From Washington to Montana

The month of August was INSANE. I worked approximately 28 of 31 days and felt like I had absolutely no time to myself or for my friends. Now you might think “who on earth would work that many days” and to be honest with you I don’t know if I’d do it again. Thankfully, I was able to escape for a weekend getaway to the eastern side of the state to spend the weekend with one of my best friends. If anyone knows me, I love road tripping and this particularly weekend we decided that we’d really getaway from society and jet off to Montana. This would be my first visit to the beautiful state.

I left work on Friday and immediately started my road trip. It takes approximately 4-5 hours to travel from Seattle to Spokane and the day before leaving I found my stash of old school CDs. This made the car-ride way more entertaining…I mean how can you go wrong with busting out to Backstreet Boys for a whole hour! The car ride went quickly and before I knew it I was in Spokane. Due to very long days, Sydney and I determined it was more efficient to stay in and enjoy a nice bottle of wine! But to be honest, anytime Sydney and I are together we determine its more efficient to stay in and drink wine. It’s kind of our thing. Granted we did have an early morning planned as we would be road tripping to Montana to hike.

Before I knew it, it was time to wake up and I was reeling in intense stomach pain that gave me a bit of fright that I wasn’t going to be able to survive the day. Thankfully Wal-Mart wasn’t too far away and before I knew it I was feeling better.

Our road trip started with us jamming out to some old school 90s hits that took us back to our middle school years! I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in quite sometime and as we passed through Couer d’Alene, we both started focusing on the scenery. If you’ve never been in this area of the country than you might not understand. The Couer d’Alene National Forest was breath-taking and with another hour we were on the boarder of Idaho and Montana. In fact, where we decided to hike was literally right on the boarder. We parked in Idaho and hiked between Idaho and Montana with spectacular views of the Lolo National Forest.

Our hike of choice was one called Blossom Lake Trail is a 6.0 mile out-and-back through backcountry. It’s hard to really describe what the forest looked like because many of the terrain have similar looks, but I do remember the start of the trail. You are walking along this skinny path that drops a foot or so on each side. It was something I haven’t seen before when hiking. The weather however was something I have experienced before. It was quite chilly with chances of rain (shocking).

We continued along the trail and kept running into multiple forks and of course we couldn’t decide which way…Left or Right. Another crazy event that occurred was locating the LARGEST PINE CONE I’ve ever seen and the spikiest tree I’ve ever seen (funny tree too). It might not seem like a huge deal, but I love finding new things whenever I go hiking. By the time we made it to the top, it had dropped temperature by easily 10 degrees. We planned at the start to jump into the alpine lake, however it being cold, I completely vetoed that concept. Sydney, however, decided it would be fun. It was fun, for me watching, and freezing for her, but now she can say she swam in an alpine lake in Montana!

We made it down the trail at a fairly decent hour and Sydney planned on taking me back to Spokane along highway 200 passed Lake Pend Oreille to Sandpoint, ID. This drive included more jamming to our crazy idea of a good music including “LET IT GO”. Back in Spokane, it was dinner and passing out from exhaustion.

Waking up on Sunday was something amazing because the weather was simply beautiful, sunshine and warmth. Due to this factor and learning that it was peach season, we headed approximately 10 minutes north to a community called Green Bluff Growers Association. This community is an association of small family farms and stands that was formed in 1902 to protect the local strawberry growers from outside competition. This association hosts seasonal activities including pick-your-own fruit and annual festivals. Because of the peach season, the first place we visited had rows and rows of organic peach trees and I had the opportunity to pick a peach right off the tree. I don’t think I’ve ever done this before and it was just as much fun as I would have thought.

This association is more than just farms and following the map of growers, we found a brewery, some wine tastings, a cider mill (alcoholic) and a meadery. I’ve drank plenty of beer, wine and cider (all of which were fabulous) in my days but this meadery-concept was something new. Hierophant Meadery is Washington’s first meadery, which is home to a tasting room of bottle mead (honey wine), kombucha, and other honey/beeswax products. Sydney and I were in love with this place and it was the perfect way to end one amazing weekend.

Well not really…it was just a good way to end our farm adventure. In fact, we headed back to Sydney’s place and partook in the Ice Bucket Challenge. THIS was a great way to finish my amazing Washington to Montana weekend with Sydney.

…unfortunately our plans for me to return in October for Apple Pickin’ were slightly impacted by Sydney’s new work contract moving her to the east coast… maybe next year.

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