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A spectacle even the most pessimistic of people can’t help but admire.

The gleaming, rapid white waters tumbling down rocks underneath, smoothened by the neverending downpour.

Or the majestic roar of the falls as they make their way to their destination.

I, myself, have been revisiting the same waterfall for some time now.

However, what has brought me back each and every time has nothing to do with her beauty.

Instead, I was fascinated with her ever-changing nature.

On a cool, rainy streak of days, her waters barreled down the rocks with great power and were all the more spectacular.

Then, on the drier, sunnier weeks of the summer, she was naught but a few trickles of water over the rocks below. I found this mesmerizing.

From one season to another, she was almost completely unrecognizable. However, she always returned to full strength, thanks to her undying persistence.

I still find myself returning to her, and always will until nature calls my name. I know she’ll be there forever, despite her highs and lows.


There will be tough times, where the water slows and seems to be coming to an end, but these are nothing but phases. She always returns, better than ever, and she always will.


Today, the coast is swallowed by the tide

Remaining close to the rocks

Where the people reside


You see, the tide longs for a friend

As it’s a lonely world

When you reach land’s end


However, the time always arrives

When the tide must go out

For in the ocean it thrives


It’s nature’s tug-of-war

The tide struggles to recede

Two steps forward, one back to shore


Despite the struggles, the tide will weather storm

And by the end of the day

Will be deep at sea, reborn.


We can be likened to the tide

Overcoming many obstacles

Throughout our life-long ride


The journey is a tough one too

Like the tide, we will change at times

While searching for our path to the ocean blue


As we change, we’ll grow as people

Striving for perfection

For life has no sequel


Then, we’ll come to see

Perfection isn’t attainable

The key is to live with happiness and glee


Finally, we’ll make it to sea with that in mind

Smiling at what we’ve accomplished

As we leave the world behind.

Seaside #2

Following my relaxing first night in Seaside, I began the more busy second day on the wrong foot by being thirty minutes late to checkout thanks to a missed alarm. Luckily, the folks at the Sandy Cove Inn were forgiving and I made my way out free of charge. My experience with the Inn was fantastic, and certainly is recommended by me for anyone looking for an affordable place to stay while visiting the beautiful Oregon coast. After checking out, I made my way to my home for the second night – a small campsite in Gearheart, Oregon.

As fast as I could, I pitched my tent and checked in to make up for my late start and reach all of the activities on the itinerary for the day. After a quick set-up, I rushed to Ecola State Park, the first destination of the day. Through a mile-long traverse on an extremely narrow road, I traveled deeper and deeper into the state park, until coming towards a crossroads with an overlook and beach trail. 

I chose the overlook first, and the view did not disappoint. I looked over a sandy, beautiful beach with a rock-filled coast, and was amazed by the spectacle I laid my eyes on. On top of the initial trail, I traveled into a less-traveled trail and came across another interesting view of an enormous rock a few hundred feet off of the coast, which also was an amazing sight. For about an hour, I took in the view while attempting to capture the beauty of the park via my less-than-stellar photography.





Once I’d had enough of the overlook and the views from there, I decided to make my way down to the beach itself, which was even more gorgeous than the view overlooking it. The first section of the trail crossed over a bridge surrounded by green and was a great entrance into one of the most unique places I’ve been to in the form of Indian Beach.




The beach was a sight hard to put into words, where the smooth, white sand kissed the bottoms of my feet as I walked across its expanse. Numerous huge rocks jutted out from the water mysteriously, capturing my eye instantly. Another notable piece of the view was the storied lighthouse a mile and a half into the Pacific Ocean, a symbol of death due to the many fatalities of its builders and the many urns contained inside its body.




In what felt like a few minutes but ended up being a few hours, I had had my fair share of the views off of the main trails at Ecola State Park. I returned to my car and headed for my next destination for the day – Cannon Beach.

I arrived at Cannon Beach in the late afternoon, where I immediately searched for a bite to eat as I was famished. I came across Pizza A’ Fetta and I have to say I was beyond satisfied. If I’m ever to visit Cannon Beach again, Pizza A’ Fetta will be a go-to location, as the pizza may be the best I’ve ever had. The prosciutto pizza was delicious and had a bit of a bite to it, which made it all the better. Following my meal, I headed for the beach on a full and very satisfied stomach.

Onto Cannon Beach. Although the weather was not optimal – overcast and a bit breezy – the well-known Haystack Rock was still just as amazing as I’d heard and seen in pictures. To put into perspective just how massive the 250-foot-tall behemoth of a rock was, I mistook it to be close by and began walking towards it, then realized my mistake when I finally reached the rock over twenty minutes later! At the time I reached the rock, the sun was setting over the top of its peak, making for a beautiful picture of the natural flairs reflecting off of its surface.



