Good news and good woodsy aesthetics
So, let's start with the good news! I got a job!
Starting Monday, I'll be the Tech PR intern at Edelman's Seattle office. It's a global PR company, with offices around the world, and the largest one of the West Coast happens to be in Seattle.
It's a full-time internship, which is perhaps not what I or any post-grad aspires to be taking after going into abstractly large sums of student debt, four years of college, and working their asses off in previous internships, but it's what most of my other friends have found for entry level work, so I don't feel behind the curve.
On the plus side, I am genuinely excited to be getting into public relations for technology companies at such a formative and educational part of my post-grad career, especially as tech companies are only going to increase in their global dominance during my lifetime. It may be the bottom rung of a ladder, but it's an exciting and promising ladder!
Finding out on Monday that I'd landed the job capped off a wonderful weekend we spent in the Olympic National Rainforest. As a belated joint birthday present, Dad was treating us to the trip, and Lia, Gina, and I were joined by Dad's best "man", Jen, and her Italian boyfriend Michele. Just three foreign blokes and their American boos.
Lia and I had been looking forward to the trip for a long time, itching to explore the remote coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula and the rainforests of the area, which are some of the quietest and most diverse habitats on the planet.
They're so quiet because Lake Quinault is a bugger to get to, and we only spent part of the car ride with Dad arguing about music, when we left cell service and I could no longer stream music, and he decided Coldplay would be a crowdpleaser. And apparently my music is depressing...
The remoteness was beautiful in itself though, and the Lake Quinault Lodge was so lovely, with such a simple, old school charm, and a roaring hearth at the center of the communal lounge area.
When we arrived on Friday afternoon, Lia and I sprinted down to the lake to enjoy what little sunlight was left in the PNW day, and make the most of the fact that it wasn't raining. It's one of the rainiest places in the world, averaging a small building's worth of downfall each year. No wonder everything is so lush and overgrown. It was spectacular to see so many plants at their most impressive.
We started Saturday with a walk from the lake, along a several mile trail, fully kitted out in waterproof gear that ended up being overkill. But still, it was a good reminder why neither Lia nor I frequently rock wide leg pants.
The forest was so stunning, with all the colors from the canopies to the forest floor so saturated thanks to all the rainfall. Our walk was gorgeous too, winding past waterfalls, through felled trees, and under road bridges that were seamlessly integrated through the dense vegetation.
It was a photographer's dream, as everywhere you looked there was something else otherworldly in its beauty. It was impossible to truly capture the magic when so much of the experience was the heady smell of the mossy, dank forest, and the utter peacefulness of it.
Despite the rain, I felt so comfortable, and could've ogled the forest for hours longer than we did.
Dad and Gina were in some sort of hurry, or just didn't want to wait while Lia and I took hundreds of photos (can't imagine which it would be) so they ditched us fairly early on. We caught up with them a bit later because we're LIGHTNING FAST WALKERS, but kept losing them as we dawdled appreciating the woods for the first time. We caught up with them down a steep bank that went down to a river cutting through the forest, and began walking down to meet them, when who should walk along the path from the opposite direction but Jen and Michele, who were arriving that afternoon!
Dad and Gina decided to walk all the way back through the forest with them — despite the fact that we'd just walked several miles from that direction to get to the point which we had — so Lia and I finished up with the company of a few good dogs who caught up to us. Once we got back to the lodge, we decided to go for a bit of an explore around the area, and set off in the car.
We quickly realized that as the area was so remote, there wasn't really anything to see without a long drive, so we doubled back, and hit a pizza place not too far from the lodge that was as all-American of a tavern as they come. Football on the tv, Native American art on the walls, pizza and burgers on the menu.
Deciding to extend our jaunt, we popped over to the high school just a few feet down the road to check out the bake sale we'd seen multiple signs advertising, and to see the craft fair. Also we were nosy as to what a high school in a community as tiny as this one would look like.
We arrived, and were informed of the raffle going on, and so after putting our names in the bowl, we set about looking at the sports team photos on the wall outside the gym, trying to spot somebody who wasn't white.
While wandering around the small craft fair — and scoring a sweet little plant pot — they began announcing the winners of the raffle, drawing a name after declaring what the prize would be. And guess who won a hand-knitted afghan blanket in the school's blue and yellow color scheme? That's right, the love of my life. She's a good luck charm in many ways.
Overjoyed with our haul, we headed back to the lodge to boast of our new blanket and drink wine in front of the fireplace with the rest of the party until playing Clue sounded like a good idea.