Ode to Washington

Bellingham, WA

Goodbye, Washington. Thank you for the many memories. I know it’s extremely unlikely that you will have a professor of communication tenure-track position available in 2014, so it is possible that I’ll never reunite with you. Except for a weekend fling, here and there.

Here are the best memories and facts I can dedicate to the Evergreen state.

Contrary to popular opinion, Washington DOES have 4 seasons. Just not in every region. The Cascade Mountains provide some damn serious weather. When I was little my parents used a bulldozer to plow our long and steep driveway in the middle of practically nowhere. On the good days we could ride the snowmobile up and down the driveway. But otherwise, it was virtually impossible to hike up and down in such deep snow. It also gets really cold there. The last time we went snowmobile camping (perhaps a topic for another blog) it dropped to 10 below zero that night.

And the summers are nothing to mess with either. Since the Cascades border the desert of central/eastern Washington, it gets HOT! It is periodically 100, sometimes 110, degrees in central Washington. The blessing and curse of the mountains is that there is no wind because you’re surrounded by tall masses of land.

Washington is also the only location in the continental U.S. that contains rainforests. They are located on the very far west side (southwest of Seattle). This is also where Bigfoot lives.

Washington is also home to the San Juan Islands. During certain parts of the year you can watch the J, K, and L pods of orcas, as they are known by researchers and locals alike, travel through the islands as they feast on salmon. They once surfaced while my dad and I were slowly trolling along on his Bayliner. I was on the back deck and suddenly saw a mother and a baby orca to the side. And just after that another orca shot straight out of the water directly behind the boat, showing it’s massive white tummy, and then fell to the side creating a huge splash. This is known as breaching. And it was incredible.

After writing this I’m now more emotional than I expected. I really love Washington. And I’m going to miss my family, friends, and job so much. I’m not even quite sure that I’m making a good choice by continuing on for a PhD. We’ve traveled and lived all over the country, but 4 years is a long time. And graduate school is incredibly difficult, exhausting, and emotional. Well, good decision or not, we are moving.

We’ll be driving for about 4-5 days. If all goes well, that is. (Prayers, chants, thoughts, etc. are welcome.) We’ll then arrive to our new house in Solon, Iowa, just outside of Iowa City. Not sure when we’ll have access to the internet, but we look forward to connecting with you all soon 🙂


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