Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park – Washington – October 2022

My national park tour continues! Last weekend I drove to Mount Rainier National Park, about two hours from Seattle. The glacier-capped volcano is the center of the nation’s 5th oldest national park. It’s a hiker’s dream, and I was thrilled to spend a day among the jaw-dropping scenery.

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October in Seattle

Seattle skyline from Kerry Park – Seattle, Washington – October 2022

A week ago, I arrived in Seattle! I’m spending October living and working from a lovely apartment about 10 miles north of downtown, only a few blocks from Lake Washington. I’m adjusting to life in the fast lane—literally—compared to the laid-back atmosphere of Bend, Oregon. Traffic is nuts and the drivers are aggressive maniacs. But with my history of borderline road rage, I’m fitting right in. Seattle has so many iconic views and sites, and I’m enjoying being a tourist for a few hours each day.

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I ❤️ Bend

“The Bend Wall” at Newport Avenue Market – Bend, Oregon – September 2022

Today is my last full day in Oregon, and this post is all about the magical city of Bend. In fact, it’s official: Bend stole my heart. This month has been perfect. If I could, I would like to put September 2022 on repeat for a while.

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Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park – Oregon – September 2022

I spent most of Sunday absolutely speechless, soaking in the breathtaking views at Crater Lake National Park. It was the final bucket list item for my month in Oregon. A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with a local while on a river hike, and he said Crater Lake is so blue it will make your eyes hurt. An accurate statement, but in a good way. And if it’s not obvious, I’m having the time of my life on this travel adventure.

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Wildfire Season

Devils Lake – Bend, Oregon – September 2022

One of the great things about spending a month at a time in a different state is learning what it’s like to be a local. Each place has its own quirks that have been fun to discover. But this month’s biggest learning opportunity hasn’t been as fun: I’m discovering what it’s like to live close to a raging wildfire.

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Exploring Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

I’m in another new-to-me state: Oregon! A state without sales tax, where it’s illegal to pump your own gas, and with fir trees galore. I arrived in Bend on Thursday and have settled into the spacious townhome where I’m spending the month discovering why Bend shows up on so many Top 10 lists of cities to live in the U.S. The journey here through the Columbia River Gorge was truly gorge. (You knew that was coming.)

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Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene

I’m only in Idaho for a couple more days, and I can’t leave without talking about Coeur d’Alene. It’s a native tribe. A river. A lake. A scenic byway. A resort. And a city. Over the past month I’ve driven the 25 minutes to Coeur d’Alene several times, and I was giddy every time. What an amazing area of the country.

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The Silver Valley

Silver Mountain

I’m enjoying my month in the Silver Valley of the Idaho Panhandle, nestled in the northwest Rockies between the Montana border and Lookout Pass on the east, and the Coeur d’Alene River and Fourth of July Pass on the west. The mountains in this valley are densely covered with many types of evergreens, and it’s truly breathtaking.

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Sand Beach on Deer Isle
North Bubble Summit
Acadia National Park Bridge
Bubble Pond
Sargent Mountain
Double-Crested Cormorant