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Published: September 6th 2015
We drove to Seattle via the Cascade Mountains which were pretty impressive, albeit extremely foggy and rainy in places, especially every time we got near a viewpoint! After a stop in Leavenworth on Monday night – a very strange experience as after going out of business as a lumber town, the place decided to make itself German to lure in tourists! Everything is Bavarian themed, from the buildings to the food. Anyway, we made it to Seattle and headed straight for Pike Place Market. The market was very cool, it is right on the waterfront and there is a serious amount of fish for sale! Having found ourselves some takeaway curry for lunch – delicious – and huddling under cover from the rain to eat it, we came across the first ever Starbucks… we looked at the queue outside and went next door for a much cheaper and less crowded cup of coffee! Once we had seen everything the market had to offer, we headed to our home for the next 3 nights, our first AirBnB experience. We were slightly apprehensive but we needn’t have worried, Maggie’s house was immaculate and the bed was comfy. It was scarily quiet at times
though, the kind of place where you feel like you should whisper ALL the time.
The following day was spent exploring the rest of the city. First stop was the Columbus Center, where Lonely Planet had assured me we would see the best free view in Seattle – from a Starbucks. This was true, and the view was excellent… until it started raining. It seems to do this a lot in Seattle, it’s a bit like home! We then had a wander around Pioneer Square, the old(ish) part of town and stopped in at the Klondike Gold Rush museum which was actually really interesting! We then headed for Chinatown for some lunch. The highlight of the day was perhaps the Century Link stadium, home to the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders, where we were able to see onto the pitch. We had a wander along the waterfront, looking out towards Olympic National Park (trying to ignore the other direction which is incredibly industrial!). Once we had seen the Moore Theater, which has hosted many of the grunge greats, we headed back to Maggie’s.
The next day was our last in Seattle and we weren’t really
sure what to do with it… so, on an impulse we decided to drive to Mount Rainier. Yep, 2 days in a city and we couldn’t resist another National Park! It was well worth the trip (although when we got out of the car it was absolutely freezing) and we hiked along the Skyline Trail to a view of the Nesqually Glacier which is on Mount Rainier itself. The views were pretty amazing although it wasn’t clear enough to see the top of the mountain, 14000 feet up, and it snowed as we were looking out at the glacier! Also saw loads of really fat marmots on the way up, they are Tom’s new favourite animal.
On Friday we woke to blue skies and set off to Olympic National Park. En route, we were convinced the rain would come as the area is famous for being the wettest in North America… but it never did. As we approached our campground, we rounded the corner to an incredible view of Lake Crescent, a beautiful blue lake surrounded by mountains. Once the tent was up and we’d had some lunch, we set off for Marymere Falls through the rainforest.
I was amazed by it, it’s like some kind of mystical wonderland! Today we have been exploring the highlights of the park, starting in the Hoh Rainforest, which was unlike anywhere we’d been before. We wandered along the Hall of Mosses, which is exactly as it sounds – it’s so beautiful, the trees are ENORMOUS (up to 300 feet tall), most of them have Old Man’s Beard hanging off them and the different shades of green are incredible. We saw an enormous bull elk as well, with huge antlers! We then headed back through Forks, home of Edward and Bella, where I had a nerdy Twilight moment! Other than Twilight, Forks had nothing for us so we headed out to La Push on the coast, and then on to Rialto Beach where the rocks were possibly (sorry Mum, Dad, Dragons) even more dramatic than in Cornwall! We walked along the beach to a place called Hole in the Wall where we saw some funny creatures in rockpools and the view was amazing.
Tomorrow we make our way to Oregon! Hoping to stop around Astoria overnight, it’s Labour Day so hoping to see some celebrations!
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