Sunday, November 24, 2013

Farthest Point from Home: Washington

On Halloween we arrived in Washington and slept in the car. During the beginning of the drive there we hit some snow in Montana and had a couple miles of scary mountain driving. The rest was fairly uneventful except for the regular majestic mountain views that we scamper to take quick pictures of. We went to a Burger King in Butte, Montana and sat down to eat. It was still covered in snow from the previous weeks winter storm and looked pretty. 

It was night when we reached the overnight rest stop in Washington. There were many truckers there and also a few people sleeping in their cars. It seemed safe enough and supposedly it was one that was secured by police during the night. We tried to make ourselves as comfortable as possible. I was fine beside the occasional bother of having to use the bathroom, but Finnley was having trouble. He’s a little too big for sleeping in the drivers seat of a Hyundai Elantra. We both woke up multiple times throughout the night which I’m used to anyway. 

We got on the road before sun up after using the facilities and getting a coffee for Finnley from some nice American Legion members who were at the rest stop. Later that morning we stopped at a scenic view point that turned out to be part of Gingko Petrified Forest State Park and took a stroll through. I was taking pictures across the trail while Finnley went down to view the waterway. 

I stumbled upon a little desert bunny. I tried to get as close as possible to get a good picture of him. He ended up hopping away after I got a few so I started walking away. A couple minutes and steps later I turned around and there was the little bunny. He was following me and was my little friend. I took a couple more pictures and went to find Finnley. I took pictures of the forest that looked more like a desert while Finnley walked back to the car. When I was done I walked back as well and what do you know right before the trail ended and the parking lot came there was the little bunny again waiting in the bushes to see me off. 

We reached Seattle around lunch time and went to check out the Space Needle. Due to lack of funds we decided not to go up it, but it was okay. I think we had a more than suitable view from down below. We walked around that area for a while and decided to get some lunch at a sports restaurant across the street. Finnley got a burger and I got a shrimp salad. While it didn’t look super appetizing it was really good. 

Due to Finnley’s serious lack of sleep I ended up having to drive us to our next destination which was Forks, Washington close to Olympic National Park and where the movie for Twilight was filmed or book took place, something like that. It’s a cool place off the coast of Washington with a real rainforest! That turned out to be the main reason we went there and the next day that is where we explored. After arriving we got a cheap motel and some pizza from a local restaurant and went to bed. 

We left the next day, but first headed to the Hoh Rainforest inside Olympic National Park for a hike. It was really rainy and gloomy out which I heard was the typical weather. When we got there we put on our water resistant gear and went to the visitor center. The ranger there told us the best hike and some other interesting facts and anecdotes about life in the park. He told us just the evening before he had been taking pictures of some elk in the park and got too close and ended up getting chased by a large buck. 

It was rainy when we left for the hike. I had a hard time enjoying this because not only was it freezing, but it was wet i.e. the worst weather combo ever for me. I took a lot of pictures and everything was definitely cool looking. It seemed like somewhere mythical creatures like fairies would live. 

After that we left for what we intended to be Portland, Oregon. On the way we passed by some beautiful beaches. However they we very dangerous at the time because there was a windy weather advisory that day of gusts up to 60mph. The motel we were at even had the lights go out earlier that morning due to the winds (not so comforting in Vampireville :-P). So basically the waves at the beach looked like a hurricane was in session. I am always in awe at the power of the Pacific Ocean. Finnley and I had to pull over and watch the waves for a minute because they looked so amazing. It was definitely something that picture or film couldn’t capture.

Our last stop in Washington was my teen idols Kurt Cobain’s hometown Aberdeen, Washington. All Finnley and I did there was go to a Dairy Queen for some lunch there, but I figured it was notable. Finnley asked the boy who worked there and he said that Kurt’s house wasn’t too far from there and that his dad grew up with him. We didn’t go see his house. Just being there was cool enough, plus I know how Kurt felt about those celeb obsessions and whatnot ;-). Washington was short, but all around sweet. However, it was time to get to Portland; a city I much anticipated. 

On to the next...

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