Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Pacific Northwest Trip Part 2: State Parks and Scenery
The Pacific Northwest is known for the beautiful views and easy access to State Parks. We were so excited to explore Washington and Oregon. We filled every day of our trip with lots of exploration and adventure followed by good eats and drinks (to come in another post). So here are the recaps of the sites we visited!
Saturday Exploring: From Seattle we headed to Mount St. Helens. We drove up to the viewing spot. We spent a long time reading about the eruption and exploring the viewing area. This was amazing to see how the landscape changed in 1980. You can see where the land slides landed and how the surrounding area was affected. Just incredible.
From Mount St. Helens we headed to Portland!
Sunday Exploring: We woke up early and drove to the coast. We started Southeast of Portland in a place called Cape Meares. We drove through Tillamook (cheese) to the Cape and up to the lighthouse there. Unfortunately today the weather along the coast was extremely foggy and COLD. Portland was in the nineties and the coast was in the fifties/sixties. BIG difference and we were NOT dressed appropriately.
From Cape Meares we headed to a town called Manzanita. It is this cute little beach town that is probably a quarter of a mile long. We parked and walked around to find somewhere to eat lunch. We found this little mexican joint that was a hole in the wall but oh so delicious! After we ate we walked down to the beach to put our toes in the sand and COLD Pacific Ocean.
We stopped at a few lookout points on the road between Manzanita and Cannon Beach.
Our final destination was Cannon Beach. At Cannon Beach you find the famous Haystack Rock. I was amazed by how many people were on the beach on this cold day. There were a ton of tents and people all bundled up!
After taking a long walk on the beach
and freezing our bums off we walked across the street from the parking lot to the pub that was suggested to us by the Bainbridge Brewery Worker. We enjoyed yet another local beer by the ocean.
From Cannon Beach we drove back to Portland for the late afternoon and night.
Monday Exploring: We left Mt. Hood until the last day as it was the closest to the city and boy we saved the best day for last. It was a clear day without any clouds in the sky. We couldn't have painted a better picture perfect day. The temperature had gone down again and was back in the eighties as well. We started our day at Trillium Lake in the Mt. Hood park. Pictures don't do this place justice. Such a serene place to walk around. I could have spent the whole day kayaking or just reading on the bank. It was just magical!
From Trillium Lake we drove up the mountain to Timberline Lodge to get a closer view of Mt. Hood. We rode the mile high lift to get as high as we could go (above the tree line). It was amazing to me that people were still skiing in July here (there wasn't much runway but still).
From here we drove around the other side of Mt. Hood to get to the Columbia River Gorge. We drove along the river which is massive and beautifully blue. We stopped at Bonneville Dam to see. Pretty amazing they can construct something like this.
Next up was the Multnomah Falls. There were tons of people visiting here too. We walked up to the bridge to get views from halfway up.
Last stop on our loop was to visit the Vista House along the gorge. Alastair (my cousin) recommended it and I'm so glad he did. We got amazing views from atop a small mountain down into the gorge. Just breathtaking!
We had the best time exploring all these spots. We had never seen places like this before and it was so fun to explore them with Tommy. I don't think we could have packed anything else into our itinerary. The Pacific Northwest really is a beautiful part of our country. I look forward to one day seeing even more out there!
Part 3 coming up with the places we ate and drank in Portland.