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The Greatest State

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Recently, my friend Jessie and I took a roadtrip to Idaho to visit our mutual friend, Kyle. I know you’re confused by the title of this post and what I just said. Stay with me.

Kyle is one of my longest friendships. I’ve known him through college in California, while living in New York City, and after moving to Seattle. And throughout all the places and years, our friendship has been marked by a clear distinction: as much as I love cities, he favors completely the opposite. For years, we’ve exchanged pictures of our current homes… And while mine have been photos of skylines and sunsets cascading over skyscrapers, his have been the reverse — photos of sunrises unobstructed by buildings, rolling hills without a person in sight, snowfalls covering wide-open country roads. It’s become somewhat of a friendly competition among us; as much as I find joy in skyscrapers standing tall, he would never wish away the quiet country roads that he finds so much more beautiful.

So finally, it seemed like it was time to visit the beloved Idahoan settings that I’d previously only seen in photographs. Jessie and I stocked up on Starbucks and hit the road one Friday morning, and after fending off hundreds of tumbleweeds, dust storms, and other driving ‘firsts’, we landed in what Kyle would proudly proclaim as the greatest state in the nation. My favorite moments from the trip:

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– Tumblenado, as Jessie and I affectionately called the tornado of tumbleweeds thrown at us the entire drive through Eastern Washington. Also the snow storm, the dust storm, and the semis chucking rocks in our general direction the entire way. It felt like we were in the middle of a really low budget video game. Fortunately my friends and I have been frequenting a certain bar-arcade on Thursday nights, because I needed those driving skillz.

– Bundling up to watch sunsets up on the ledge in Kyle’s backyard.

– Game night + burrito night (need I say more) with Kyle’s friends.

– Driving out to Elk River, which was, I kid you not, the quietest place I’ve ever been. The entire countryside was covered in snow, and when we got out of the car to look around, that’s all I could hear. Ever heard snow before? Exactly. Si-lence.

– Grabbing afternoon drinks at a little local bar when aforementioned snow derailed our hike plans for the day. If you can’t beat em, join em.

– Seeing the sights and stories that I’d only before seen in texts. The couch in the middle of the countryside left there purely for star-gazing nights. The little chapel in the middle of rolling hills. Which leads me to…

– The PALOUSE.

– A night on the town that can only be described as Idaho in all its glory.

– Seven solid hours each way for girl talk — and the friend in between that is worth every second of the drive. Thanks so much for hosting us, Kyle. More skyscraper sunrise shots are on their way to you soon. : )

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