Washington State Map and the book Hiking Washington's Geology.

Why do you go away? So that you can come back*

Today’s Bloganuary prompt is “What is a road trip you would love to take? (I skipped yesterday’s because I have absolutely no clue what advice I’d give to my teenage self. Way too long ago.)

Driving trips are not my favorite thing

I am not a big fan of road trips. Things go by too fast.

I am better now about pulling over, but I still feel like I miss too much. For some reason, a mix of my personality and up-bringing make it hard for me to pull over easily. Driving takes too much of my attention to let me see things well and I don’t react fast enough to opportunity. I’m often well past before I decide I want to see something better.

But I digress…

There’s no place like home

There are many places to see and things to do in the world. I’ve been blessed to do, perhaps, more than my fair share. And there are more places I’d like to go, but my only recurring road trip ambition is to explore all the nooks and crannies of my home state: Washington.

Through the years I’ve made some progress.


About twenty years ago (boy, does time fly!). I was home schooling my son for middle school. In Washington, at the time, there was a number of hours per year required for homeschooling. The other requirement was to teach Washington State history during the middle school years.

In the spring of 2002 my grandfather fell ill and eventually passed away. We went down to southern California to be with him and my grandmother and “lost” many hours of “productive” time.

In order to make up for that “lost” time I picked up a couple of books about our state, one that gave detailed history about every town and city and one that was hiking Washington’s geology. We used them to plan and take a series of road trips, including some car camping, over the summer. It was to combine science, history and whatever else came along in one big unit.

Washington State Map and the book Hiking Washington's Geology.
Summer 2002 Pink shows the places we went. Yellow was our wish list.

We visited the coast, the Cascade Mountains, the Rocky Mountains (there is a tiny bit of them in the upper eastern corner of the state near Metaline), prairies (near Olympia), we visited caves (Crawford), dams (Grand Coulee) and found fossils(near Republic in the Stonerose Fossil beds). We even went to an astronomical observatory (Goldendale)

All-in-all we visited 18-20 locations around the state that summer…and felt like we had barely scratched the surface.

The “usual”

Most years we go to Mount Rainier then loop home through the near side of Eastern Washington (refers to east of the Cascade Mountains) usually Naches, to get apricots for jam. Then come home and get cooking.

By going almost every year at slightly different times we have seen many different stages of life at the mountain.

When Grandma was still alive we also took a few trips to the wine country.

This year

I took two road trips in the state:

Columbia Gorge (that one was half in Oregon)

and Lake Chelan.

Moving forward

Those two trips whetted my appetite to explore more closer to home. Next year…oops, this year now, I am hoping to get over to the lower right corner of the state, if only for a few days, and maybe out to the coast.

I’ve been around enough to know that, while there are things that are different from at home, and there are places as beautiful, there isn’t really anywhere more beautiful than Washington State. I’d love to explore more and go back to some of the places where I haven’t spent much time.

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

Terry Pratchett in A Hat Full of Sky

6 thoughts on “Why do you go away? So that you can come back*”

  1. Such wonderful trips you’ve taken … thank you for sharing your beautiful memories. The little critters are captured with such funny expressions! ❤️❤️❤️

    Wishing you good health for exploration!

    Liked by 1 person

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