The headline gives away all of our main adventure attractions while we visited the Pacific Northwest, however the views we saw on this trip I’m not sure I can ever put into words that’d do them justice.
We were both so lucky to get into the Beat The Blerch Marathon that was held late September this year. If you’re not familiar with The Oatmeal or The Blerch, do yourself a favor and read up on the amazingness here. After our acceptance the planning and execution of the trip just got better.
After spending the weekend around Seattle and checking out downtown and surrounding areas, we headed toward Olympic National Park to start our weeklong camping trip.
We stayed the first night at Kalaloch and checked out the beach along the Pacific while we were there, then headed to Hoh Rain Forest early the next morning. We originally planned to hike out to camp but the constant downpour made us reevaluate being soaking wet, with soaking wet gear, which we didn’t plan so well for. I know, Washington is known for rain, blah blah blah, that’s why Twilight was based there because vampires only like rain..or something. We hiked a few miles out on the Hoh River Trail and as PJ stated it was like something out of Fern Gully. It was here that I became obsessed with banana slugs.
After we realized the rain wasn’t going to subside that day, we decided to head toward Heart O’ the Hills near Hurricane Ridge where we would end up camping two nights. PJ would find two dead mice at our campsite before we set up which he disposed of before I saw them and only told me about this week. Maybe I would have freaked a bit, but I think I was far more worried about being attacked by a bear or cougar. I realized as our trip came to an end that’s absolutely absurd. Mice and chipmunks were the only live animals we ended up seeing.
We scored an awesome campsite and the next day did some climbing. Starting at the Heart O’ the Hills trailhead, we went about 2,500 ft. up to see the gorgeous Lake Angeles which is encased by Klahhane Ridge. Other than the views, the most fun part was zipping through the forest and running the whole way back, which we did in 1/3 of the time it took us to get up there.
Our last camping location would end up being our favorite, Cougar Rock Campground at Mount Rainier National Park. First stop was heading up to Paradise to do some hiking. I see why they named it so because that’s truly what it ended up being. We hiked up to see the Nisqually Glacier and up toward Pinnacle Peak, topping and turning around about 3 miles away from Camp Muir..which we’re totally going to make it to one day here soon.
The views up here are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The fog rolls in an out in a matter of minutes, completely changing your view of what’s around you. We were lucky enough to get some sun at the start where we could get a peak at Rainier. The glaciers were the most fascinating though, just thinking about how the ice we saw there was once snow on top of Rainier DECADES ago. Pretty cool.
There’s SO much we weren’t able to see before leaving the parks to head to Black Diamond for a weekend of Seattle Tough Mudder. The sample taste of the mountains definitely has us both wanting more adventure. Oh and it was here, in the Tough Mudder parking lot that we saw our first big animal of the trip! An elk. Just standing amongst the coal mines.
PNW, we’ll see you again soon, mountainous friend.