Sunday, April 28, 2019

Pacific Northwest Adventure

Typically, I travel on my own. However, as my spring travel was coming near, I was feeling less and less like I wanted to make another upcoming trip by myself. I shared this feeling with my long-time friend Dawn and, she, a fellow travel enthusiast agreed we should take a trip together. We bounced ideas back and forth a bit and ultimately we had landed on Seattle, WA. It was a place I had been thinking of going and we could also blend our love mutual love of national parks, by getting in a trip to the nearby Olympic National Park. Dawn also has a goal of visiting all 50 US states before she is 50 years old, so an added trip to nearby Portland, OR would mean she could check off two new states. The trip ended up coming together beautifully. 

We spent our first two days in Seattle where we visited sights like the Seattle Space Needle, the Seattle Japanese Gardens, the Freemont Troll, and the REI Flagship store. Weather was not perfect but we worked with it alright. We had to wear hats but with a light jacket and lots of walking we stayed fairly warm. We never experienced a downpour, but were always underneath overcast skies.

Our third day started with a picking up a rental car which we then drove onto a ferry for the hour long ride across the Puget Sound to get to the Olympic Peninsula. Our first stop was Cash Brewing, a brewery that my mom had found months and months ago. We thought it was incredibly cool to have a brewery with our last name, but of course we're not related. Once I knew I'd be going to the Seattle area, a visit there was added as high priority. I couldn't stop smiling the entire time.

We were bound for the Olympic National Park on our journey through the peninsula. After getting our bearings at the visitors center in Port Angeles, WA we knew the spots we wanted to hit and timed everything out. We day hiked a bit around Crescent Lake, visited the Pacific coast at La Push, drove through and ate in Forks, and hiked in the Hoh Rain Forest. Our day and a half was quick there, but a good amount of time to soak in incredible forests there and experience moss covered mammoth sized trees.

We headed south from there to Portland, OR. Knowing we'd only be about three hours from the city we knew it'd be worth a visit. We arrived at about 9pm and got cozy in our hotel. The following morning we got some much needed breakfast at the famous Voodoo Doughnuts and they were absolutely delicious. We visited the Lan Su Chinese Garden, the Pittock Mansion, and Powell's Books. Portland had lovely weather for us, 70 degrees and sunny.

The following day we roadtripped back up to Seattle stopping at the Mount St. Helens visitor center and Olympia, WA to meet up with a mutual college friend of ours. I have to say one of the highlights was reminiscing with him over old Facebook photos of our crazy nights in the dorm. 

We soaked in a lot of the Pacific Northwest and got a good view of what it has to offer. Definitely a unique landscape and one that I hadn't seen ever before. We really hit a home run with this trip; it turned out to be pretty economical, very safe, and filled with adventure.