On the morning of October 9, Daniel and I awoke to a drizzly day in Brooklyn. We’d arrived in New York a few days previously to visit Daniel’s daughter. Katjia recently moved to New York to attend Pace University and we wanted to visit her before we began travelling internationally.
This is my third visit to the beautiful state of West Virginia. During my previous visits I wasn’t able to go on any hikes, so this time I set aside a morning just for hiking. I didn’t have a lot of time available to me, so I chose Lost Trail at Beech Fork State Park. With a mileage of 3.6 miles, it’s not super long and it’s a short drive from Huntington.
Founded by Swiss immigrants in the mid-1800s, Helvetia is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. To get there, our GPS took us on a route that involved driving on a gravel road for half an hour. Due to the area’s isolation, Helvetia has largely maintained its Swiss traditions. Despite a population of only 59 people, the town boasts a number of businesses including a cheese shop, a bed and breakfast, and Swiss restaurant called the Hütte.
Daniel and I awoke bright and early on Thursday morning ready for adventure. My in-laws, Mary and Greg, had a big day planned for us. West Virginia is a beautiful state and each time we visit Daniel’s family introduces me to someplace new. This time we piled in the car and headed east towards the Monongahela National Forest.
Footsteps echoed as I walked downstairs in our home for the last time. The sound bounced off the walls dramatically without any furniture inside the house. It was a strange feeling, leaving our home. Daniel and I rented this beautiful old house five years ago and have many happy memories here. But it was time to move on.
After I quit my job at Microsoft, Daniel and I decided to spend some time traveling around Washington state to visit family. With our trip around the world only weeks away, we weren’t sure when we’d get a chance to see them again and wanted to say good-bye. We decided to make the trip as short as possible, so I put together an insanely ambitious schedule that involved driving all over the state. We drove from Seattle to Spangle to Spokane to Palouse to Nooksack to Bellingham to Seattle again in a 4-day period. That’s a total of 823 miles.