Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Great Northwest

Life has been exciting so far this fall! The last weekend in September, Chris and I flew to Seattle and met Rob and Allison for an extended weekend. I was truly impressed by Seattle's natural beauty - blue mountains, blue water, blue sky. We drove our rental white PT Cruiser (as cool as you can get, huh?) to our hotel and then headed to Pike Street for the evening, with the first stop at the Fish Market. A lot of the ice tubs full of fish were being emptied, so we never saw the full force of the market. But I couldn't believe end-of-the day prices on incredible flower bouquets - ten dollars for what would sell at a florist for over fifty dollars.
Early Saturday morning, we headed north to Vancouver, British Columbia. The drive took a few hours. We checked into our hotel and walked the city. Some parts were meticulously maintained, but I was somewhat shocked by the number of homeless people on the streets, especially so close to the tourist districts. I read that the city is investigating how to manage the large homeless population in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but the city has to be careful not to tread on the rights of any of its citizens while they clean it up.
On Sunday, we drove to the base of Grouse Mountain (just a few miles outside the city) and did what the guidebook described as a "strenuous, monotonous hike." We hiked uphill for about a mile and a half to the "almost" peak - it made the view at the top seem earned. At the top is a sort of outdoors park with a grizzly bear enclosure, a small ski lift to the very peak. We could see all of Vancouver and out to the freightors in the water from where we stood. We took a gondola back down, visited the timberwolf preserve, stopped at a salmon hatchery and then headed back to our hotel. That night, we ended up watching some flamenco and tango dancers at a tucked-away cafe.
On Monday, we drove back past Seattle to Mount Rainier National Park, planning to do a 7 mile hike past waterfalls, over a suspension bridge to a glacier. It turns out the roads were washed out, so we did a different 7 mile hike through an old growth forest and along the river to a waterfall. The forest seemed like something out of a fairy tale--lots of moss and clingy green growth covered the trees and ground. I can tell you that we had several near sightings of sasquatch. The river running along the forest is fed by glacier water, lightening it the palest blue. One of the pictures below is of Chris and Rob standing in front of the roots of a fallen tree.

We had a low-key night in Seattle Monday night - we found a seafood/sushi restaurant on the water. Chris and I flew home early Tuesday morning, and Allison and Rob flew back later that afternoon.


OpenID blackdove said...


My name is Erin Verginia, and I live in Seattle.

Just googling myself, and found you.

My twin. With an I. :)

5:46 PM  

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