No trip can constantly be gorgeous hikes and cozy apartments and witty banter between friends. Inevitably there are days filled with endless hours of driving on the packed asphalt slipstreams of America, a kind of high speed claustrophobic isolation which is both draining and tedious. These days always end however, and oftentimes allow you to arrive somewhere new and beautiful for sunrise.

I woke up to the sound of rain and the feel of cold air against my cheeks. The sky dark heavy with low hanging clouds which drift between the pines like spirits. The undeniable presence of fall permeates the air. The branches of the trees are black and slick with water, Washington’s forests tinted with even deeper shades of green and brown by the falling water and rising mist.

Driving up into the mountains was like driving between the realm of reality and folklore. If I knew the legends of these woods I am sure that I would believe them, for there is something about the way the clouds drift between the trees and the formidable silence that they hold which gives the material world a certain frailty. It is as if everything you knew to be true could be dispelled at any moment at the sight of some primordial beast lurking through the tree trunks or some ancient spirit drifting out from the wisps of cloud clinging to the wildflowers.
What I’m saying is that the mountains of Washington hold something a little older and a little grander and not altogether explainable about them. Maybe it comes from being so close to the sky all the time, maybe it comes from the rock itself. Whatever it is, it had me completely enchanted and enthralled.

I bite into a grape and roll my window down to hear the thunder.