Out of the City and Into the Woods [part 1]

Seattle and her surrounding cities offer so much to look at, do and all the conveniences of living in a bigish metropolitan area. Love that. I marvel at all the types of transit available here: Light Rail, Monorail, S.L.U.T.s, busses tunnels and maps abound. I’m all about it. Except when it’s time to get out of the city and into the woods. Sometimes you just gotta pack up and head somewhere different, somewhere peaceful where the only sounds you hear are elk calls and chipmunk squeaks. This is an account of one of those times.

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Travelling into eastern Washington takes you over the Snoqualmie Pass and through the woods. Then magically it’s about ten degrees warmer and the sky gets bigger. I’ve asked to pull over and roll down one of these hills several times. Matt says they’re not as smooth as they look.

We got to meet Jared’s grandparents, Stan and Eileen, who are so incredibly sweet it’d give you a toothache. The next step was transferring all the luggage from our compact car to a sport utility. I thought this step was superfluous until we arrived on the property about an hour later. Mm clean air and a family of trees.

DSC_6066 The driveway felt like it was three miles long and enough on its own to be relaxing and amazing. Then the necessity of four-wheel drive emerges as you splash through a running creek in the road.

DSC_6070 Jared says this cabin is his favorite place in the world. And it’s true, I got so many good shots of him smiling and taking pictures. Look at this face!

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As I said, the driveway itself was enough for me, but there was so much more! Once we got the unpacking out of the way, Stan and Eileen showed us around and briefly explained their journey in turning this bit of wilderness into the retreat that it is today. They began clearing the land [themselves, mind you] in 1975. Now there’s a three-story cabin, which is really more of a house, complete with an indoor workstation, den, kitchen, one large bedroom, bathroom and a loft with three other beds. This was not pitch-a-tent camping! Stan and Eileen taught us how to turn on the water, light the pilot light thingie, and how to use the generator. They also unlocked the garage which had what is henceforth known as the Mule in it. The Mule’s basically what it would look like if a golf cart and a four-wheeler had a love child. There are two seats up front, but my favorite place to ride was in the tiny little pickup in back. It was just big enough for a Bri. I’d coincidentally thrifted this pair of cargo pants the week before our trip. Not usually into the cargo pant, but these seemed perfect for lounging around the house. Little did I know, I’d be able to hold all sorts of goodness in those pockets! Including ammo at one point!

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I fell in love with this bright moss which could only be found in nearby clearings on dead trees.DSC_6086

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Speaking of trees, they’re amazing. They’re about the only thing that looks just as beautiful dead as alive. This one I call Skeletree!DSC_6095  

Did I mention I wore my slippers?! Talk about the ultimate in comfort in the middle of the woods. Comfy, warm feet while simultaneously “roughing it” is the way to go. DSC_6102

Same tree, but a little Jared thrown in for scale. This bad boy was huge! I bet there was no one here when it fell, but it still made a sound. DSC_6106 DSC_6108 DSC_6118

When I first saw the tree I was saddened that it had died, but another amazing thing about trees is they make lovely homes, alive or dead. This one has a spider condominium in it.DSC_6124

The deeper we got into the woods the more the trees started to look molten, volcanic and ancient. This bark makes my heart swell. If I were trying to describe it, I’d call it “astrocrag” but Matt aptly said it looked more like a jigsaw pattern. DSC_6128 DSC_6130

Another tree apartment. Not sure who lives here, though, no one was home. DSC_6132 DSC_6137

If I’m gonna do anything, I’m gonna climb a tree, swing from it and experience the light feeling of being exactly where you’re supposed to, perfectly safe with best friends. Happy hands reach for higher branches.DSC_6138 DSC_6139 DSC_6148 DSC_6150We spotted this guy jutting out from the earth off the trail. It wasn’t until we got close until we realized how huge it was. You could stack at least 2 Honeybees!DSC_6179 DSC_6200

We made our way back to the homestead and figured it was time to shoot the shit. Literally! Well, not the actual, like literal, shit but some shit. We shot. There were guns.DSC_6212 DSC_6215 DSC_6220 DSC_6224 DSC_6227 DSC_6232 DSC_6237

One of my favorite things about the interior of the cabin was that just about every room had a hook in it and on the hook lived random plaid flannels and coats. As the sun leaves the hill it gets chilly up there. You know I can’t resist a buffalo plaid. Ooh!DSC_6238

You’ll be proud to know that we did not shoot our eyes out with our Daisy rifle. Makes me wanna watch Christmas Story.DSC_6241

Ah! And the sunset. Can’t decide which of these I like more, so you gt both. DSC_6258 DSC_6261 Following that, we had to go for another Mule ride. This time we stumbled upon some incredible rocks that, when banged just right, opened to reveal layers of volcanic sediment. DSC_6267

But all too soon it was time to head home and it rained and the lines were barely visible and it was a bit frightening. DSC_6270

Things cleared up eventually, as they always do, and it we enjoyed the beautiful sights until we were back in the hustle and bustle of the Emerald City. DSC_6291 DSC_6294 DSC_6304 DSC_6305  DSC_6319DSC_6323

Thanks for travelling with us on our last trip before the winter. A good time was had by all. There are a gajillion more photos especially of the interior, but I figured this post was already photo-heavy so I’ll share those another time perhaps.

I’m glad I got to go through these today, though. I’ve been having one of those days. Nothing is majorly wrong, really, but it’s the little things. I’m working on less than four hours of sleep and stupid socks keep slipping down in my boots. These photos remind me that there is more to life than 9-5 and that’s a something I never want to forget.

Xo,

Sunshine

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9 thoughts on “Out of the City and Into the Woods [part 1]

    • I know, all I can think about is how to get my hands on some rural property! The possibilities are endless abd I hear they’re pretty cheap. Like $250/mo. With a rain catcher and solar panels they spend very little on utilities! Want!

      • My friend is your solar panel connection. let me know when you or anyone else is ready to get some. Yeah i would already have property like this if my spouse hadn’t been useless. Said he wanted to be an off gridder but had impulsivity issues, would never save any $, not even $250/mo toward property like this (that was cigarette, junk food, etc. money for him). You’ve got yourself a good one. It’s about common goals and responsibility when working toward a larger purchase.

  1. Pingback: Seattleversary! 4 Years | Sunshine Press

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