We had been in Bali for a little over a week and I had to fly to Bilbao, Spain for 2 whole days of work.
I’m not the best writer which is why I do the Lost in Transit Podcast. However if I feel so inclined to write about a trip, I will do so here. I also share photos.
My brother Joe and I hadn’t had a brothers trip in a few years so I invited him up to the PNW to hang for a few days. On the day that he arrived, we rented a car and decided to roam Washington state. Our first stop was North Cascades National Park.
Day Two - A few years prior, I had hiked Heather Maples Pass with my friend Brian Stowell, and I couldn’t stop telling Joe about how much I enjoyed it. So naturally Joe and I figured it would be a great place to start; but not without a stop at Diablo Lake overlook first. If you’re out of shape like I am- the Heather Maples Pass hike is pretty brutal, 9 miles total with 2400 feet in elevation gain. However, the outstanding views totally make it worth it. We did a lot of stopping along the hike to take in the incredible scenery…and for me to catch my breath. After the hike, we drove a little further to check out a roadside view point before heading back to Mt. Vernon for the evening.
Day Three - We had originally planned to head towards Granite Falls, Washington to do a hike or two and then get dinner with our cousin Dave somewhere in the area that evening. However, the weather had other things in mind. The morning rain was so intense that we just decided to head down to Seattle and check out what the area had to offer such as Snoqualmie Falls, Hendrix Grave, Kurt Cobain’s bench, Pikes Market, and Mopop (mostly for the Pearl Jam Exhibit) before watching the sunset on top of the Space Needle.
Day Four - That evening we acquired a third, my girlfriend, Jessica. Who had taken the 3 hour Bolt Bus from Portland to Seattle to meet us. The next morning we all woke up super early to catch an hour long ferry from Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula in hopes of spending the day wandering around Olympic National Park. After spending most of the morning in transit, we finally reached our first stop at Hurricane Ridge. I have been to that area several times- but Hurricane Ridge had never been open so I was pretty stoked. Second stop we made was Sol Doc Falls. It’s an easy hike with a nice scenic waterfall at the end of the trail. Once we reached the end, I crouched down to take photos of the falls and apparently my phone fell out of my pocket. I didn’t notice my phone was missing until we arrived to the car, so we got to hike the trail twice. After successfully retrieving my phone, we made our way to Forks for some food and to check into our hotel. We ended up killing bout an hour on the beach before a colorful sunset.
Day Five - Another early start for us. We headed to the most North-Western point of the US, Cape Flattery. The cape is a magnificent place with loads of sea stacks and different coves to check out. And sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can see some whales! We spent a good amount of the morning hiking around the area taking photos and being goofy before heading South. We had planned on going to the HOH Rainforest, but eventually decided to skip it and make our last stop Ruby Beach. to our disappointment, the beach was so packed with people that we didn’t really want stick around to long and decided to call it a day. We ended our day in a hilarious yet cozy Tiki Themed A-Frame cabin Air in Oceanside, Washington. We watched the sun go down one last time over the Pacific Ocean.
Day Six - We woke up with only one thing in mind, get to Mt St Helens. None of us had been there before so we took the opportunity to check it out before heading back to Portland. St .Helens did not disappoint.
It was May and I had to be in the UK for work, so Jessica and I had planned a 2 week trip to Europe. Originally I wanted to just knock off some of the smaller countries on the Century travelers club list, but with Jessica coming along we kind of had a slight change of plans.
Jessica and I only stayed in England for 2 nights one at the beginning of our trip and one at the end. I figured it would be best if she slept off her jet lag in London and then she would be able to experience more places that she really wanted to see. In London on that first day, we really only wandered up and down the Thames, She had Nandos for the first time and met my friend Josiah.
We left London as fast as we could on a train bound for…
In Paris we checked into our air bnb and walked for what seemed to be forever. Passed the Eiffel Tower, along the Seine, through countless parks to The Louvre and on to Norte Dame before getting rained on so hard, we were forced to hide out in a cafe. I remember coming out of the train station upon arrival and Jessica immediately saying “This feels more what I assumed Europe would feel like, London felt too much like America.”
As I had mentioned before,the purpose of this trip for me was to cross off a few smaller European countries from the Travelers Century Club list that I had never been to. So after a day and a half in Paris, we were on a 9ish hour train ride south to…
The only things I knew about Monaco was that it was where the filthy rich vacationed and that they had the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. We ended up arriving at night, just after dark. After walking through the train station and the winding roads, we made it to our air bnb. The next morning we set out. It felt like we covered a large part of the micro-nation in just a few hours. We slowed down around lunch and hung at a beach cafe that was surrounded by the most beautiful blue water . Around mid afternoon found ourselves at the palace, Which has incredible views of the harbor and the many multi million dollar yachts. All in all I would say Monaco was an excellent experience and a stop that should be on everyones agenda.
