Not Your Momma’s Olympic NP

It’s that time again friends. We are bringing you another installment in  
the Amazing Besties National Park Road Trip series. This was one of the most epic friend adventures either of us have ever had, so if you like best friend hijinks these posts are for you.  If you’re into pretty photos of natural wonders, you have come to the right place!  10 states. 9 National Parks and 1 National Monument. One summer of fun!

Want to catch up?  Check out the rest of the series here.

Days 19-21
Olympic National Park – Park #7!
Homeland of the Quinault and the Hoh

After weeks of driving north across the height of the US we reached Glacier National Park and began our voyage west across Washington. We made a pitstop for a waterfall and visited some childhood friends of Meridith’s. After three weeks of camping and camp food, sleeping indoors was a delight. We had pizza in Spokane that makes our mouths water to this day.

Reaching the Olympic Peninsula also meant taking our first ferry ride. We hopped on the ferry as the sun was setting over Seattle and arrived at the gates of Olympic National Park in the wee hours. Here is actual footage of Rachel getting ready to sleep in a nest of our clothes in the back of Meridith’s car.

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Science Book Club: State of Wonder

We are WAY overdue for our  fourth installment of the STS Science Book Club! This time, it’s a novel with not one but TWO women scientists. Perfect for reading on those sunny but COLD days. Don’t forget your warm beverage of choice. You can check out the other books we have reviewed here!

Part of living that sweet, sweet post-comps life has been the return of leisure reading. I hadn’t made any reading goals the last few years because, honestly, I couldn’t handle the extra ‘work’ and often opted for a solid Netflix session instead. Now that my days are free from classes and teaching (this year only), I’ve brought reading back as part of my routine.

The Kindle and Audiobook apps on my phoneor tablet are my go-to for finding new books to read, but I do adore a good (re)gifted book that comes with a friend’s recommendation. I received State of Wonder as birthday present from Rachel, and it was great to read in warm, sunny GA. Rachel was recommended this book from another lady scientist, National Geographic Young Explorer (and also her badass labmate), Jordan!

The author, Ann Patchett, has penned several other novels and a children’s book. She often writes about relationships between women with all of the humanity and tragedy life brings. You can check out all her titles at her Goodread’s page (Editor’s Note: Find us on Goodreads if you want to see all the science, YA, and fantasy titles we are reading).The Magician’s Assistant and The Patron Saint of Liars are both available on Kindle Unlimited ($10/month) and I will definitely be checking them out.

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Carving Out Time: Spring Semester

Academic “spring” may begin at the start of the semester in January, but March is always an exciting time as true spring is just around the corner (spring equinox, holla). This period of time can get very busy for graduate students. It’s tempting to get ALL THE THINGS done before summer hits: comprehensive exams, getting out that manuscript, and that other manuscript, securing summer field work or internships, and a whole slew of other goals. Keeping track of everything we hope to get done means a litany of lists. Both of us love to make lists, lists for groceries, packing, what needs to be done around the house, around the office, lists of code to run when it finally works, lists of things that could be wrong with our R code, all the lists. One of our favorite lists has got to be the List of Fun Way to Relax After Finishing a Thing. It’s very tempting to put off a lot of things while you’re hyper focused on an academic goal, but we think it’s important to carve out time for at least some of the fun things along the way. We also always love hearing how others deal with the constant work-life compromise struggle and warding off burnout.

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