In 10 hours, my view changed from a sea of blue to a sea of green, yellow, and gold. Green hills of potato plants, gold fields of wheat, and touches of bright yellow mustard in between surrounded me from all directions. It was as if I were looking at a painting of a bucolic scene and I was the tiny girl in the artwork mesmerized by it all.
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For the first five hours, my family and I were on a plane that whisked us away from our beloved tropical paradise of O’ahu to the bustling (and surprisingly sunny) metropolis of Seattle. Cars moped around in traffic as if the weather was bleak. 30 minutes passed by like hours, when the cars parted their ways through various I-5 cutoffs, ours traveling to the I-90. Sunny weather gave way to a light mist. Ironically, I felt more joy here. Evergreen trees were presented in all their glory, green and flourishing. The air was crisp, and the mist that landed on my body gave me a blissful feeling. With that, the sixth hour passed, and an intricately constructed bridge carried my family and I into the seventh hour.
I looked outside of my window and realized that the view outside dramatically changed from green trees to golden plains. Our family had reached Cle Elum. Shrubs dotted the landscape on my right, and energy windmills unnaturally dotted the landscape on my left. The seventh and eighth hours passed on in this same manner, and suddenly rising hills brought us into the ninth.
I-90 turned into Highway 26. Hills of wheat started to make their appearance, golden stalks swaying gracefully in the gentle breeze. Occasionally, the mustard plant would emerge among the wheat, a pleasing pop of bright yellow among the gold. Barns and humble homes would surface among these fields every ten minutes or so, formidable in the serenity of it all. Then, as Highway 26 approached Colfax, bright green potato plants would join in the harmony. My view was now a symphony of colors and textures. Silky golden stalks of wheat meshed with fuzzy green potato plants, and a dab of sunny mustard flowers finished it off. It was a visual and an emotional sensation that was too much to take in at once.
As the 10th hour was approaching, our car was transported to a steep hill. Around the hill the car struggled to ascend, when suddenly it came to a halt and our family was at the dropoff of a cliff. Steptoe Butte was our final destination. Each of my family members and I opened our doors and stepped out from the car. The view was marvelous. The grandeur of the Palouse was revealed to us, as the hills we had just drove by not too long ago were placed as if they were now a part of a painting. I was looking at an endless sea with hues of green, gold, and yellow, extending beyond the horizon. All was still, and my family was the only people taking part in this experience.
Within the 10 hours I was on a road trip across the state of Washington, I experienced almost every type of landscape possible. In one day, I saw the city, the forest, the plains, and rolling hills. I saw the Palouse sea and everything in between.
From that moment, I was captivated by the sheer beauty of nature and the world more than ever before. It is amazing to think that the world can provide vastly different landscapes that are only miles apart.
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