It’s been far too long since the last post, I’d say. We left off in Livingston, MT I believe, and from there we headed north towards Glacier National Park, stopping in Missoula for a few days of rest from driving. The KOA there was really a blast. It was kind of like living in a small neighborhood of campers, kids running around everywhere, and general friendliness all around. We went to a great farmers market downtown that was well stocked with fresh morel mushrooms (good glob, they were amazing) and drank fresh squeezed lemonade while checking out the local wares. Met a guy who makes furniture out of old wood from torn down houses, barns, etc. He was real nice, and his furniture was really solid and well made.
After Missoula, we wandered into Glacier for some sights, and there were sights-a-plenty! Our campsite was a KOA near the west entrance of the park, and we made friends with a nice couple from switzerland who spent most of their time romping around with their kids in the pool. Now I have to say, Glacier has been, by far, my favorite park on this trip so far. It is absolutely beautiful, an although it was fairly crowded, we had a great time walking the trails. Our main hike was across a snow covered plain (sweet relief from the summer heat!) to a “hidden lake” that ironically was very well marked and mapped. We had a nice salami and cheese picnic there, and at one point we were joined by a mangy old mountain goat. It literally looked to be about 800 years old… Still, a regal and majestic animal.
From Glacier we drove to Spokane where we spent the night in a cheap motel. There really isn’t much to the place, but we did go the movies to see Wes Anderson’s new film, Moonrise Kingdom. We found it to be spectacular, uplifting, and generally a joy to watch. The whole audience was cracking up, oo-ing and ahh-ing, just a fantastic setting to see a good movie. Not to mention, it was followed by a feast of tasty Pho.
From Spokane, we drove north into Canada to begin our journey towards Vancouver, and eager stop for Maggie as she had been there several years previous, and wanted badly to show me Granville island, a groovy little community on an island under a bridge. We stayed the night on Christina Lake at a quiet little campground that was really swell, and only about 10 minutes from the border. We went for short dip, and the water was so cold Maggie had to coax me in for about 20 minutes.
We decided to drive straight from the lake to Vancouver, a 7 hour drive that was just plain exhausting considering we were stuck in grey clouds and constant rain. We decided to stay in a super cheap hotel located in an interesting part of town. By interesting, I mean the parking lot was home to scores of characters straight out of a John Waters film. It was great! We went to Granville Island and looked at a lot of interesting shops and artist studios, ate some tasty meats and cheeses at the local market, and witnessed a strange and hilarious street performer juggle fire and escape from a straight jacket. Spot on. Vancouver almost got our stamp of approval, until we realized that EVERYONE IN CANADA DRIVES LIKE A MANIAC. Seriously. Don’t go there unless you absolutely have to. And no, the health care isn’t worth it, because you’ll constantly be dying of frustration.
Anyhow, from Vancouver we went into the Olympic Peninsula to explore Olympic National Park (and fulfill Maggie’s desire to see where Twilight takes place). I took my first ride on a ferry, taking the same one featured in the horror film The Ring. It was pretty rad! I sort of love being at sea. Maggie was not so keen on the movements of the water, and took to sitting in the truck as we crossed. Honestly, I don’t blame her… I was definitely feeling a little queasy at the end of the trip. Once across, we drove into Port Angeles and stayed at an awesome campsite where all the staff’s faces were painted in flamboyant camouflage. We hiked in the Hoh Rain forest the following day, and it was some of the most amazing woods I’ve ever encountered. Something green grows on every inch of everything in there, and Maggie took the position of slug patrol on the trail, making sure I didn’t step on any of them as they crossed. After the hike we drove to La Push beach, the “Twilight” zone so to speak, skipped some rocks for a bit, looked at the incredible ocean cliffs created by our great friend mother nature, encountered neither vampire nor werewolf, and went back to the campsite slightly disappointed.
Onward to Seattle we went, encountering for the first time in awhile, a clear and sunny day! We immediately stopped at Stumptown, a favorite roaster of mine, and sat in the sun drinking coffee and reading for a bit. We stayed with Maggies cousin Forrest and his family, and they were very fun and welcoming. Right when we walked into their house, a stuffed animal/pillow fight was happening with their kids. Maggie and I hopped right in and felt right at home. The weather was really nice during our stay, so we spent most of our time just walking around the city. We stopped by Pike Place Market, a big open air emporium full of flowers, fruits, pasta, meats, cheeses, and fish shops where they throw entire fish back and forth amongst the crowds. Very cool. Very smelly.
Now we are in Portland staying in the home of my good friend Adam. I’ll save the details for the next post, but I think it’s safe to say we really like it here. Maybe it’s just luck, but we’re told it got sunny the day we arrived and we haven’t seen a cloud since.
We hope you all had a safe, happy, and productive 4th of July!
Michael & Maggie
So much cheese. NOM NOM NOM.