissa was a strong, shy sweetheart.
(Sheehan with his daughter and Mark with his daughter Adeline in the first photo, and Collin and Alissa in the second)
I think I may be a little in love with Sheehan, but I think it's more a love for the idea of him. He gave me hope, I guess, for my own future. It sounds a bit silly, and I guess it's risky to put on the interwebs, but I trust that no harm will come of it. Although didn't I just say that Sheehan was the representation of the type of person I would like to be? Does that make me a narcisist? I guess I'll find out later...
Anyways. I ate food I had sworn to myself would never touch my lips, and sometimes it was good, and other times not so much. All our meals and soup and hot chocolate were served in a charming vessel called a two-cup, which is a little cup thing that has a spoon attached to it by a string. The morning we got back we had BACON. Real BACON. BACON cooked on a REAL STOVE. It took all I had in me to not moan aloud. BAAAACON.
This trip was hard, the hardest thing I had ever done in my entire life, and that is no exaggeration. But I survived, with two rather impressive bruises and a face full of inset bites, but a better person. I hope. I'm happy to be home, but I miss the mountains and the people that I met very much.
(I'm the one on the far left in the blue blue blue)