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.