When I’d finished admiring the gargantuan that is Haystack Rock, I began my long walk back to the opposite side of the beach. Unfortunately, the sunset was a bit disappointing due to the low clouds that covered the sky, but still had a bit of a moody aura to it which made for a decent sight.





The sun set completely around 9:15, and I quickly made my way to the car as the breeze was getting quite chilly. I completed my drive back to Gearheart in just a few minutes, where I brought firewood and Smores’ materials, relaxing by the fire until it was time for bed. With memories of endless beaches, a one-of-kind view in Haystack Rock, and an extremely full stomach, I drifted into sleep, ending the perfect weekend getaway I had the privilege to experience as happy as can be.




Seaside #1

After watching the past few days of summer slowly tick away before school comes back around, I decided that a spontaneous trip was necessary. A four hour trek from my hometown of Seattle, Washington, led to a beautiful, albeit small, town by the name of Seaside, Oregon. Over the four hours, the trip was highlighted by the Astoria-Megler Bridge, a four-mile-long mammoth of a bridge with gorgeous views of the Columbia River. The trestles of the bridge were especially unique due to the steep and consistent incline of the end of the bridge, making for an experience unlike one I’d had before. A short twenty minutes later, I’d arrived in Seaside, my destination for the weekend.

In Seaside, I enjoyed the mile-long beach while the tide was out, soaking my feet in the crystal-like, almost unreal water of the Pacific Ocean. After walking along the beach, I made my way into the downtown of Seaside, which consisted of numerous unique and memorable small shops. One particular store that will remain in my memory was the Portland Fudge shop, as I purchased a bit of the chocolate peanut butter fudge and my tastebuds were instantly touched by God’s own personal hands. As I traversed through the remainder of the town while indulging in the delectable fudge I’d just picked up, I couldn’t help but smile at the small-town vibe of the town. Through each shop, I found myself surrounded by friendly shopkeepers who encouraged my touristy activities, which included trying on wacky hats in the hat shop in the mirror and laughing hysterically at the results.


After a short time in the town, I made way back to a local burger joint by the name of the U Pub, where I took a burger and fries to go for a night at the beach. Despite the slight walk down to the water, the burgers held strong and were a delicious treat to accompany the wonderful sunset that followed. Though the clouds covered a bit of the sunset, the atmosphere and miles of beach made for a wonderful sunset regardless.


To top things off, I stayed in the Sandy Cove Inn, a unique place with one-of-a-kind rooms for each guest. I was treated to the Vintage Games Room, one of the most interesting in the entire Inn, which included bocce balls, numerous checkerboards, and figures plastered among the walls that unfortunately were more creepy than they were interesting. Besides that, the room was great and topped what was a fantastic day in a gorgeous small seaside town!





From mountain to mountain

And isle to isle

I can’t help but stop

And reflect for awhile


Our beautiful world

So blatantly misused

Tarnished for profit

Leaves me confused


Why don’t we stop

And admire what’s here

A world so perfect

We mustn’t interfere


I say we unite

In mother Earth we stand

A battle royale

To save our homeland


When victory is ours

We must make a pact

To never neglect

The following contract:


We shall conserve mother Earth

For we are her guests

Never again

Will we invade like insects


From here on out

We shall co-exist

And those who decline

Will cease and desist


Let’s take care of our home

The one we all share

And admire her beauty

She won’t mind if you stare.

Father’s Day


Sometimes, I believe that it’s far too easy to take for granted character traits and skills that others have ingrained in you from a young age, as they seemingly have always been there and were inherited, not taught. However, as I reflect on this idea since Father’s Day is coming up, I can point to numerous personal strengths I’ve picked up due to my upbringing and I want to take a minute to discuss a few. I am forever grateful for the things my father has taught and instilled in me to make me who I am today and believe they’re more than worth reflecting on for Father’s Day this year.


Athetically, I was always a stand-out – or so I thought. I took the time to really think back, not just in the last five years, but back to the third grade, where I was an uncoordinated and overweight child who was socially awkward and had very few friends. Though this was a tough stage early on in my life, the defining moment came when I decided to try out for a soccer team, not even because I liked it, but because I thought my cousins were great and they were trying out as well, so I wanted to be like them.

