Saturday, February 25, 2017

My 10 favorite things about Pullman

     I came here for graduate school, and during my move I was already telling my dad about where I wanted to live next. I never intended to stay long, but it's been almost 4 years since I moved here. My only reason for staying has been to support Craig through his PhD.

     I wanted to to acknowledge 10 positives about living in Pullman, WA.

1) The running community. 

     The Palouse Road Runners is a local running club that puts on free or cheap races which are always fun and laid-back.

     My favorite local races are Moscow Mountain Madness (a trail run with incredible elevation gain) and Snake River Canyon Half Marathon (a flat half marathon course along the Snake River). By the way I'm running the latter next weekend!

Photo credit: Ben Herndon

2) The trails. 

     It makes sense that this area has a strong running community. It is a beautiful place to run!

     I kid you not, this region has been feature in Runners World twice since I moved here in, once in 2015 and once last December.

     There are multiple paved trails to run. One trail is an 8 mile loop around Pullman. There is also a trail all the way to Idaho and beyond. The lengths of both these routes are perfect for marathon training!

Looking not-so-fresh after running the 8 mile loop last weekend

3) Moscow Co-op. 

     Moscow is only a 15 minute drive away and is a much cuter town. Even though it is in Idaho, seems much more liberal, health-conscious and vegan-friendly than Pullman.

     The local co-op sells a ton of dairy-free foods like fake cheese, ice cream and cupcakes with dairy-free frostings. It also sells incredible breads.

     There is even a cafe that has cafeteria-style food where you can fill a plate up and pay by the pound. Options include different salads, pizza, pulled pork sandwiches, tofu dishes and breakfast foods (if you get there early enough!). It's fun to eat something that tastes homemade that I didn't have to prepare myself.

4) Coffee. 

    At first I was put-out because there was only one single Starbucks in town. After living here a few years I've learned that is totally for the best! I've actually even grown to dislike Starbucks after venturing out to local cafes.

     My favorite in town is Roost. It's interior is kind of trendy, with plants on top of stacks of books. It sells wonderful pastries (their carrot cake is awesome!). There coffee always tastes great. I usually get a soy latte, and it never fails to disappoint.

That soy milk foam though

5) The rec center. 

     The UREC, as its called, is definitely a good option for running when there is snow on the ground. If you go at the right time, it's not very crowded.

     There are fun classes you can take. Over the years I have taken: barre (multiple times), TRX, belly dancing (with a friend; definitely not my thing lol), and yoga. The classes are taught by students, so are usually no more than about $20 for 4 months.

I ran in a "color 5K" put on by the rec center

6) Free movies! 

     The student center (the CUB) shows movies all weekend which are free for students. I've actually still been going for free even though I graduated over a year ago.

     The selection is usually things that just left theaters. Over the past month me and Craig have gone to: Moana, Doctor Strange, and most recently Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We went to a movie there for our first Valentine's Day (About Time). We've only ever left in the middle of a movie once (50 Shades of Gray) because it was too bad to watch haha.

7) Kamiak Butte and Moscow Mountain. 

     These are the main places we go to whenever we want to get outside. They are only 15-30 minutes away. Both are fun to run or hike up!

Me, my dad, and youngest brother at Kamiak Butte

Me and my brother at Moscow Mountain

8) The Moscow Farmers Market. 

     The farmers market takes up the entire Main Street of Moscow. There you can find great local vegetables and fruits (mmmm Rainier cherries!) and also things like honey and artisan breads.

Some nice looking purple peppers at the farmers market last year

9) Snow days. 

     Waking up to snow or watching it fall at night brings me a lot of joy. I also like walking around after a fresh snow to see how it changes the whole town into something more beautiful.

A walk in the snow at Kamiak Butte

10) The people. 

     I've saved the most sentimental thing for last. I've met a lot of smart, caring people through the university (including Craig <3). The friends I've made here are always good for interesting conversation.

Me and my friend Teresa after a halloween run.