The Pacific Northwest: Road trip memories no. 2

The second part to a narrative about a road trip along the PNW including places you must visit.

The sun was starting to set and the chill in the air caught up with us. We hiked back up the trail to the car, changed into dry clothes, put some frozen PB&J sandwiches on the dashboard and creeped back up the steep hill with the heater blasting.

The road we drove in on had a path past the parking lot that continued to another set of falls...Abiqua Falls. We never quite made it to Abiqua Falls, but Butte Creek Falls were a lovely memory.

Third stop Portland. Keep Portland Weird. When we arrived in Portland we found a place to grab a bite and cozied up in a cheap motel. The next morning we awoke with a new mission less or more dangerous than our last depending how you think: Doughnuts. Not just any doughnuts, the infamous Voodoo Doughnuts! We made our way downtown and bought a dozen. Way more than two girls should eat. My favorite was the "Maple Blazer Blunt"doughnut. We lived off of these twelve donuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all the way to Seattle--it did not take us long to finish the whole box.

Seattle, Washington was a treat, as if the doughnuts were not sweet enough. We stayed with our cousin, his girlfriend, their dog Leroy, and new kitten kitty. We stayed for a couple nights making the most of our time together. He showed us a great time. We explored all the tourist-y spots in Seattle [the Gum Wall, Pike Place Market, and the Fremont Troll] as well as some not so normal things like fill balloons with paint and sneak through fences under a bridge in the rain to make some art. So many sights, sounds, and smells at each of these destinations.

Friday was "Finger-Tat-Friday," so after breakfast my cousin gave us all tattoos. On the last day they sent us off with a box full of doughnuts and dry camping gear. It was a short stay, but one that remains so, so special to me.

We drove North toward the Canadian border take the ferry across the way IN our car from Edmonds to Kingston. This was so cool. First at twenty-three I did not expect to be able, let alone brave enough, to drive to the Canadian border & back...but now driving a rented car off-road to waterfalls and then ON a boat to be carried across the water. Way cool!

After the ferry we made our way back to the coast where we followed a winding road lined with the greenest trees you will ever see. We drove through Port Angeles on our way to La Push.

Oh La Push, pulling on my heart strings.

This place has a magical spirit that makes the breeze flowing around you feel lighter. There are colors in the wind. I recommend you take the opportunity to see and feel it for yourself.

We jumped back on Highway 101 and headed south down the coast of Washington to Oregon. We passed many lakes and greenery, stopped at coastlines with crashing waves.

Cannon Beach was our next rest stop. We got to the entrance of the campground around six. The sun was already dipping behind the large trees. But the timing could not have been more perfect. We set up our tent and headed to the beach. Magic hour is one thing, but Cannon Beach at magic hour? Hands down, by far, one of the most beautiful sights I have yet to witness. The sky behind Haystack Rock turned pink, clouds caught fire, the sky a pool of pigment. I am trying to re-live it as I do my best to paint the picture for you all, but it is hard to compare memories to the real thing.

There is a sign at the Grand Canyon in Arizona that suggests to its visitors to just stop and see. It tells them to put down the cameras, cut off the conversation, and to simply just look. That is what I did and all I have is memories of this moment, no photos. I recommend you do that too.We woke up and decided to mob home. It had been over a week that we have been living out of a Ford Focus and off of only cold meals, not to mention the three days without a shower. We had to make a quick stop back in Eugene to meet a friend, so we headed inland.

One thing I have yet to mention is the sensational music playlist provided by my co-pilot/sister. The song we agreed was the theme of our trip is "1957" by Milo Greene. The chorus repeats "It takes me away..." The overarching feeling the trip and its memory left on me. The road trip took me away from my racing thoughts and stresses back home. In the moment surrounded by breathtaking views and experiences it took me even further away. Let moments consume you once in awhile.

We charged back to Highway 5. We drove all day and night to surprise our Father by arriving home at four in the morning. Confused and happy to see us we showered and cozied up in our beds. In my dreams I felt as if I was still driving: Lights, road, and stars flashing past me.

So much love, so much adventure…it was a summer trip I will never forget. I was travelling with my favorite person in my favorite place, running around the PNW with all the time in the world to explore. It was an experience where I had zero stresses,and I oftentimes look back on those days when things get too hectic in the present moment. It settles me.

A part of me will always remain there. I forgot how hard it was to leave.