When you leave, we will have officially been together for 93 days, 15 hours, and 42 minutes.  We made it official on June 21st, but everyone knew we were an item long before that. Our relationship had grown hotter and hotter since Valentines Day, when we enjoyed 80+ degree days at Smith Rock and Crater Lake in Oregon. Even when I was not expecting to see you, there you were. We had been flirting all winter, and by spring, were seeing each other the majority of the week. Up on the summit Mt St Helens, or on the snowless, rocky peak of Mount Washington, we would meet, as if by accident.

The days leading up to the 21st, were a little turbulent. The sparks we had from the first day we met turned destructive, starting a forest fire in the Queets Rainforest of Olympic National Park. I should have been wary of you, but you grew more attractive each and every day. Every sunrise was amazing, and sunsets together were the best of my life. In fact, everyone was in love with you. Your beauty was inspiring, and you being around made everyone feel happy, energetic and full of adventure. Because of you, more people explored our National Parks than ever before. You were the reason for millions of memories and we couldn’t get enough. We were so content, and wanted to be with you forever.

We were addicted. We became junkies, striving to do nothing more in life that waking up at 4am, wandering though the wilderness until well after sunset. You were our new drug, our new all-mighty power, and people overdosed on you. The majority Pacific Northwesterners seem to have an addictive personality, embracing anything good that we experience as THE BEST THING EVER in the history of the world. Just ask a Seahawks fan. Well, ask a Seahawks fan before the season started.

Most of us realized we were addicted to you around July, when we couldn’t get away from you no matter how hard we tried. A little after the 4th of July, a lot of us wanted a break from you. By the end of July, things were not good. You were becoming too much, stifling us. Some complained about how you never showered, while others said your unstable hot air was responsible for the largest fires in Washington State history burning in the Cascades. In the span of just a few months, we went from being in love to you burning us, badly.

By the end of August, it was clear our relationship was ending. During the storm that closed Olympic National Park, it was clear you were leaving. It wasn’t that we disliked each other, but we agreed we needed some space. For the rest of your time here, we flirted, but it wasn’t the same. You’d inspire people the same way, but there was a new coldness to you.

As I sit here in my flannel, drinking warm apple cider, I am watching you get ready to leave. Typing this, knowing we have just a few short hours left, I feel melancholy. It was amazing being together, but you were just too aggressive for me. I am sure in a few months, I’ll sneak a peek at the pictures we took together and miss you. Part of me already does, but we both know it is time to part ways.

I know this isn’t goodbye, so the letter may have been overkill. I just hope you stick to your promise about staying away until June next year. I kinda want to really get to know Winter a little better this year.

A winter day at Mount Ellinor in Olympic National Forest
A winter day at Mount Ellinor in Olympic National Forest