You guys, the Pacific Northwest is truly beautiful. I don't typically think too much of it, living in the Seattle suburbs, with the occassional view of the glory that is Mount Rainier, but driving out towards the mountains on a sunny day, or even a foggy one, where you can only just glimpse the tips of the mountains that are otherwise shrouded in mist, I start to realize just how breathtaking it really is. Once you get past a certain point on the freeway, the entire drive is gorgeous. The mountains, snowcapped or not, towering over the road, or far off in the distance, never fail to capture my attention and imagination. It's views like these that make Josh and me say, "I could never live anywhere else."
On Valentine's Day, Josh and I decided to drive out and hike up to Rattlesnake Ridge. I had been wanting to hike it ever since my friend posted pictures of the amazing view on Facebook, and since we didn't feel like doing any of the stereotypical Valentine's Day activities (fun as they may be), I figured a hike would be a good way to spend the day. I thought it was a pretty novel idea: "Who would want to hike on Valentine's Day?" Well, apparently everyone and his dog. It was a very crowded trail and, thanks to the rain, nice and muddy as well. But the high traffic made it much easier for me to hide just how out of shape I really am...I stopped often to "let those people pass." Josh knew the real reason, but he was nice. And he carried my floral backpack without complaint. It really wasn't that bad, it was just two miles of UP (yay, switchbacks!). The whole hike was pretty, though, and once we finally made it to the top, it was so worth it. The ridge itself was a bit frightening, because it made me realize just how high up we were, and how disastrous tripping over a loose rock or dog leash could be...I don't like heights much. But the view completely compensated for it. Everything below looked so lush and green and the sky had cleared to a nice blue. (I realized I haven't posted a picture of myself in glasses for a long time! And my hair is back, too. I promise that girl is me! And there's Josh, making his first ever appearance on the blog...it's only taken me a year to finally share a picture of us on here.)
The hike down was easy-peasy. I got my second wind after resting at the ridge, and we made it back down at a good speed. We even made friends with a labrador who followed us all the way down the mountain. It was a pretty great way for Josh and me to spend our second Valentine's Day together (really, how has it already been over a year? It's crazy how time flies.)...we followed up with binge-watching "The Last Room," which is a pretty fantastic SyFy mini-series, and junk food. :)
I'd love to do this hike again, though I would probably never go back on a weekend, to avoid the crowds. Still...I'll say it again, the view makes everything worth it.
I'll talk to ya'll soon.