flotsam, photography, roadtrips to new-where, travel

Coastal drive, part 1

This time zone thing is a mess; I’m up at 5am again, but manage to get myself to sleep in until 6:30.  The DT doesn’t offer free coffee so I hit the road, stopping off for coffee and gas before I reach the Pacific Coastal highway (101). Or is it byway? Had to say. It’s all very scenic either way. 

Incidentally, being on a tsunami evacuation route, or passing in and out of tsunami zones, is really very unsettling to an East Coast gal. 

and then i crossed into Oregon

The day starts out drizzly but turns bright and beautiful, against all forecasts going into the trip and in answer to prayers. 

Cannon Beach. Cape Arch. Lunch (burger) in Rockaway Beach at the Sand Dollar. It’s a nice day through and through. 

Along the way I follow mostly 101 with the occasional detour along any coastal byway I pass en route. I have all the time in the day and a desire to see all I can. Meanwhile Google is insistent in trying to route me off 101 and back to a highway. Until, for some reason near my night stop in Lincoln City, it routes me around a lake for no real reason. But hey, scenic

It’s technically the end of the season so relatively few dinner choices, but finally I settle on Mo’s, where the halibut in the fish and chips is so good it makes me ignore the fries. Which says something. 😉

Check in at the BW, as that’s the only recognizable chain in the area. The staff is friendly, even if it’s a bit dated and the walls are paper thin. 

flotsam, photography, roadtrips to new-where, travel

Mountains and seas

Southward again, timed in hopes of getting through or around Seattle before rush hour. There is no such thing as before Seattle rush hour, apparently.

Rain comes down on and off through the drive as I go to Rainier National Park. Aptly named, regardless of how you pronounce it.

solitary. roads give way to solitary unpaved roads – my car was filthy ever after

Incidentally, I suppose when I was in Hawaii I drove on volcano evacuation routes. Logically reasonable, but still unexpected to me when I encountered it. 

Visibility is low, so after the somewhat harrowing drive, I reverse and head east to the Olympic peninsula, rounding halfway on a wonderfully scenic drive to visit Olympic National Park.

After the shortest of hikes, I backtrack to Olympia, to a delightfully spacious room at the DT-Olympia, a delicious meal at Anthony’s, and another day of driving planned for the day ahead.

photography, roadtrips to new-where, travel

North to North Cascades

Once I break out of the crush of Seattle traffic, I break into scenic drives north and west. The weather is fine, and after paths down quiet roads lined with tall pines and trees showing early signs of the impending autumn, I meet RT 20 for the Cascades Loop. North Cascades national park is beautiful through and through, with my final stop before heading east at Diablo Lake…

If I wished for more time in Seattle, I have to reiterate that wish here. I would love to have been able to press on, but night falls and bed calls (with plans for more to see tomorrow)

photography, roadtrips to new-where, travel

Seattle whirlwind tour

A drizzly and cool, quintessentially Seattle morning greets me for my morning tour of the city. Amazon’s (the homeland!) original headquarters and biosphere project. The market. The UPS Waterfall Park.

Safeco field. The Chittenden Locks.

The Fremont Troll.  The Fishermen’s Memorial.

Incidentally I also see the Ruby Princess in harbor. I once lived there (for the span of several days).

The city has much to see. I wish there was more time allotted to explore the area.

But there is somewhere I need to be, due north.

flotsam, photography, roadtrips to new-where, travel

A fine first night

The HI-Seattle has all the usual: clean bedding, free wifi. But whether because they’re standard in that locale or because I’ve been upgraded to resolve a snafu,  there are surprises. Like a fully appointed kitchen.  Like that the third floor is ground level. Like that some rooms have a patio/balcony (I come back from dinner to find it open, prompting a rapid scan of every nook of the room for unwanted company before settling in). And finally, like the gas fireplace.

I sleep very well indeed, and am up and refreshed for check out and a tour in the morning.

Not your every day stay
flotsam, photography, roadtrips to new-where, travel

Arrival Seattle

Success: I land in Washington, 49th state in my quest to visit all 50.  I make my way to my hotel, a few blocks from the Needle.

not the view from when i walked there

I knew that going in, but it was really brought home when I accidentally walked the wrong direction from my hotel in search of dinner. Finally corrected and had a simple but delicious meal at Crow. 

flotsam, roadtrips to new-where, travel

At last

… I have booked my stays all over the Pacific Northwest, for my next roadtrip to New-Where later this year. 

And that will cap out my visits to 50 states. 
I didn’t know when I booked my travel how much else might be going on here with my folks and their home search process. So much is unpredictable, but exciting (if I’m sure that feels sometimes more like ‘stressful’). 

But there we have it. At last I’ve got a trip booked for this year. At last I am getting to my last 2 states. And at last I’ve got the logistics of that worked out. 


flotsam, roadtrips to new-where, travel


I was overdue to take a trip, really. I bought the house, and spent the better part of the intervening time making it home. In the midst of new homeownership and the foibles of mergers & acquisitions at work, vacation has taken a back seat.

Even though I have tons of vacation time coming. Even though I am opposed, on moral grounds, to giving back time. (That’s part of my compensation; they don’t get to keep money I didn’t use this year, so why should I let them take back time? Short answer: I shouldn’t.)

Well, the situation being what it is, taking off is actually challenging. And without a plan…

Well, without a plan, nothing happens at all.

So this week, I started making the plan. I got the time off. I booked the flights. I am going to the Pacific Northwest, and checking the last two states off my US list.

And that makes me happy.

still have to visit 2 states (4%)
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