Thanksgiving is one of the best time of the year to travel. This year thanksgiving took me to visit my aunt and uncle in the North West Pacific of the US. We drove to Portland from Seattle over the weekend. Our drive was about three hours and we enjoyed watching the stunning snow covered peaks of Mount St.Helens and Mount Hood on our way to Portland.
As soon as we reached there, we made our way to the Columbia River Gorge scenic area which encompasses numerous waterfalls in the midst of Mount Hood forest area. We started hiking a short trail that stretched from Wahkeena falls to Multnomah Falls. Our hiking trail was along the Columbia River and overlooked the huge trees by the river. After trekking for about half a mile, we caught a site of the Multnomah Falls which is the second tallest waterfall in the US and the tallest one in the State of Oregon. To get a closer look view of the waterfall we climbed up to the bridge located halfway through the falls. I could spot some of the visitors all the way at the top of the falls.
Overall my trip to the scenic area was very refreshing, away from the city on a chilly yet sunny day. I and my family had a great time in the woods and I would recommend this visit to all the nature lovers who would like to take a short get away from their day to day city life.
After the day of camping at the Winding River Resort, we headed towards the Rocky Mountain National Park to explore the winding trails that led to breathtaking waterfalls, lakes and rivers. We started with the Adams Falls trail which was short steep uphill trail. We were very lucky to spot a Moose on our short way up the hilly terrain. The locals there told us that Moose is a really aggressive animal and very protective as a mother so all of us were very careful while watching the Moose enjoy in its natural habitat. We finally reached the Adam Falls which was beautiful and all worth the uphill hike.
After our hike, we relaxed and lounged by the magnificent Grand Lake which is the largest lake in Colorado at an elevation of 8000 feet. We geared up for our next trail after relishing the delicious Mexican lunch at the Grand Lake Downtown. Our next trail was full of wild yellow/white flowers and huge lush pine trees which led to the massive Colorado River flowing under the bridges. The weather was sunny and I enjoyed this trail the most.
We ended our day driving ten miles through the Rocky Mountains surrounded by alpine meadows, forests and creeks. By the end of the day we spotted about six Moose, ten Elks and so many deer and horses grazing grass in the lush meadows. It was so amazing to see the wildlife in the national park and not tied up in zoos. However one thing that we missed was the Mountain View from the Trail Ridge road which leads to the highest peaks of Rocky Mountain National park. It was closed due to the recent snow storm in Colorado and we had to make our way back after reaching up there. Have you recently hiked National Park. Which one is your favorite? I would love to know!
Starting this spring until fall, my friends and I have promised ourselves outdoor adventure every weekend. Last weekend we hiked the trails of Starved Rock State park which is about an hour and half away from Chicago. Starved Rock State Park is a hidden gem of the Midwest and known for its rugged canyons, scenic waterfalls and vivid foliage. The forest preserve is huge and the drive to the State park was very scenic. The lush mint lemon colored trees and red bud flowers on both the sides looked beautiful. I could see a lot of bikers enjoy their bike ride in the warm and sunny weather. We arrived at the park before noon and were all geared up and excited to trek and explore it.
We started our day with the Board walk trails, hiking uphill along the steep steps to reach the Lover’s leap which was the highest point of the park. It had a great panoramic view of the Illinois river, rock formations and forest preserve. Walking further down along the winding pathways by the river, we headed towards the Lasalle Canyon which was about two miles away. We enjoyed climbing tree tops in the perfectly breezy weather which kept us going towards the Canyon. We trekked for about 4 miles in all and were exhausted by the end, but it was all worth it when we caught a sight of the beautiful falls at the Lasalle Canyon. We relaxed by the flowing stream of water for a while and then made our way back to the visitor’s center.
Now that I loved this hiking experience at the Starved Rock State Park, I am even more excited to visit the Rocky Mountain National Park at Colorado during my long weekend travel at the end of this month. Do you love to hike? Which was your best hiking experience? Which other outdoor adventures do you enjoy?
My first city in the US as a tourist, Seattle will always remain close to my heart. Being surrounded by forest, lake, river and hills, it is a perfect destination for nature-lovers. The city just captivates you with evergreen trees, pleasant weather and clear sky(not so much).Be aware of the rain in Seattle, definitely plan your trip keeping weather constraints in mind as the evergreen trees also cause light showers every now and then. Here are some fun outdoor activities to do when you are out and about in Seattle.
Hiking Mount Rainier National Park
The drive to Mount Rainer National park through the hills and forest is very adventurous and scenic at the same time. After driving through a couple of hundred feet above the ground level, its time to hike the mountain by foot to explore the hills, valleys, waterfalls and meadows surrounding the cascade of mountains. The lovely view of the snow covered peaks of mountain makes it worth the visit.
Trekking the Snoqualmie Falls
A few hours away from Seattle, Snoqualmie falls is a massive 268 feet waterfall on the Snoqualmie river. Trekking along the forest trail to reach the bottom to catch a sight of the colossal fall is such an enjoyable experience. The flora and fauna on the trail makes it even more delightful. Once you are all the way down at the lowest point of the fall, you can step into the rocks, woods and water to enjoy it even more closely.
Exploring the Bainbridge Island
The best way to get in the water in Seattle is to take a ferry ride across the Elliot Bay to the BainBridge Island. While you are on your way, keep your cameras ready for the perfect skyline view from the ferry. Explore the island by foot, bike or car depending on what you like. The island is huge with trails by forests and lakes so the best way to explore it in and out might be by car.
Day in Downtown
The trip to Seattle is incomplete without a day well spent exploring Downtown Seattle. Stroll by the Pike Place market and relish the fresh fruits in the farmer’s market. Hop into the Ferris wheel to get a complete view of the skyline and the city. Enjoy a rickshaw ride along the shore and wander around enjoy smoky delicious cart food in the hilly Downtown.
Journey to Leavenworth
Few miles away from Seattle, Leavenworth is a small hilly city in in the middle of mountains. The Bavarian village there is a small shopping district with little unique boutique, art and gift shops. It is lovely place to stroll by and there are cultural dance performances by different countries in the streets. We were able to watch the England dance and music festivities where the men dressed as soldiers and women danced around them. The architecture of the buildings resemble the European design with domes and castles. It is a lively place full of happiness and fun, definitely not worth missing if you are in Washington.
If you happen to have a few more days in Seattle,explore the zoo,aquarium,lakes and museums in the city.There are just endless destinations for tourists to explore in the state of Washington.