Our next stop on this European adventure was Italy. I must say I was a little apprehensive about going to Italy. I had been a few times for work and I just had a terrible taste in my mouth from the way people had perviously treated me. However, Jessica wanted to go so I sucked it up and went. We took the train from Monaco to Venice, Venice to Rimini, Rimini to Rome. Arriving in Venice was a little overwhelming. There were lots of people everywhere and there were little winding walk ways instead of roads,it was confusing and it took a while for us to find our place. We stayed in an old apartment that was very musty but it was in a great location. We spent a few days in Venice and I was blown away. It might be looked at as a tourist trap such as Disneyland to some Italians, but it’s an incredible and mysterious city.
From Venice we hopped the train to Rimini and had to catch a bus to the micro-nation of San Marino. San Marino is high on a mountain top. The tiny little nation only inhabits about 35000 people. However, most live in the area below the mountain. The narrow cobble stone streets were filled with people visiting in the afternoon,but was a ghost town once the evening rolled around. Being up high on a mountain top over Italian countryside- everywhere seemed to have amazing views. 10/10 would visit again.
Rome and The Vatican City
I have this problem of trying to fit a lot into one trip-so we were on the move almost every day. We made it to Rome around mid-day, checked into our hotel that was strategically placed by the train station and headed off to the Vatican City. We visited St. Peters Cathedral and wandered around a little before heading off to the Colosseum.Then we slowly walked around Rome to take in whatever sights we would find along the way.
In all it was a great trip but if i were to do it again I would probably suggest we pick a less busy time of year. The over tourism is becoming insane in some of these places.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember the things you do after so much tim has passed but I remember most of this little road trip like it was yesterday, even though it was almost a year ago not.
Jessica, Larissa and I decided to finally make the trip down to some hot springs we’ve seen on instagram a bazillion time, it was the end of February. We figured we would check out the hot spring, some waterfalls and then head to the coast the next day. After Leaving Portland we spent about four hours driving before our first stop at some random waterfall we never got the name off.
Our second stop was the now famous toketee falls. The hike to the falls was covered in snow from a snow storm earlier in the week so it made the 1/2 mile hike a little more difficult. There was so much snow and Ice we couldn’t make the scramble down to the bottom so we took a couple photos and left. Once we get to the turn off for the falls we come to find that the road to get to the falls was close. We ended up hiking the road about 2 miles to the hot springs at one point and time the trail (we are in the woods at this point) was so icy we had to use anything we could get a hold of to pull ourselves up the hill. We had arrived at the right time. There was 6 or 7 people when we arrived but they all left with in the first 15 minutes of us being there. The the place was ours. Around the same time the others left it began to snow making the whole thing just a little more magical.
We had Enjoyed ourselves so long we didn’t really realize it was getting dark out. On our hike back that same hill we had trouble getting up was as equally difficult getting down but we made the hike back in the dark with no problems. The day ended with a denny dinner in Roseburg, Oregon and a night in a cheap motel.
We woke up early and headed towards the coast, weaving in and out of tiny little country towns in the mountains with incredible views of lakes, trees, fog, and clouds. All of the things the Pacific Northwest is known for. Once we finally arrived to the coast we stopped at the Oregon Sand dunes, a 20 plus mile stretch of dunes along the Oregon coast.
From the dunes we just slowly made our way back to Portland. It was a nice get away from the city with some outstanding hangs and some ridiculous views. Cant wait to do it again someday.
It’s been over a year since this trip has happened do I won’t be writing much but I will try and get up a bunch of photos from the Chile part of Brian and my trip to Chile.
Before we went north to San Pedro de Atacama. Which is meant to be one of the driest place on earth. How ever while we were there it did rain on us.
After a few days in San Pedro we took a trip to Bolivia before returning to San Pedro to head south to Antofagasta on the Coast.
The Next day we drove up the coast and through towns that felt like the hadn’t seen tourists in decades. One of which that sticks I remember is called Horintos, it was an adorable little beach town with beautiful beach front homes and tons of families enjoying a day at the beach. I would love to go back and visit there.
After our drive up the coast we drove through the Atacama desert to get back to Calama where we flew back to Santiago from the next morning.
Our last couple days were spent drinking coffee and walking around Santiago taking photos.