I’m so bad at sharing personal photos, but I’m holding myself accountable to blog about a few personal things this year, so here’s some photos of our trip home. While living so far from home is challenging, it makes me far more thankful for the things that make Iowa feel more like home – like seeing pine trees, ice skating this winter, an unusually dry summer (which all the farmers were sad about, but reminded me so much of the yearly droughts from home that I couldn’t help but enjoy all that glorious warmth!) Anyway… enough reminiscing!
We started our vacation off with a lovely two day drive over to Washington to visit my parents. Seeing the mountains and driving into my favorite valley always feels like coming home. Anyone who lives in that valley knows what I’m talking about. It’s been an hour since you were last in a city and after winding through the mountains, the entire valley opens up in front of you while you drive down into it. It’s breathtaking.
We filled our time at my parents house with huckleberry picking, making homemade ice cream (with huckleberry sauce, of course) and going on walks since it wasn’t too smokey yet. We helped mom pick yellow raspberries from her garden… which Matthew had never had. He promptly told me that we needed some of our own. So, we carried a 5 gallon bucket in our car with raspberry starts in it. Matthew and I also drove down to see our favorite photographer/human, Hannah Acheson, so she could update our anniversary photos. Here’s a random assortment of photos from those few days.
After a few days spent in Washington, we caravanned with my parents over to Glacier National Park. We got a sweet little air bnb in Kalispell, but since we arrived so early, you know we drove over to explore Lake McDonald! We only had 2.5 days at Glacier, so we wanted to make the most of it!
The one thing I told Matthew I wanted to do while at Glacier was to hike Highline Trail at sunrise. We got up and were out the door by 4, I believe. It took us 1.5 hours to get to the trail head and that was perfect timing! Parking was so easy and the views were wonderful!
We hiked 4 miles out on Highline before turning around to hike back. Since we had such a short time there, we had several other hikes we wanted to do that day. We stopped for second breakfast at our car before continuing on to our next hike.
After coming back from Highline, we stopped at our car to have second breakfast before heading out on the Hidden Lake Trail. We saw some mountain goats, which I had been hoping to be able to show Matthew.
After Hidden Lake trail, we decided to drive 20 minutes further down the Going to the Sun Road to hike to St. Mary’s Falls and Virginia Falls. Many people make it to St. Mary’s but the trail to Virginia Falls was almost empty—which was enjoyable! We hiked around 13 miles that day and came home around 5 for a well-earned dinner out and an early bedtime.
We decided to take it easy on the second day. We were both a little sore after our hikes from the previous day. We started the day with hiking to Avalanche Lake with my parents. We, of course, stopped for a bit there to cool off before heading back to the car. By then, we had done every hike we had planned to do. There was one place that we had heard about but it was a little further out – we still had plenty of daylight and gas, so we drove to Bowman Lake. We got around 5 miles from the lake and hit a gate saying the road was closed, which confused us, because there were definitely people camping up there.
We headed back to our air-bnb and decided to go out to eat with my parents. We chose an Asian place that was… rather blande and left us all a little disappointed, but the company was great!
The next morning we parted ways and Matthew and I started our LOOONG drive back to Iowa with our precious yellow raspberry plants. Only one ended up surviving so far, and we’re really hoping it survives the winter and comes up in the spring!