Saturday, May 8, 2010

Summer's coming.

They don't call it the Evergreen State for nothing.

Ah, what glory, the seasons! After what's been a relatively dry winter for Seattle, April unleashed days on end of relentless rain. This weekend, the sun finally emerged again - just in time to illuminate all the beautiful flowers and greenery that have blossomed under profuse watering last month.

Because all of my prior visits to Seattle occurred between late April and early June, I'd really had no concept of the Northwest during any season but the verdant, sunny one. In the past few rainy, gray months, I'd almost forgotten that I'm living in the same city with which I fell in love five years ago. But this weekend - with the skies blue and cloudless, the air crisp and humidity-free, the sliding glass walls of open-air cafes pushed aside to let in the summer breeze, and all the people outside basking in the sunshine - I was reminded.

Not that I don't still have some appreciation for the rain. Two friends from work, Jenica and James, and I miraculously all had a shared day off this week. Though I found what seemed like a great hike for us off of the infamous Mountain Loop Highway, my plans were foiled by a late-season snowstorm in the North Cascades. Instead, we stuck to lower elevations and went for a rainy trek to see Wallace Falls:

This area typically draws a lot of hiker traffic, but because of the weather, we had the trail and the falls pretty much to ourselves. And even though we missed out on some views due to the heavy mist, it was kind of nice to hike in fog; light rain can be really therapeutic, in ways...cleansing, renewing. And just a little more hardcore than your usual, sunny day hike :)

Supposedly, the Olympic Mountains are on the other side of all that mist.

The trees were gorgeous and stunning, as always.

Also: best trailhead sign ever. We had a photoshoot at it on our way out.

As with all good hikes, we finished up with - what else? - a trip to Grocery Outlet. There's one in Monroe, which happily, meant all new random surplus groceries to explore! Needless to say, we enjoyed some fantastic snacks on our drive back to the city...including: oatmeal raisin cookies, milk chocolate with sea salt almond nibs, and lots of tasty trail mix. Jenica needed to go home, but James and I rounded out the evening at an old favorite - the Hopvine Pub on Capitol Hill - for yummy soup and the beginning of open mic night.

I'm just happy summer is on its way - and for once, it won't mean 100+ degree temperatures and stifling humidity. Instead, it's going to mean: many more mountain adventures, fresh fruit smoothies, camp outs, backyard barbecues, summer concerts, long runs again, playing outside with friends, hiking the Grand Canyon this July, swimming in Lake Washington, riding my bike, and more mornings like this one: having no trouble waking up at 6 a.m. because sunshine was pouring through my windows.

Peace out, Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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