Tryouts came around, and I made the “D” team, the worst team in the entire club, yet I was delighted. At the beginning of the season, the team was awful, and I was not one of the better players. However, by the end of the season, I was likely the team’s best player, and was no longer overweight, or uncoordinated. Before my reflection on this time in my life, I assumed this improvement was solely due to me growing up and that I was simply getting older, but this truly wasn’t the case. A certain presence on the sidelines was encouraging me and pushing me to be the best I could be every day, and I would not have made it without him.

From day one, my dad was my number one supporter. Every game, he was there on the sidelines, shouting positive encouragement, and occasionally berating a mediocre referee for a blown call or an opposing player for a cheap shot. Also, when the game ended, my dad was always there to speak of the positives and negatives of my game, helping me find ways to better myself each time. This was always great for me, but his influence did not end there.

Growing up, my dad himself was a phenomenal athlete, as he still holds records at his high school thirty years later and also ran track at the Division 1 level. Track is a sport that requires unbreakable determination and grit unlike any other sport, and my dad was the grittiest of the gritty. To this day, he speaks of track with such passion and detail that I can imagine him, barreling down the track, adrenaline pumping, with a look of pure determination on his face, daring any other runner to pass him on HIS track.

From the marathon my dad ran at eleven years old to the hundred mile running weeks he completed on a regular basis, his love for his craft was clear to anyone who took the briefest of glances, and was passed on to me instantly. This passion fueled me to be the best in whatever I wanted to do, not only on the soccer field, but in the classroom as well. I was the child, who, at ten years old, would reflect on a loss of a meaningless soccer game for hours after the game was completed, nearly inconsolable.

Although I wasn’t the most talented player, that undying passion took me to unprecedented levels in my sport due to my sheer hatred of losing. My senior year of high school, very early in the year, I received my first scholarship. Eight months later, and I had six offers to mull over. On top of that, I graduated with a 3.7 GPA, and finished my senior year with a 4.0. My father’s role in these achievements were undeniable, as I see the same determination and passion in myself in competitive situations that I’ve been in awe of for years when speaking to him. I’m proud to have came to be like my father in that respect, and cannot send enough thanks his way.
At the end of the day, my father has given me so much more than just a burning passion and competitive spirit. Another standout trait of my father that I’ve also been gifted is his charitability. My dad teaches and coaches at the same high school he attended years ago and has been there for around thirty years, yet still goes at his daily tasks like it is his first year.

As a coach, my father will go further than any other coach would even think to in order to see his athletes achieve their goals. I’ve heard countless stories of my father, driving students home when their parents never showed up to pick them up, or buying their cleats and pre-game meals because their families couldn’t afford them.

In one particular case, my dad called the University of Washington head coach nearly thirty times, attempting to get one of his athletes a spot on the team, and was repeatedly denied. Despite this, he was persistent due to his love for sport and helping others succeed, and the coach eventually succumbed to his efforts. His athlete, Mark, ended up being the University of Washington’s best runner for three straight years, and the coach still thanks him for his refusal to take no for an answer to this day. Stories like these are not one-offs, but instead are examples of the millions of amazing things my father has done to help his athletes succeed, always there to lend a hand, just as he was for me.

In addition to this, my dad’s teaching abilities and efforts match his coaching ones, too. My dad chose to teach math support, meaning many of his students have learning disabilities, solely because he loves nothing more than helping students who struggle succeed, as he believes they simply were not in a situation that bred success. He’ll go to the greatest lengths for each student to ensure they can be the best they can be, giving each of them the same level of encouragement and advice that took me to where I am today, and does so each day without faltering.

In one memorable moment, I went to ratemyprofessor.com, interested to see what students thought of my father’s teaching. His rating was five stars out of five stars. I smiled, immediately sending the link over to my father. He texted me back, so excited to see how much his students appreciated his efforts, as it is easy to forget when teaching in a high school full of unmotivated students.

Though this is a brief and seemingly irrelevant anecdote, the five stars meant more to me than just as a teacher. My father was a five-star father to me, turning me into a successful, passionate, and giving human being who is proud to share many traits with the one who raised him. As I continue to mature, I appreciate the traits we share more and more, and decided it was time to share my appreciation with the world. So, thank you, dad, for helping shape me into someone I’m proud to be and for being the positive role model every child would love to have. I’m very blessed to have grown up with you as my dad and never again will I take for granted what you’ve taught me. Happy Father’s Day.


When I put all my efforts

Into one face

Things never work out

It’s always the case


Though when I try less

It’s always a surprise

To find who I don’t want

Staring into my eyes


Why it’s like this

I can’t comprehend

Though my efforts won’t cease

Until time’s end


Maybe one day

I’ll meet one who values my time

I’ll love her to death

And she’ll always be mine