Origin Stories: Washington State

Hi everybody, my name is Sydne Yas Dresser, and I’m a new IMBY intern as of April 2018. If we haven’t met before, allow me to officially introduce myself. I am currently a senior at the University of Washington studying both Spanish and International Studies, and mentally preparing myself to become an ‘adult’ in a month when I graduate from UW. I have spent my entire life – a short 22 years – in Washington state.

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My Earliest Memory in Nature​

Hello! My name is Shannon Urabe (pronounced as oo-raw-bay) and my pronouns are she/her. I’ve asked a couple people what my last name means, and most people have translated it as, “ocean” and “along” or “side.” So it very, very, very roughly translates to shoreline (I think…no one has been able to give me a clear answer¯\_(ツ)_/¯). As for my first name, my mom named me after the character Shannon in the movie called Far and Away, because she liked how they pronounced Shannon with an Irish accent.

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Not a Lover of Himalayan Blackberry

For the first time, I got to experience Bainbridge Island not on a soccer field, but at a very special place memorializing the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the island. I have been to Bainbridge many times to play competitive club soccer, so I am familiar with the soccer fields and teams, but everything else on that island was a green blur that I experienced through a window as I drove to get to my next game.

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Through a Lens

        Two weekends ago, I spent seven hours on my feet, in the sun, and having high-energy conversations with strangers. When I got home, I barely had the energy to get a glass of water before falling on my couch. I’m a little ashamed of what I ate for dinner that night – it may or may not have consisted of tortilla chips and carrots.

Part 2. By August Franzen

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Changing Spaces

Last summer I graduated from my undergraduate program at Seattle University. Less than 24 hours later a car packed full of food and gear would sustain my fellow backpacker and I for roughly the next 24 days. I guess I needed to get away from computers, classrooms, final exams, and general structure for a moment. Over 3,000 miles of driving, and 250 miles of hiking, as leisurely as you can do it, is not always relaxed, even if it is rewarding. Carrying everything you may possibly need leaves little room for indulgence; yet I dream of being in the glacial lakes, soaring mountains and endless horizons no matter the toil.

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MORA Drawing (Tacobet)

By Erin

Artist’s Statement: In the 4 years that I have lived in Seattle, the closest I had gotten to Mt. Rainier was driving up Boren and seeing the mountain through the gap between buildings. She remained a constant backdrop, only available in the summer months, coming out and reminding us that spring has arrived along with clear, blue views of the Cascades from any rooftop in Seattle. But Rainier remained a distant, inaccessible landmark until I was finally able to camp with IMBY and get to experience the mountain up close. I wanted to capture this new view I had of Mt. Rainier, both literally and figuratively, by drawing her portrait from the Longmire Campground. I spent quite a bit of time drawing on this trip, taking time to examine flowers, leaves, and cones. Drawing and sketching the world around me is how I connect to the natural world, and capturing those majestic moments cause me to reflect on the experience and reexamine what I saw. It allows me to reexperience the moment in a different light.

My Use of Ski Pants in June… A Blurb from a First Time Camper

After spending a night at Mount Rainier National Park with my fellow IMBY teammates and supervisors, I realized that packing my snow jacket and ski pants was a great idea. For a girl that loves the heat and gets cold fairly easy, my ski outfit was definitely the way to go when the sun went down. Yes, I may have looked and sounded like a goof because I ‘swished’ every move I made from the nylon in my jacket and pants, but I don’t regret my decision of whipping those bad boys on.

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