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This week, Ada & co. worked to initiate me into the Pacific Northwest life. We kayaked, canoed, hiked a mountain (the Grouse Grind), and went to MEC for a proper rain jacket. There, people swarmed the aisles on a Sunday afternoon, poring over athleticwear and tugging at backpacks that reached high ceilings in rows and rows and rows. It’s another world, I thought.

We climbed the mountain and walked a little longer up paths to find the bears and we came up a little ridge and there was a grizzly bear right there, just on the other side of a little fence. We watched him in the water awhile as he tossed and pawed at a stick and lolled in the water. I turned back to stare again at the walls and walls of trees.

I love these trees. Ada laughs at me: “on the gondola ride down, she told Andrew, “I was looking at the city, which is my favorite view, but Allison kept turning me round to see the trees. The trees!”

When I was seventeen, I went to Seattle for three weeks — my second time there and my first time away and by myself for so long. As we left the airport for Kirkland, I stared round the highway, thinking, these trees. How did I not notice them last time? This is somewhere different.

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