Part 2 of our vacation today! In a span of 7 days, we managed to go to two different cities, the beach, the desert, and the mountains — this post will cover everything but the cities, so keep reading :)
The Northwest seriously has it made; within 3 hours you can drive all the way from the beach to the desert. Or you can go to the mountains where you will find FEET of snow in July! It was absolutely crazy and to say we were unprepared is a bit of an understatement. Most of y’all are from the East, so you know July like I do — insanely hot to the point you don’t even want to leave your house. To be fair, we checked the weather for Seattle and Portland before leaving and they were actually quite similar. What we failed to check was the conditions in the mountains!
There were definitely a few — adventures — along the way, so I posted a little story about each location. Some are funny, others probably kinda boring, but the views were just amazing, so definitely check those out!
Next week I’ll put up my final post: Portland!
Our first day outside Seattle we headed to Blanca Lake — the most gorgeous, pristine place I’ve ever wanted to visit — a lake so blue it looks fake. Sound amazing, right? Well we get up a 3,000 foot climb that took us nearly 2.5 hours and what do we find but a ton of snow. We were having fun at first, until we lost the trail. After 30 minutes, we found some other hikers and were headed back down the other side of the mountain to the lake. So far, so good. Welp, after nearly 3 hours of hiking, we reach the lake… AND IT IS COVERED IN SNOW! I cried, literally. I was devastated. I read so many blogs about this hike and not one of them mentioned that it would be covered in ice and snow in July. I knew the hike would be crazy strenuous, but it would be worth it for the view, right? Wrong. So, so upsetting! Not to mention, then we had to hike 3 hours back! So that’s my sob story… Next time, we’ll go in August.
Mt. Rainier National Park
We did Mt. Rainier the day after Blanca, so we were kinda prepared for there to be some snow. Not actually prepared like we went out and bought snow shoes, but at least mentally prepared :) We totally felt like we went on an epic journey of LOTR proportions — scaling the side of snow covered mountains in our sneakers probably wasn’t the safest thing to do, but it sure made for a good view! Good thing about this national park was there was still a ton to do outside of the snowy areas!
Smith Rock State Park
I just LOVE this place! It’s pretty unassuming and doesn’t even look like much when you get parked. But once you start walking up, you can see the river and realize this place is gorgeous! We did a pretty crazy hike here too — it was appropriately name “Misery Ridge”. It was over 100 degrees the day we were there (quite a bit different from Rainier, eh?), so we didn’t stay long, but I would love to go back!
Multnomah Falls + Cannon Beach
Our final excursions was a two – parter. Multnomah Falls is just 30 minutes outside of Portland so we stopped by to see this beautiful waterfall. I had previously looked up a little hike nearby that was reminiscent of Fern Gully, so we took a little detour and went on an adventure — it was to die for! I truly felt like I couldn’t capture the essence of the place, but I tried my best! Everything was just blindingly green to the point it seemed unreal. And finally, we packed up and headed for Cannon Beach to see the infamous Haystack Rock.