USA North-West 2023

US road trip call for some diary type report: We came for Vic's wedding on Sept. 15th. Due to work restrictions we couldn't take the weeks before it off, so ended up a bit late in the season to travel the north-west of the US. Arriving, we had wonderful weather in the afternoon of Thursday the 14th. Walking around downtown Seattle, buying a shirt for the wedding and getting a 20 min haircut for 75 USD at a barber's. In the evening we went up to Capitol Hill to have a burger at Dick's, walk around a bit and round it off with a cocktail. Friday morning was great around Pike Market with clam chowder, psychic chicken and such. On the way to the wedding, the city was flooded with people, mostly women, in silver attire. We found out that Beyoncé was in town. We made it to Kirkland by four buses, to a really nice wedding on the sunny lake shore. Saturday strolling the city, going up the space needle, to the glass museum, sculpture park, and again to Capitol Hill for Anderson Park and some pear and blue cheese ice cream. Sunday we lost some time with picking up our car because the downtown spot was closed and we had to go to the airport instead, cost us the visit of the Ballard docks, but got an upgrade to a nice Ford Edge AWD. Driving on south to Mount Rainier NP. Never saw the mountain. Had a nice long hike in cloudy, very partially sunny weather at the base of it, on the Skyline trail. Next morning, driving up, same situation. So we turned and went straight on to Portland, Oregon, going to the beautiful Hoyt Arboretum in sunshine, then to an Irish pub for dinner. Next day spent in downtown, rose garden, Japanese garden, then in the evening a long drive to Diamond Lake Resort at Crater Lake National Park. Good American breakfast at the lake, then drive up to the crater. Sunshine only in the very morning, then clouds came up. Still a nice drive around the rim with great views, and a quick hike up into the icy clouds of Mount Scott, a supposedly strenuous hike that was finished after 1h20 for the 7 km. Driving on to the Oregon coast for a sleep. Next morning was one sunny day that we spent along the cost, stopping in the Honeyman State Park with great sand dunes, the Sea Lion Caves without sea lions, walking along the northern part of Hobbit Beach from the Ocean Beach Picnic Area, and taking a dip in the very cold Pacific water, watching water burst out of rocks in Thor's Well, looking out from Cape Perpetua hill, stopping at Yaquina Head lighthouse, looking into the Devil's Punchbowl to finally see a sunset at Cape Kiwanda. After a nice seafood dinner at The Riverhouse Nestucca we drove on to sleep in Tillamook. Next morning the road to Cape Meares was blocked and in Ecola State Park we only took a short walk in strong winds and rain. That night, after a Walmart visit we stayed south of Seattle and decided to change plans, due to a forecast of five days of rain. We cancelled our visit of Olympic NP in favour of checking out Seattle's live music scene and meeting up with Vic and Benji. Three days were spent at Ballard Locks, shopping at Tulalip outlet, and hanging out in Bellevue with some other Singaporeans and in the Bellevue park. Concerts were Niia on Sunday, and the triple of M.O.S.S., Yeah Baby (NYC), and somesurprises at Tractor Tavern in Ballard on Monday. Wednesday we drove on to Vancouver, back on track of our original plan. Here Stanley Park and Granville Island on first night, art museum, meeting Angela for lunch, walking around downtown, and a Sofar live music session on Thursday. On Friday the sun finally came back which we enjoyed strolling along Kitsilano Beach, hiking at beautiful Lynn Creek, and shopping at another (good) outlet center at the airport. Then sleeping closer to the mountains at Suma, back in the US. North Cascades were great around Picture Lake and Artist's Point. Unfortunately N sprained her ankle, and I walked the Chain Lakes loop alone in overcast conditions. Next day executed as planned the Maple Pass trail, and that was one sunny blue sky day, the best weather and the best hike of the vacation with stunningly beautiful setting and views. Last day rain again, just chilling in an Abnb in Marysville, going out for a last good US steak. And some fun for N: Well well well well well, look who's dragging in a dead cat.