The first time we braved the 14 hour car ride from Utah to Washington I wondered why everyone didn't live in Washington. It was the summer of 2006 and we had just gotten married, we were on our way to our second wedding reception and decided that we'd rather drive, than fly, our gifts back home. The terrain turned from dry and dusty desert land of Utah to the farmlands of Idaho and Oregon, across the orchards of Eastern Washington, and through the heavily wooded White Pass into Western Washington. While we were winding through the roads of White Pass my jaw dropped open. I had never been anywhere so beautiful in my life. The heavy and overgrown vegetation, cool mountain air, the lakes, the cabins, little runoff waterfalls dotting the side of the mountain; I was so happy to get out of the near 100 degree desert heat but I had no idea that this was waiting for me. At that point I was willing to turn the car around, pack everything we owned and move to Washington.
And that's pretty much what we did. Less than a year later we were making the same 14 hour drive to our new home in Washington State
The first time I flew out of the SeaTac airport I was so mad. I was mad because once we broke through that low layer of grey clouds I saw the sun and clear blue skies. It was there all along but we couldn't ever see it... and I was mad. On the flight back I just cried.
It's been a long journey but now I know how people can live here. It's so beautiful; and besides the fact that Mt. Rainier could erupt any day, I feel safe. Plenty of things can still threaten our safety (like earthquakes and floods in certain areas) but at least I've never felt like I was going to shrivel up and die from the lack of water. And sometimes I even like the sun protection factor the clouds have.... they make the perfect shade for taking pictures.