When the first storm of the season came into Western Washington, I said my last goodbyes to sunny skies and braced myself for months of constant gray. To my surprise, the storm passed, and the sun came back just in time for the 2019 Voyage retreat. This year, we hiked Gold Creek Trail and stayed at a house overlooking the south sound.
I’m a bit ashamed to say I haven’t had nearly enough #PNWonderland experiences in the seven years I’ve lived in the Seattle area. I was excited to go on this retreat and discover a little bit more about the region I’ve called home for the past few years. So, with our bags packed and road trip playlists ready, we got on our way. After a few missed freeway exits, a stop at a questionable gas station, and a few hours, we arrived at the trailhead. The sun was shining and the air was crisp – perfect for a hike.
The different shades of green of the trees and plants were highlighted by the rays of light shining through the foliage. I could hear my breath as we steadily ascended, wondering what view was waiting for us. Suddenly, the trees cleared and opened up to a panoramic view of the trees below us, as far as the eyes could see. Lakes looked like puddles from this high up, spots of blue in a carpet of green. We took plenty of pictures and even got a few shots from Cynthia’s drone. After that, we continued up the trail to the peak, which was a couple of minutes further up the clearing. There, we ate our snacks, finishing the entire pack of Trader Joe’s crackers that Laura brought. I always find the hike down to be an interesting experience. Going up, you just keep walking, not exactly knowing how much farther you’re going or what you’ll encounter. On the way down though, the trail is more familiar. The twists and turns suddenly acting as subtle landmarks, giving you an idea of where you are.
After a quick stop by the grocery, we got to our Airbnb and started preparing dinner. Most of us tried to help out, but after all the ingredients for the curry were prepped, Rosie and Cynthia took charge. The result was a rich and warm Japanese curry served with white rice. I’d like to note that the rice was cooked stovetop and not with a rice cooker, which to me is always impressive!
The evening was full of good conversation and after a bit of deliberation, we decided to watch The Silence of the Lambs. I think thrillers are a little more fun when you’re staying at a stranger’s house in a more rural part of the state. There were a few spooky creaks that came from some part of the house, but I’m glad to report that we made it through the night without some cannibal coming out of the floorboards.
The next morning, we got up to prepare a pancake breakfast. We sat around the table, eating our Instagram-worthy pancakes with whipped cream and blueberries. By us was an expansive view of the water, sitting calmly with light clouds softening the light of the sun. We finished our breakfast, packed our stuff, and headed back to Seattle, energized to take on another year of Voyage.
-Diego Lingad, Copy Editor