Washington

Mount Erie

The first few weeks in Washington were not as pleasant as I’d have liked. It rained all day, every day, for about four months. It was grey and raw, and chilled me to the bone. It was light for no more than 6-7 hours a day. I knew no one, had no friends, and didn’t know where anything was. Lonely, cold, sad. Yes, I cried a lot. I was, for lack of a better word, miserable.

However, at some point, we got a small break in the clouds (literally, a few hours), and I managed to make it to Anacortes to explore a bit. Yes, it took me that long to venture out of the house to go exploring – because with my job, and not knowing anyone, what else would get me outside?

Anacortes is a town on Fidalgo Island, and it’s gorgeous. It doesn’t have the same types of mountains as the Canadian Rockies to the north, or the Cascades to the East, but it’s got running trails, spectacular westward views (“I can see Alaska from my house!” – not really), and the quaint cobblestone main street with the breweries and tchotchke shops that elicit a feel that is reminiscent of the seafaring towns of New England.

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There’s also a little mountain – Mount Erie. And the convenient part is that there is a paved road that brings you all the way to the top. And so I drove. And I finally started to appreciate where I’d moved. It was a wet, misty 40F, but the sun was trying to break through, so it made for a stunning view.

Luckily, the rain and mist, coupled with the trying-so-hard sunshine meant I got something like a Lord of the Rings forest view while driving.

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When I got to the top, there was a lookout, and it showed the lake, and the Pacific Ocean beyond.  If you look close enough, you miiiiiiight be able to see Canada on a clear day.

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There was even a little bridge on the lookout point that had wishing locks.  I didn’t know about them previously, but I wrote myself a note to bring a lock and key for next time.

IMG_20161125_140916375-PANOMaybe living here wouldn’t be so bad after all

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One Way Ticket on a West-Bound Train

Sometimes, you just have to YOLO and figure you aren’t getting any younger, so you might as well just buy the shoes!  Take the trip!  Kiss the guy in the bar that bought you a drink!  Move across the country….again!

Back in June, I got a new job in a new location, and therefore bought new shoes.

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No….wait, that’s not the point (though they’re pretty, and I’ve actually worn them!).  The point is that I quit my job at Yale, packed up everything I owned into two small shipping boxes, and flew to my new home: Dallas, Texas.

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Dallas was….fine.  Not bad, excruciatingly hot in summer, and traffic was awful.  Not the best place, not the worst.  So when the opportunity to move to the PacNW came up, I thought, “Hey, I’ve always wanted to live there, it will be wet and raining, but it will be lush and green.  Let’s go!”  Of course, it wouldn’t be Seattle (damn), but it would be halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, BC, which is almost as good.

Of course, I got all excited and forgot about the actual moving part.  This means lots of packing and shipping (again), but it also meant a road trip for the things they wouldn’t ship, like firearms, booze, and liquids.  (Also, for things that I refuse to ship, like some of my pandas).  I took some time off of work, rented a car, and mapped out a route for the 2400 miles between my old home in Texas, and my new home in Washington.

After some whirlwind packing, tearful goodbyes, and one last burger from my favorite Dallas burger place, I set off on my one-way road trip, leaving Dallas in my rearview.

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