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Travelogue 01: PNW Road trip

May, 2016

This is the trip that started it all.

When we say we fell in love on a 4,000mi road trip, this was that one. Feels like forever ago at this point!

Bonneville Salt Flats: our first stop. I drove through the night from Denver and we parked out on the flats to catch a sunrise.

AND WHAT A SUNRISE.

There was a slick of water on the ground turning the flats into an enormous mirror, and the visuals were just absolutely out of this world. To this day, it’s one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen, and this was just the morning of day two!

SF: from there we made our way to SF (one of my favorite cities). We grabbed some sushi in Chinatown (remembering a time we weren’t vegan yet). Caught a beautiful sunset and saw the adorable seals at the touristy/fantastic wharf.

OR: we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and I remember grabbing some “famous” bacon at a little diner in Sausalito (again pre-vegan days) before heading up the Oregon coast.

When the road got close enough to the shore, we parked and ran over to watch the waves. From there it was back in the car right away so we could catch another sunrise.

Crater Lake National Park: I drove another huuuuuge stretch to get us here in time for a sunrise – this was one of the spots Jess was looking forward to most, and I really wanted to make this happen for her.

Exhausted, I remember waking her up to tell her we made it. She was super pumped to say the least. We parked, walked over to the edge, and peered down at the icy still water down at the bottom of the collapsed volcanic lake.

Portland: Once in Portland, we immediately ordered two enormous bowls of spicy ramen, which would also become a tradition for us. I remember throwing a blanket down in a park as well for a snooze afterwards. We didn’t stay long, and we were back on the road soon.

Rialto Beach: the furthest point from home on this trip! I was super pumped for some cloudy Washington weather, and our trip to Rialto didn’t disappoint. Rocky shores, driftwood, crashing waves – it was just what I was looking for.

We got two souvenirs from the beach: the first was a worry stone for me, very round, extremely smooth, which I still have! It’s been in each of the (now three) Ravs we’ve had and it’s great to fiddle with on long drives. The second was a pair of sunglasses that I found perched on a stick, which I gave to Jess (she still has ‘em)

Having reached this furthest point, it was time for the return trip through Seattle and back toward home.

Seattle: this was both of ours first time here, so what we did probably won’t end up in any guidebooks. We grabbed ramen first of course, we walked around Pike Place Market, and stopped into the flagship Starbucks (all while keeping our eyes peeled for one of our heroes, Dan Savage).

Had to catch the iconic park view of the skyline that evening before crashing at a friend’s place.

North Bend and Snoqualmie Falls: Jess is a huge fan of the original Twin Peaks, so we stopped into Twede’s Cafe for a damn fine cup of coffee and made the short hike out to check out a gorgeous waterfall.

Yellowstone National Park: in most super long trips, there’s a point where you’re just kinda burned out on seeing awesome shit left and right. For us, waiting hours in the sun for Old Faithful was definitely that point, haha. The Paint Pots were incredible though! Old Faithful was just kinda alright (and the crowds were insane).

Grand Teton National Park: we were very much in “just get home” mode at this point, but we did stop at a shore for a photo and for a very cold dip in some icy waters.

The return home: we’ve been out this way a couple times at this point, and from here it’s basically my job to bee-line back home while Jess sleeps. There’s gorgeous countryside and views to be seen, but you’ll have to wait for our 2018 trip through Banff to get an idea of what those views are like.

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This was the biggest trip either of us had ever been on, and it was so formative in so many ways. We still travel on the cheap; still get ramen pretty much everywhere we go; I still drive; and we’re still madly in love.

It’s just so nice to look back on these.

- Austin