Back to our journey through the Pacific Northwest! On Friday, August 19th, we started from our campsite at Lake Sylvia State Park and drove up the beautiful coast to Westport, where Mike jumped in the water for a surf. From there, we headed to Olympic National Park. We entered from the southwest side and drove north, stopping in a small town called Forks to grab food. We then continued to make our way around the top to the north central portion, where we set up camp. On Saturday morning, we drove through Port Angeles to the park’s visitor center and then started the famous Hurricane Ridge drive. It is the most easily accessed mountain area within the national park and offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and even the ocean, from some viewpoints! While at the top, we listened to a park ranger program and took some short walks on the trails provided. It is beautiful there!
From Olympic National Park, we drove to Bainbridge Island, where we took a ferry to Seattle.
We first checked into the hotel we were staying at that night and then drove into the city to meet up with one of Kaitlin’s brother’s friends, Linc, and his girlfriend, Kirsten. We had dinner at a great beer garden in the Fremont neighborhood and then they took us to Gas Works Park, which offers an incredible skyline view of the city (especially at night with everything lit up). We took in the beautiful view (you could even see the house on the water used in Sleepless in Seattle!) and drank wine and talked – it was awesome!
On Sunday, we set out to explore Seattle, starting first at Pike Place Market. We walked through the stalls, checked out the original Starbucks, watched a cooking demonstration, ate one of the famous piroshkys from the Piroshky Bakery and then got some incredible clam chowder for lunch from Pike Place Chowder!
We then walked along the water and up a big hill to the Seattle Center, where the Space Needle is located. We did not go to the top of the famous landmark because of the price and the lines, but we wandered around the campus, which features different museums, a concert venue and restaurants.
From there, we got our car and drove to the Ballard neighborhood, which we had been told was a fun and interesting part of the city. We walked down the main street past many shops and restaurants and got ourselves a frozen coffee drink because we couldn’t leave Seattle without having some coffee! We then drove down toward the Seattle Center again to check out the exterior of the new, LEED certified campus of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The cost of building the new campus was roughly $500 million, $350 million of which came from Bill and Melinda Gates. It is very impressive and someone we know who works there says it’s just as impressive inside. Kaitlin would like to work there!
From there, we drove into the Queen Anne section of town, a more residential neighborhood with beautiful homes, a fun main street and great views of the city (you drive up big hills to get there), where Kaitlin would like to live if we ever move to Seattle! We then got biodiesel and headed out of the city to a campsite for the night.
We woke up to rain on Monday morning (August 22nd) and after running some errands, drove out in the direction of Mount Baker. Why, you ask? Well, we mentioned earlier in this blog that Mike’s brother, Brian and our friend Anthony, took a cross-country trip of their own (from New York to Baja, Mexico) in the summer of 2007. For their journey, they chose a short school bus, which inspired the name for their trip – schoolbustobaja.com. After their trip was over, they sold the bus and recently we found out that it’s being used by a company that transports people on rafting and snowboarding trips. We went to check out her new home and say hello to the new owners and take photos for Brian and Anthony!
From there, we drove north and drum roll…crossed the border! We will share our adventures from British Columbia in our next post!