America: Days 12-15

Greetings from Sandpoint, Idaho! I’ve had a great weekend of adventures, and I’d love to impart to you some highlights. Here they are, and in list form, too!

  • There is little better than having a close friend with whom you are on the same wavelength, and talking with that friend about anything and everything. I spent much of Sunday, including the walk down a mountain, talking with my friend Eliot about all sorts of stuff, and it totally made the visit for me.
  • The Ross Creek old-growth cedar grove in western Montana is amazing and mystical. I’m sure there are places like it scattered around the northwest, so if you ever have the opportunity to spend some time in one of these old-growth temperate rainforests, I highly recommend it.
  • I partially fell into a stream while my friends and I were in the process of getting lost in the cedar grove. It was exciting. My whole left leg sunk through the floating debris (which I thought was solid) into the freezing cold water.
  • A defining reality of this visit is the unfortunate death of our host’s father on the morning after we arrived. He was a doctor and was in control of his long battle with cancer as much as he could be. From seeing the decorations around his house, it was apparent that he was an avid cyclist. From seeing his family and loved ones gathered in his memory, it was apparent that the family culture he fostered was a warm, welcoming, and loving one. It was simultaneously awkward and wonderful to be an occasional fly on the wall during this gathering. I wish I had gotten a chance to meet him. He kept a blog about his experience, and I encourage you to check it out.
  • Class 2 rapids are about as intense as I’m interested in experiencing. I very much enjoyed the peacefulness of floating along on relatively calm water, but even the minor drops we went through were staggering for me.
  • Hiking 3.5 miles horizontally and going up half a mile is a pretty steep hike.

That’s all for now! Next stop, Bellingham, Washington!

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