Two and a half waterfalls.

I had a weird stretch of weekends in October.

I had the chance to go home and see family, and I wasn’t going to waste all my time in the Suburbs, so I went with my good friends Andrew and Jen to Starved Rock State Park, one of the really beautiful places in Illinois, filled with some of the coolest geology I’ve ever seen. The waterfalls that run into the river have carved these beautiful shapes into the sandstone. The waterfalls are gorgeous, when they are there. And they were not.

The dry conditions in Chicago this year meant that there were beautiful water carved sandstone cliffs, but no water. Still, a beautiful hike, and grad times were had by all.

The following weekend I jumped to the West Coast – I had plans to go climbing, but first, my friend Susan took me to Lower Lewis Falls. It was significantly less “on fire” than other places in the PNW at the time, which, while less adventurous, seemed like a solid plan. And it was. If I could guarantee that every Friday for the rest of my life could be spent walking through the wilderness with friends, taking photos of waterfalls, I 100% would take that deal. Provided it’s not some monkey’s paw where I’m going to get hit by a truck this week.

The crazy thing is that as soon as I landed back in Tokyo, I got the chance to run up to Nikko, with my friend Giovanni Piliarvu, to shoot the waterfalls up there. I… well. Let’s just agree that Nikko isn’t exactly wilderness, but the waterfalls were amazing.

Three different waterfall areas, three weekends in a row, stretching from the middle of America to the mountains of Japan, and the whole time with great people. I just don’t know how I could have gotten any luckier.

Well, maybe if the first set of waterfalls had been more, well, watery. But it’s not like Chicago is ever going to stop being home. I’ll be back again.