These scotch broom flowers were everywhere - whole hillsides
along the roadway just full of them. Turns out, though, that
they are an invasive species and hated by locals -
kind of like Ohio's honeysuckle problem. Pretty, but no scent.
We arrived in the town of Cannon Beach and saw a cute little kite shop. I've never successfully flown a kite, so Noel stopped and bought one for me. I was as excited as a 10 year old and couldn't stop smiling as my kite took off, flying higher and higher until I was almost out of the string! So fun! Another check-mark off the old bucket list!
We took a walk along the beach and then walked around town a bit. Cannon Beach is a really quaint little town, much nicer than Crescent City in California, but not as tourist-y and crowded as some others we've visited. And so many flowers! It was really a treat just to see all the different kinds of flowers, but we also found a tiny library run completely by volunteers and not part of the county system, and a jewelry and coin shop. Noel bought a Hungarian Empire coin from the 1500s for me - a tiny piece of my heritage! So cool!
We drove to another beach to see the famous "haystack" rock - a large rock along the coast just full of nesting birds. We even saw a few puffins!
Noel waiting patiently while I take a million
pictures and pick up rocks, shells, feathers, even
a seagull egg shell! Beach Bling!
The following day we left Portland and headed towards Seattle. We are staying in Payallup at a place called Majestic RV resort - its really nothing more than a gravel parking lot, nothing majestic or resort-ish about it. We sure know how to pick 'em! We settled in for the night and picked up some groceries. The old crock pot has really been handy on this trip - its nice to throw something in before we leave, so after a long day exploring dinner is ready when we get home!
Funny story - I was at the campground doing laundry and was putting clothes in the No. 1 and No. 3 washer. I had shut the lid and started them when I realized I had forgotten to put the soap in. So I quickly put soap in the No. 1 and No. 2 washer which wasn't mine! That one had already completed its cycle and when the owner of the clothes started to put them in the dryer, he was like "What the hell? You put soap in my washer didn't you?" Ooooops! Sorry Mr! I forked over 6 quarters for him to re-wash his clothes, but he wasn't a very happy camper. That's what's called "pulling an Anna!" LOL
So while in Seattle we of course had to visit the famous Pikes Place Market. Located right in downtown, this large market is over 100 years old and is right on the water of Puget Sound. The fish is fresh and I'm sure its purely a marketing ploy, but the fish get tossed around among the guys, even to the tourists, and if you are lucky, you can see the guys from the show "Deadliest Catch" make their deliveries! The market is full of fresh fish and seafood, flowers, veggies and fruits, as well as locally handmade items, antique shops and import stores. We ate some yummy clam chowder, bought some crab cakes and fresh fruits and veggies and drove through the nightmare of Seattle traffic to get back home.
Gorgeous fresh flowers - CHEAP!
An antiques shop inside the market had about every
salt and pepper shaker ever made - and Kewpies! My favorite!
We have a picture of Noel's dad with this guy from
years ago - that's his real height (has since passed away)
Lots of fresh fruits and veggies
A huge ferris wheel on the wharf
There is an alley called "Ghost Alley" near the market
where millions of people have stuck their gum onto a
now-tourist-attraction "gum wall". Colorful, but gross - and
the smell of bubble-yum was sickening! Ewwwww
We also went to see "The Troll" - a concrete sculpture under an overpass in Fremont (a suburb of Seattle). A quick photo op, and off we went. I had hoped to browse the shops in town, but I was just too tired to walk much further!
The outside walls of the music center
The Space Needle
View of the river from the top of the Space Needle
The city view
The first thing you see when entering
A close up of the orange and yellows
Then outside there were beautiful gardens, with
glass sculptures throughout in all kinds of colors
He calls this a glass forest - its really large and in a
dark room with mirrored floor - gorgeous!
Looks like giant rubies!
Tears sprang up, as did my heart rate, when I walked into this room
Again, these are large, about my height, some taller, some smaller,
but every color of the rainbow.
Two full sized canoes, just brilliant with color!
At the base of this huge glass sculpture were lots of
sea creatures - star fish and urchins and nautilus and squid -
it was so pretty!
A starfish at the base
I have about a million more pictures, but my computer died, so I bought a new (used) laptop and had to buy a new editing software in order to re-size the pictures. It's slow as all get out and its taken me over 5 hours just to do this post, so I'm going to have to limit the pictures - you can see them all when I get home. And I've had people ask about purchasing some prints of my pics, so I think I will offer those once I get home too!
So anyway, the next day was supposed to be warmer and sunny, so I picked out a trail in Mt. Rainier National Park that I wanted to hike and take pictures. We drove through some picturesque small towns and past beautiful lakes, getting closer and closer to this huge mountain, looming large in the horizon.
We had lunch (Elk Burger!) on this train car in Elbe
The water was a steely blue - almost glacial, and very cold. The waterfalls were flowing heavy with snow melt. As we drove higher and higher in elevation, it got cooler and we began to see snow. Just patches at first, then deeper and deeper, and finally we began to see roads closed and snow covered.
Christine Falls was three levels - these two....
then this bottom falls
We met a lady who at 77 years old broke a record
as being the oldest woman to climb Mt. Rainier - in ONE day!
That's over 14,500 feet!
A beautiful view - and we're nowhere near the top!
Another pretty waterfall
The snow was getting deeper....
So we finally made it to "Reflection Lakes". It was listed as a fairly easy hike and I wanted to get pictures of the mountain reflected in the lake. Much to my dismay, the lake is still frozen over and the snow too deep. I had already fallen on my butt twice trying to walk to the bottom of a waterfall, and after sinking in the snow just trying to get a look at the lake, I was done with hiking, snow and the stupid mountain! I'm lucky I didn't break something!
That's the frozen lake behind me
ACK! Put the camera down, stop laughing, and help me!
So today we are resting, blogging, reading, cooking, and planning our route north. Canada, ready or not, here we come!