Pacific North West: Road Trip

We took our sweet time taking three days to slowly drive through the absolutely magical Redwood Trees.
Mika does so well on road trips and we had a fairly easy time finding hotels throughout that were pet friendly!
I fell in love with Seattle as soon as we drove in... This city is unlike any other. 
Pike Place Market was energetic, colorful and so vibrant! I couldn't help but pick up one of these stunning bouquets... We ended up driving home with my pretty blooms the whole way!
Ruby Beach was one of the most magical (and accidently) stops that we made along the way. We hike through giant trees climbed over layers and layers of logs and hung out with a little snake friend on the path. I found these paper-thin angel wing seashells as we were leaving. I knew they would break on the roadtrip but I had to remember their simple beauty one way or another.
Getting our Goonies on at the Goonies Beach! (Cannon Beach, OR).  We're such nerds so we had to! It was so freezing, but we loved the little fisherman city and ended up taking an extra day just to see all the incredible coastal Oregon cities.

We got out of town and wandered for a few weeks. We had a few destinations here and there, but an overall mission to explore, travel, experience it all, was the priority. We drove through San Francisco, and what would be the first of many giant bridges. Bridges that each and every time we dove under made myself and my boyfriend stare in awe. Watching the beams shooting by in a hypnotic pattern, too quick for eyes to make out any shapes besides blurred lines and great wide views from beyond. We kept on North. Laughing as we pass signs for Jefferson County and their quest to succeed from California, along with giant posterboard sized information about how to attend their soon-to-be Banquet. 
Oregon was beautiful; Mountain ranges and emerald green rivers. Freeways lined in bright flashes of purple... The result of wild shrubs that happened to be in bloom, but who's color seemed electric against the muted browns and muddied greens of a fading winter. Making a stop in Lake Siskiyou, Mika got to run wild, swim in the lake and chase squirrel after squirrel while we walked the edge of the water and reveled in the feeling of stretching our legs after driving for days. 

Seattle was a dream. Warm coffee and croissants every morning, hikes through green hills and dripping foliage, a city filled with humans focused on living, on being an individual. I fell in love with it (and the fact that we happened to have sunshine every day didn't hurt either). The mile-long lines for the ferries each day fascinated me...The islands that these people were commuting to fascinated me. The water, the hills, the city, I was taken back by it. We stayed there longer than we planned. Taking an extra long stay at the Hotel Sorrento and visiting friends, meeting new people, doing exactly what we wanted each day. Exploring, photographing, shopping during the day and drinking and eating all night became our regular routine for a few days, and it was bliss that flew by in an instant! Little did I know what views we were about to see next!

The Olympic Peninsula is where we were off to next (before a quick detour hoping to dig for some quartz, but we only found some baby pieces). I can't say there are too many other places that quite took my breath away like this place did. We drove along huge bodies of water, stopped in all the tiny little towns for souvenirs and snacks and ended up having to backtrack almost every night just to find a hotel...but that part was worth every bit. We saw more bridges than people and stopped off for photos as much as we could. It was overwhelming to take it in...It's like there was so much to see, missing it would be a tragedy. I didn't think it could get any better until it did.

Oh, the Redwoods. Humbling and reverent...The holiest church I have ever been to. Welcoming and vast, full of clean air, full of life. We spent three days winding in and out of their glory. We drove through a redwood...Narrowly and I will completely admit, beyond hesitantly (on my part). We were driving a giant SUV and my boyfriend was determined to challenge the most Giant trees in the world. I'm happy to report that we made it through after two tries and way too many astonished/scared/non-believing faces of the other tourists standing around. We both couldn't believe we made it through and my boyfriend just zipped out of the parking lot so quickly... He must have been so surprised we made it through and a little worked up from me telling him we weren't going to fit... All in all, it was a hot-success-of-a-mess. And we laughed so hard afterward thinking about those tourists and what was going through their heads as they watched a giant SUV that shouldn't be able to drive through a tree, in fact, drive through it and then proceed to speed out like a fire was lit under our asses. HA! It still makes me bust out loud laughing just picturing it. The rain came down one day, making us feel like we were journeying through a rainforest sheltered by giant trees, only feeling the few drops that The whole journey ended with a greeting from a vibrant rainbow in the sky as we made our way out of the forests and onto the rough and raw beauty of the Oregon Coast.
Thick fog from the coast blanketed the sky each day, but that didn't take away from the mystical views of the Oregon beaches. We had one afternoon of sun and managed to find ourselves serendipitously on Ruby Beach. Making our way on foot through more giant trees and onto paths leading us to beaches covered in heavy layers of wood and tree trunks. We followed thin streams of water that led to the ocean and made friends with an Oregon snake along the way. I stumbled across the daintiest pair of angel wing seashells and almost instantly felt sad knowing they wouldn't survive the journey intact in tact. I left with a film photo of the shells- hoping only that they would be in focus and the photo would help me to remember the feeling I had when I picked them up.  That day was beautiful. My boyfriend, Nick grabbed "our rock" from the beach which is now a rock from Ruby Beach labeled oh so brilliantly "our rock". It now sits in our living room, reminding me of that beautiful afternoon at Ruby Beach.
We made our way back down the coast, stopping quickly in San Francisco before making our way all the way back home to Santa Barbara. 

I know I added in details that were important and personal for me to remember and probably left out way too many funny stories and places we visited, but it was overwhelmingly full of all those things it would take too long to tell you all about it! But I did share my feelings and the magic that the Pacific Northwest brought on in me. I recommend this trip to anyone and everyone thats looking to see some incredible nature and revel in the wonder that is our planet!
Already planning a trip to go back, see you soon, Pacific Northwest!

XO,
Chelsea

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