Pacific Northwest

July 15 - July 24, 2016

Ten days exploring the Pacific Northwest with two friends from home. It was an awesome experience with great food, drink, and plenty to do.

Seattle, WA

I flew from San Francisco to Seattle's Tacoma International on a warm Friday afternoon to meet up with two friends from home. Not knowing anything about the city, we stayed right next to the Space Needle and figured, "What the hell? It must be close to other cool things to see."

I was really impressed with Seattle and all it has to offer. We visited the Music and Pop Culture Museum, where we saw an exhibit on Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, some of Jimi Hendrix's legendary garments and guitars, and even an original light saber from Star Wars. By far the coolest part of Seattle is Gas Works—an old gas plant that the city restored as a public park with beautiful views of Seattle's waterfront. Besides that, there are great areas like Freemont, Ballard, and Volunteer Park with vast amonuts of options for food and drink.

I still can't believe this but I had the best Mexican food I've ever had in my life in Seattle. Everyone in the group agreed the food was excellent. A couple of shots of smoky Mezcal might've also helped but nonetheless, this meal was glorious. And, this is coming from someone who currently lives in San Francisco.

We quickly found out that when you're in Washington, you drink Rainier. You want a beer? You drink Rainier. You want a martini? Nah, have a Rainier. For those of you who have no clue what Rainier is, it's essentially the PBR of Washington. Of course, it's much better than PBR but costs the same. You gotta love it.

We wrapped our days in Seattle by hitting the driving range on a chilly Sunday night, following an afternoon of oysters and Rosé at The Walrus & The Carpenter. Why not? Rainiers and a bucket of balls? Sold. The next day we took the creepy-ass ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island across Elliot Bay. If you've seen The Ring, this is the ferry that the horses jump off of. Dark stuff.

Lake Crescent & Storm King Mountain

We drove from Seattle to Lake Sutherland to stay at a house we rented for three nights. On the way to the lake house, which turned out to be friggin' incredible, we stopped at Port Angeles, WA. Three words describe this town, "Trump signs and meth." Not the type of place where you'd want to have a beer with the locals.

However, once we got to the house we forgot about all that noise. The house was, like I said, friggin' incredible. Beautiful views of the lake, close to many hiking trails, a grill, you name it. These were easily our favorite couple of days throughout the whole trip. I highly recommend visiting the Olympic National Forest and all it has to offer.

While staying in Lake Sutherland, we did a hike at Storm King Mountain, which is 2.2 miles long and 2,600 feet in elevation—a hiking trail for experts. Of course, as three invincible young men, we looked at the trail map and found most of the hikes dull and easy. We had no idea what we were in for with Storm King and it kicked our asses.

Here on the left and below are the absolutely stunning views at the top of mountain. Lake Crescent can be seen in the foreground. The mountains in the distant background belong to Canada.

As an amateur hiker at best, this was easily one of the most dangerous and scariest things I've done in recent memory. The place where these pictures were taken was past the maintained hiking trail and pretty much just rock-climbing. Not to mention the space to travel was about half a foot wide with steep slopes on either side. Nerve-racking, but that made it all the more worth it.

US101 & The Coastline

The drive along US101 from Cape Flattery, the northwestern-most point in the continental U.S., to Portland has incredible views. Here are some of them including the well-known Xai Xai Beach. Many of these locations involve a long hike from the highway to the Pacific Ocean.

The images above and below are from the long and desolate Xai Xai Beach hike. Its miles long with relatively little intrusion.