On September 8th I went hiking with my host family on Rattlesnake ridge. My name is Kiki van Essen, and I am an international student from the Netherlands. I came here almost a year ago as a GAP-year student, but decided to stay to pursue my degree in biology.
Fall quarter starts September 23rd. It was nice to get out and see some of the beauty around Washington before classes begin. Summer time in Washington State is the best season because there is a lot of sun but it is not too warm and there are a lot of activities to do off campus. Hiking is a popular activity during the summer because many trails are opened just a few months per year. This is definitely one of the reasons why you should go up when you have the chance to. At the beginning of the Rattlesnake ridge trail there is a beautiful lake where people can relax and swim. The trail I went on was 1.9 mile long (3.0 KM) and took us to a really beautiful viewpoint which was located 1175 feet (358 meter) above the start point.
The hiking was not too hard and while walking I saw the lake in between the nice trees and big stones covered with moss. We hiked up the trail for about two hours before reaching the viewpoint. From the viewpoint we could see all the trees and mountains. There were some chipmunks running around looking for the food that the tourists dropped. After hiking back we sat down on the beach for a bit. The beach wasn’t very crowded which made it a great place to just relax and enjoy the nature. School starts in 1,5 week again so I was glad I had the chance to go before hitting the books.