I spent the last 3 days of the trip in Seattle with Doug and his wife so this is just a brief summary and gallery of the photos that I made during these days.
After shopping on Thursday morning for home-cooked dinner and dessert (I made Tiramisu) we headed east a little bit, wanting to do a hike at Mount Si. Just as we reached the trailhead parking lot, it started to rain (Mount Si belongs to the westernmost extension of the Cascade Range and as such is a moisture-barrier). We began the hike, hoping it would only be a brief shower, but when the rain didn’t stop and I remember the sweet walks and hikes on muddy trails in Germany, I asked to call it a day. The two days along the Oregon coast were enough rain and weather for a while for me. 😛
Since we were already in the area, Doug made a brief detour and took me to Snoqualmie, to see the famous waterfall. While the waterfall is impressive, the surrounding area (above and a little bit below the falls) has been developed for the production of electric energy. Understandable, but it does spoil the experience a bit. Broad walkways and concrete vista platforms do not exactly add to the experience, either.
On Friday we drove to nearby Cougar Mountain Wildland Preserve which is only about 30 minutes from Doug’s home, and got lucky with the weather for our 4-hour hike on the trails of the preserve, through lush and dense mixed forest – very beautiful! We were back home in the afternoon and did some grocery shopping to cook at home (I made artichoke chicken) and in the evening Doug dedicated one very old bottle of wine that his father had bought and aged to the celebration of our travels.
Saturday began with breakfast at the 13 Coins Restaurant – I had the “Monte Christo” sandwich, which is basically two slices of french toast filled with turkey and cheese, which is then dipped into strawberry jam… ?! Weird combination, but it tasted good. We had the leftovers from the dinner for lunch, then it was time to pack my bags and go to the airport, home to San Diego.
Seattle’s airport has a small underground train that takes passengers to the gates! Certainly better than the mile-long corridors of airports like Munich, or Amsterdam. 🙂 I don’t know what I was thinking when I checked in online and picked aisle seating, instead of the window. When we flew over the Sierra Nevada and I recognized Mono Lake, Mammoth Mountain, the Mammoth Lakes basin and saw all the beautiful snow-capped peaks, I regretted not having a window seat – luckily, the lady that occupied the window seat went to use the bathroom, which gave me some minutes to stare out of the window and get some snapshots with my phone.
After 2.5 hours (which is about the same time it takes to fly from Munich to Monastir, Tunisia in north Africa, by the way) I was back in San Diego. The airport suffered from a power outage, there was no light and no displays in the baggage retrieval area and it was pure luck that I immediately spotted my suitcase. 🙂
I made over 600 photos with my DSLR on the trip, and I still have a lot of photos from 2012, the desert trips early in 2013, the Taiwan trip, and whatnot, to process and publish. Oh boy. 🙂 All in all, it was a great trip – I’ve seen so many beautiful places on it that all deserve more time for thorough exploration, and I feel the forces of adventure and longing dragging me back to Point Reyes, the redwood forests of Northern California, the beautiful coastline of Oregon with it’s dunes, and the incredible expanse of forests in Washington, and I hope to be able to return soon. 🙂