Hurricane Ridge

Most of you know that I was born and raised in the pacific northwest. It's my home, comfort, and the perfect getaway during the summer months. The past couple months I've been processing a lot with life, the future, and just a lot of emotional and spiritual things have happened. So much good has come from everything, and I can't say enough how good of a spot I'm in with my friends, family, and with God. Coming back to Seattle to visit family is one of the best ways to cope and get through any hard or difficult time. Everyone has different ways they cope or deal with any stress in their life. I workout or go running, but I also love to escape away into nature. Cory and I spent five days at my parents cabin, away from our phones and social media. It's like we hit the refresh button and completely felt inspiration and peace. 

During this trip we drove north and spent the evening at one of my favorite places, Hurricane Ridge. If you are going to Washington at all, I HIGHLY recommend going this time of year. It is STUNNING. I feel like photos can't even capture the true beauty. It is a breathtaking place.

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My niece and I

One of the funniest, but also terrifying moments of this hike was the moment we saw a black bear. Growing up around the area, you would think I would have seen more or know what to do around a bear. Nope, I was clueless. Let me back up and tell you how it happened.

We were hiking up the trail to see this beautiful and stunning view of the Olympic Mountains, and some hikers told us they saw a bear in the distance. We just thought "Oh wow, a bear!". Meanwhile my mother is singing the children's Teddy Bear Picnic song to my little niece (who is only 18 months) in a baby hiking backpack. My dad loves his camera and his photo gear almost more then anyone I know. I guess that's where I got my eye from? :) Anyways, he's way gone, and hiked way farther on the trail then we did. We can't see him, hear him, or anything. But, this is very normal for him. So it's Cory, my mom, my niece on her back, my brother and I all taking photos at this beautiful sunset.

We wanted to see how far away the bear was from where we were at, so we starting hiking over this little hill where there was a look out. As soon we started walking to the lookout, we see the black bear walking over... towards us... about 15 feet away. Here's the moment I thought was funny but also terrifying. Try and picture this scene...

We see the bear... My brother Trevor and my husband Cory start screaming "There's the bear! There's the bear!"... I, of course BOOKED it up this hill. I'm screaming trying to scare the bear (which isn't what you're supposed to do at all around a bear). I turn around, and my mom is almost moving slow-mo with my niece on her back... my mom is a pretty "small" person. So having this huge baby carrier on her back with a child in it, trying to run up a hill was actually a really funny picture. My niece also calls any dog, or pretty much any animal "JoJo" (long story why). So she's saying "JoJo, JoJo" over and over, thinking the bear is a large dog, while my mom is freaking out. I wish someone was taking a slow-mo video of us because we all responded so differently. Meanwhile, Trev is trying to get the perfect photo of this bear, Cory is basically running in circles looking like a chicken with his head cut off, and I'm just yelling nonsense. So the bear made his way across the path and it's like it didn't even phase him. He didn't look at us, or anything. It was probably a very lucky moment and definitely something I will never forget. But I keep picturing us all freaking out while the bear is probably thinking "Oh look, I'm scaring more humans. Cool". Just glad we were safe and nothing happened. Just a really "exciting" moment for us. At least now I know how to respond when I see a bear... definitely do not do what I did.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy the photos! Haha.

My mom and my niece Ezra.