Have you ever been to a place where you felt like a reset button was pressed? Where a cleansing, pure energy washed over you, and in that moment, you were completely present.
It is one of my favorite feelings, and I have truly only experienced it when I am in the great outdoors. More specifically, at a higher altitude with a cold, crisp wind wrapping around me.
First, at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland – a spectacular place where you have no choice but to be present. To feel the air moving off the water, forgiving you of all the moments you weren’t present and encouraging you in this moment, to be.
The second time I felt this energy was in our very own Pacific Northwest at Hurricane Ridge, overlooking the forest, the mountains and the valleys. The cold, crisp fall air rushed through my hair, freezing both my fingertips and the moment in time.
The views are breathtaking. But what stunned me most was the silence. Turns out it only takes 5,242 feet to rise above the hustle and bustle of everyday life and appreciate the wonder of nature. We were not the only people there, so the stark silence of the landscape was especially incredible. Another important note is that we did not go on a sunny, clear summer day. As we drove from the entrance to Olympic National Park to the top of the ridge, not only did the temperature drop nearly thirty degrees, but the clouds descended as well. It was cold, overcast, and beautiful.We were instantly transported to a different place, in awe that this unique and stunning place does not require a plane trip around the world. It requires only a driver brave enough to face the winding, climbing road up to the top.
And as a special reminder of the magic of nature, we received a send-off that was especially near and, ahem, “deer” to our hearts.
So pack your mittens, scarves, winter coats and hats! Bundle up and head up to Hurricane Ridge for a moment of beautiful, peaceful silence. It’s an unbelievable reminder that the PNW is an incredible place to call home.
All photos by the extraordinary photographer Caroline Walker Evans.
Grab a friend, pick a direction and go – a magnificent adventure awaits.