Road Trip 2005 (Northwest)

My friend and I took a 2400+ mile road trip through the Northwest last week. The trip took us to Seattle, Olympic National Park, Mt Rainier National Park and Mount St Helen National Monument in Washington state, as well as to Lassen National Park in Northern California. We drove (a lot!), camped out to save money on lodging, and hiked to waterfalls, beaches and really old and tall trees. We took lots of pictures, ate a lot of road and camping food, and managed to avoid getting speeding tickets.

On yeah, click the pics to enlarge them.

Our plan was to drive as far north as we need and then work our way down. We left the Bay Area around 11PM on Monday night (Aug 29th). And by 11AM the following day we were in Seattle. We had lunch in Seattle's famous Public Market.

These figurines are made of ashes from Mt St Helen's last eruption (circa 1980)

Olympic National Park
Later in the afternoon, we took the Edmonds-Kingston Ferry across Puget Sounds to get to Olympic Nation Park. It was pretty dark when we got to Olympic, but the sky was clear, and we could actually see across the water to Victoria, Canada. We went to a YMCA in Port Angeles to shower and then camped for the night at Heart O' the Hills camp grounds.

The following day, we drove around the park and hiked to the coast.

Peaks of Mt Olympus from Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center

We hiked a couple of miles to see Sol Duc Falls

And then hiked a little more through the forest that leads to Third Beach on the Pacific coast.

We reached to coast around 5:00PM, which was low tide, so we saw lots of star fishes and other creatures on the coastal tidepool.

It was late Wednesday when we finally left Olympic to drive to Mt Rainier. Along the way, we stopped by a Costco for cheap food and gas, we saw Seattle's night lights.

Mt Rainier National Park
We got to Mt Rainier around 2 AM Thursday morning. We tried our best not to wake up our neighbors while we set up our tent. In the morning, we drove around the park.

View of Mt Rainier from Sunrise Visitor Center

We did a little hiking in Sunrise area

A little hiking in The Groves of the Patriarchs allowed us to see really tall and old trees. Some trees are 10 ft in diameter and are 10,000 years old!

In Reflection Lakes, we took pictures of Mt Rainier and its reflection.

We also hiked a little to see Narada Falls

This picture of Narada Falls, shows that even cameras can capture motions.

Mt St Helen National Monument
For Thursday night, we camped in Cougar Rock in Mt Rainier. The following morning, we left early and drove to Mt St Helen National Monument.

This is the view of Mt Rainier from Mt St. Helen's Windy Ridge

This wierd looking tree fascinated everyone. There are hundreds of these trees destroyed during Mt St Helen's eruption in 1980

Most of the land around this lake was part of Mt St Helen and was blown off during the 1980 eruption

Mt St Helen remains active until today. On June, its dome collapsed and steam begun coming out of its peak.

Lasssen National Park
We left Mt St Helen on Friday afternoon, and drove across Oregon, to California's Lassen National Park. While in Oregon, I called my brother to see where the nearest Costco is in Salem, Oregon so we can get some cheap food and gas. We got to Lassen around 2 AM, and once again we tried to set up our tent without waking up our neighbors.

Mt Lassen has a pretty interesting history. It's relatively new, as it was formed just 27,000 years ago. It was also formed "suddenly" (within a couple of years), when 2,000 feet of land was pushed off from the lava bed below. The same lava bed used to supply a giant volcano known as Mt Tehama. When Mt Tehama last erupted (400,000 yrs ago), it's top dome collapsed and formed several mountain peaks and a huge valley. A park ranger told us that 5 miles below Lassen NP is a huge pocket of lava waiting to get out! Also, Lassen's shaped was erroded during the last ice age (about 18,000 to 25,000 yrs ago).

Beaver Dam in Hat Lake. This 5 ft tall dam was built by beavers! The lake was formed when Mt Lassen erupted in 1915 and water from melted snow flooded the area. Mt Lassen was very active, and erupted several times, between 1914 and 1921. This eruption contributed to the government designating it a National Park.

We hiked to Kings Creek Falls

To the left is the cascading portion of Kings Creek Falls, to the right is a wierd lookind tree

We hiked to Bumpass Hell. Which reminded us of Yellowstone National Park. Here we saw boiling muds and steam vents. Oh yeah, the place also stinks just like in Yellowstone

It was Saturday night by the time we got back to Pleasanton. The trip was lots of fun. We didn't have time to see Redwood and California coast, but we figured that's within a few hours from the Bay Area.


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