Road Trip: Final Days

My road trip out to Oregon has been done for almost a month now. I can’t believe that much time has passed already. What’s even crazier is that in another month I’ll be taking another cross-country road trip back to Wisconsin. The final days of my road trip encompassed traveling in Washington and Oregon. Both states are absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend visiting both. May 27th was the only day that we started our traveling earlier than 8am. We were on the road by 6am! We had a lot of ground to cover and there was a lot that we wanted to see. We left Ellensburg, WA, with our destination being the Olympic Peninsula. We drove between Seattle and Tacoma and up the Peninsula’s east side. Most of our trip was on Hwy 101. In the interest of full disclosure, our goal for visiting the Olympic Peninsula was to do the Twilight/Forks touristy thing. The highlights for me included all of the awesome nature. While the Olympic Peninsula is one of the wettest places in the Continental US, it didn’t rain while we were there. It was a nice overcast day.

One of my favorite places that we stopped at was a glacial lake on the north side of Olympic National Park. The lake was serene. Even though we stopped at a pull out area on the road, it was so quiet. All you could hear were the birds chirpping. The lake was clear and the trees were covered in green moss.

Glacial Lake

Glacial Lake

I did enjoy my time in Forks, WA. We did a self-guided tour of the Twilight spots. My favorite was First Beach on the La Push Reservation. It was first time I got to see the Pacific Ocean! That was one of our goals for the road trip – the Pacific Ocean.

RTFD Me & Forks sign

RTFD First Beach

RTFD Driftwood

After Forks we continued on our way, heading towards Portland, OR. We wanted to get as close to Portland as we could because Jennifer had a morning flight from there on Friday morning. Hwy 101 provided us with more views of the Pacific Ocean as we got to drive through the coastal part of the Olympic National Park. We stopped at a Ranger Station/Information Center to get our NPS Passports stamped. The lady working, looked so happy to see us. We wondered if maybe she doesn’t get a lot of visitors because the coastal part isn’t connected to the rest of the park. She was really cool and told us about another area on our drive that we had to see – the world’s largest spruce tree.

Pacific Ocean at Olympic National Park

Pacific Ocean at Olympic National Park

Me with the world's largest spruce tree - over 58 feet in circumference!

Me with the world’s largest spruce tree – over 58 feet in circumference!

Our day in Washington ended in Vancouver. The next morning, I took Jennifer to the airport so that she could fly back to Wisconsin. I’m not going to lie, I did NOT want her to leave. 😦 While I wasn’t in the best mood, I still had to drive back to La Grande. The majority of the drive between Portland and La Grande is along the Columbia River (which provides the border between Oregon and Washington). I drove part of the Historic Columbia River Highway, so that I could do some sight-seeing. It was a rainy, slightly foggy day, and the sights were still breath-taking. I plan on going through this area again this next weekend when I go to Portland.

Columbia River at Vista House lookout

Columbia River at Vista House lookout

 

RTFD Columbia River Gorge 2

Shepperd's Dell

Shepperd’s Dell

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls

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