Summer on the Best Coast: Student Postcards from Seattle and San Diego

Thursday, September 18, 2014

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It’s our secret: Seattle-area weather is kind of great year-round, with mild misty swirling drizzles broken up b

Student and friend at St. Edward State Park beach

It’s our secret: Seattle-area weather is kind of great year-round, with mild misty swirling drizzles broken up by more sunshine than you’ve heard. This summer has been positively beautiful, with enough sunny warmth to make a Texan feel at home.

Bastyr students make the most of it, heading out from Seattle and San Diego to study in the wilderness, train in far-flung clinics, kick back in the mountains, lounge on empty beaches, and enjoy well-earned rest in a thousand other ways. Here are some postcards.

Wild Medicine

Students in front of alpine lakeSara Bulson joined Bastyr’s Plant Identification & Medicinal Field Botany trip to Pete Lake in the central Cascades. She and her classmates learned about native medicinal plants and backpacked to stunning wild vistas and alpine lakes.

Beach Next Door

Student and friend at St. Edward State Park beachReiko Kobayashi-Wagner (right) took a friend on a short hike to a big lake — the St. Edward State Park secluded beach on Lake Washington. It’s just a mile or so walking from Bastyr’s Kenmore campus, through forest of fir, hemlock, and Western red cedar, the tree of life.

Olympic Coast

Student on driftwood log at coastKimberly Knight took her first backpacking trip on the remote Olympic Coast, in between towering rock formations and the wild seething Pacific Ocean. “It was my first backpacking trip, something I swore I would never do,” she says. “I absolutely would go again.”

Mexico Clinic

Students at Mexico clinicEvangelynn Honegger (far right) and classmates traveled with Naturopaths Without Borders to deliver medicine at a clinic in Rocky Point, Mexico, four hours south of Phoenix. "We got to practice so much and learn so much from amazing mentors with incredible knowledge, humility, and giving hearts,” say Honegger, the president of Bastyr’s Kenmore NWB chapter.

Massage Intensive

Student gives massage in campus courtyardLeena Suthar and classmates took the Summer Massage Intensive on campus in Kenmore. The 11-week class prepares them for massage therapy licensure. For many students, that’s an appealing source of income and a chance to practice bedside manner and relating to patients.

Desert Horseback Riding

Student rides on horseCalifornia student Michelle Hamilton took weekly horseback riding lessons in Bosnall, California. “Horseback riding has many health benefits,” she says. “It helps physiologically with building strong abdominal muscles and quads. You also bond with the horse as you help with grooming them before and after your ride. It’s a lot of fun.”

Wine Country

Orchards in Ramona ValleyLeah Gordon raves about the Ramona Valley wine country a half-hour east of Bastyr’s San Diego campus. “It has dozens of vineyards and wineries on the way up to Julian, which is the cute mountain town famous for its apple orchards and apple pies!” she says. “The vineyards are beautiful and it looks like Italy!”

Canadian Rockies

Students in front of snowy peaksAllison Donnell and two friends celebrated their first year in the naturopathic program with a swing through some of Canada’s most stunning mountains. “Basically, we made a two-week loop starting in Kelowna, British Columbia, up through Calgary and Banff National Park (picture), over to Revelstoke and Wells Grey, down through Whistler and Vancouver and back to Seattle,” she says.

See last year's postcards too!