As fall slowly envelopes the United States, I need to take this opportunity to reflect on our first summer as early retirees. We traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest all summer long, and it was an amazing experience.

My wife and I – along with our two dogs, cruised throughout the Northwest without a care in the world (well, mostly). We got up whenever we wanted. We napped when we felt tired. We hiked. We swam. We did everything that we thought we’d do without theΒ confines of a full-time job.

In other words, we enjoyed life.

We spent time in Northern California hiking the Mount Shasta area before spending a couple weeks with family on the Oregon coast. Then, we drove further north toward Portland to see a couple of Courtney’s friends before veering off to the East along the Columbia River Gorge where we hiked more waterfalls than I can possibly count.

We spent several weeks around the Yellowstone area and even saw the park’s very first snowfall of the season. Driving through Yellowstone in the snow was completely surreal.

A snowy Yellowstone National Park in September

We witnessed almost every sunset. Dined at a ton of breweries. I personally threw rocks into way too many rivers and lakes (along with the Pacific ocean, of course). We spent weeks at a time without connecting to the grid thanks to our solar panels and composting toilet.

And, we documented most of our journey on our YouTube channel.

Oh, and we earned an additional $50,000 in net worth through the magic of the stock market and this freakishly amazing economy we’re living in.

Starting yesterday, we began our trek back down south to spend the fall and winter in Arizona (more on our plans in a follow-on post). In honor of our very first summer as early retirees, I present to you a few of my favorite photographs that I snapped during our travels.

What an amazing summer.

Enjoy!

An old Mormon barn in Grand Teton National Park
A waterfall along the Columbia River Gorge
Frost on a cold fall morning in Yellowstone
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
Teton Mountains enveloped in smoke
The Airstream out in a field in Idaho
Our view from atop a sand dune in Bruneau State Park.
Buoy Beer Co. in Bend, OR.

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