Sunday, April 24, 2011

4/25/11: Seattle & Vancouver

Jen and I went on a trip of the Northwest this last week. Our route took us to Seattle, Olympic National Park, Vancouver Island, Vancouver, Whistler, and back to Seattle.

It was an amazing trip, and we had a lot of fun. The weather was absolutely incredible for the whole week. It was in the 50s and sunny every day, as compared to usual weather of 40s, cloudy, and rainy for this time of year.

I have a ridiculous amount of pictures below that include hiking in a rainforest in Olympic National Park, skiing in Whistler, and lots of snow-capped mountains.

Hope you enjoy!

View from the needle in Seattle. It was a really clear day, and you could see over to the mountains in Olympic National Park.

On Monday we drove around the bottom of Olympic National Park to the Hoh Rainforest for an afternoon hike.

The rainforest was incredibly lush and gets something like 140 inches of rain a year.

The amazing thing about the rainforest is that you have these huge snowcapped mountains all around that you can see from the trail. I don’t think there are many rainforests where you have these kinds of views!

There were some beautiful waterfalls in the rain forest that were coming off the mountain the trail followed.

At the trailhead, they had these warning signs about watching out for elk and being sure not to get too close to them. At one point towards the end of the hike, I looked right and saw 3 elk about 30 feet away from us. Man, they are huge! The elk looked over and were just staring us down. Jen and I backtracked and circled wide around the elk. Fortunately they decided we weren’t worth their time or energy!

We stayed at the Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park. It was a beautiful spot right on the ocean. I went for a nice run the next morning on the beach.

On Tuesday we drove around the west and north side of the park. There were some great views along the way.

On the way out of the park we drove up to Hurricane Ridge, which has some great views of the mountains. The ridge is around 5 or 6 thousand feet and looks out across tons of 7 to 8 thousand foot peaks, including Mt. Olympus. It was an amazingly clear day, which was unusual for the area and lucky for us. They also had a crazy amount of snow up there!

We caught the ferry from Port Angeles over to Victoria, which is on Vancouver Island. We stayed at a B&B over there and just enjoyed hanging out and walking around parks.

Vancouver Island has a famous garden called the Butchart Gardens. We kicked off Wednesday by spending some time there before taking another ferry over to Vancouver.

This one is for you, Brome. Beard Papas was a store exclusively devoted to cream puffs. The name made me think of you!

Jen and I drove from Vancouver to Whistler to ski for a day. We weren’t originally planning on going there, but we couldn’t resist since they had so much snow this year. Whistler had over 600 inches this year and still had a 12 foot base when we were out there! The skiing was great, and Whistler is definitely a word class ski area. We can’t wait to go back there some day.

This was on the drive back from Whistler. There were great views the whole way.

This was the view from our hotel room. We had great views of the mountains on the north side of Vancouver.

On the next day in Vancouver we took a long walk and hit up Stanley Park.

On our flight back, our route took us right over Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood. These pictures are from the airplane window!


Barbara said...

Great pictures, Will! I can't believe how many different and beautiful places you were in only one week!

Christin said...

Awesome pics! Jen will show you mine of Butchart In the fall...