I’ve always kind of disliked the Yakima Valley. Being born and raised in the Lower Valley I always felt bored by the lack of nature and the small town feel and the fact that there was never anything interesting to do in town. Then I had the chance to move to Southern California for a year for college. I was suddenly close to Los Angeles, Huntington Beach, and Disneyland. I lived in a fairly small area but I was surrounded by larger towns. There was traffic and noise and excitement. There were always things happening and there was always something to do. For one year I lived a life of constant movement. And I completely hated it.
I missed my small home town; a place where you know everyone and people look out for you. I missed a community that valued spending time with one another and getting to know the people around you. So, with that realization, I packed up everything I owned into my tiny Chevrolet Aveo and began my 17 hour drive home. As I began to leave the Los Angeles area the fog began to lift. Literally. I was finally out from the smog and smoke. I could breathe easier than I had in a year. When I stopped for the night I was in northern California and I just sat outside looking at the stars. I hadn’t even realized that I hadn’t seen the stars for a long time. The further north I drove, I realized the plants and trees were native to their environment, rather than all of the transplanted trees I had been surrounded by. For every mile closer to home I drove I began to develop a greater appreciation for my home, the Yakima Valley.
After arriving home I had a newfound desire to discover the beautiful area that I called home. Yakima has a lot of beautiful hiking trails and my family and I set out to explore them. Wildflowers grow lining the path and the view from the top is unbelievable. My favorite hike was Manastash Ridge and I was able to follow different paths to the top that ends in a memorial and a feeling of accomplishment. For an easier hike I would hike the Lower Cowiche Canyon Trail. It crosses over a little stream and I love to just sit on the bridge and enjoy being outside.
When I started to look I realized that the Yakima Valley has so much to offer someone. There are dances happening almost every single weekend. I’ve had the chance to learn swing dancing and I love the excitement of having an unusual skill. The desert environment that we are surrounded by fills my photo albums as I play with my camera on weekends. We have several craft stores in town and I use that as an environment to explore my love of crochet and crafts. There are a lot of wineries that you can tour and do tastings at, something I had always wanted to do and now I discover that I love it. There are plays and concerts, we have the Central Washington State Fair, an amazing fruit and smoothie bar, NUYU that I adore and frequent.
There is a true sense of community in Yakima. When there are families in need, people step up to help them. I chose to work at Solarity Credit Union because I feel like we are dedicated to the people who call the Yakima Valley their home. We are involved in our community and our employees genuinely care about our members. Each person who chooses to work at Solarity Credit Union brings their own personality here. They have individual desires and interests and somehow all of these blend together to create an amazing entity. I don’t think that you can find anything like Solarity Credit Union anywhere else.