Two young 50-something females. One big adventure exploring the Americas. Have liquidated everything they own and packed a Saturn Vue with bare necessities to set out on this journey. Planting seeds at each juncture symbolizing their new growth. With an open mind and heart, ready to get a true view of this world.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
More family to see and today a trip on the Washington State Ferry out of Seattle over to Bainbridge Island is our start. The skies are relatively clear for this area's standards and the route over presents some beautiful city scapes. It is truly a gorgeous sail.
Celeste's nephew, Sal, meets us at the dock on the Island side and begins a grand class tour of his haunts. He is an expert guide and I really enjoy this little town. Very green, very pretty.
The views of the Olympic Mountain range are evident everywhere and Puget Sound spectacularly frames. I'm thinking this is the best of both worlds here. A charming island, beautiful landscape, water and a quick ferry over to Seattle - this is the place!
We have a little picnic at a charming waterfront park and continue our afternoon back at Sal's home where we meet the ruler of the nest, Rocky, an adorable parakeet who entertains us thoroughly.
We're soon joined by yet another nephew, Tony, and the party begins.
Sal's adorable girlfriend, Demi, is the birthday girl today. Sal decorates her cake, we all gather and head to meet a great group for a celebratory dinner. A great, fun crowd and we all enjoy thoroughly. Celeste is in her element with all of her family around.
It's another full day and evening and we just miss an earlier ferry, so we have a bit of a wait to return to the mainland. (This, I guess, is one of the downfalls of this otherwise perfect place.) The lighted skyline welcoming us back is all we've heard rumors of and certainly worth the late hour.
We've managed to have the perfect send off for our ultimate journey ahead. Bags are packed and Vancouver is our destination for our sail away to the start of the ultimate Alaskan adventure.
Can you believe it? We're almost on our way!!!!
Seattle is a delightful city and we take time this first morning to do a little exploring of the downtown area. We're told that a very interesting little tour of the underground is a must see and get a bit of history as well. There is more to Seattle than initially meets the eye, it seems.
After the tour, we find more interesting sights before locating a small Irish pub to quench our thirst. This touring can certainly wear you out! Local brew and fish and chips gives us revised energy and we continue our explorations.
Bonus today is meeting up with Celeste's nephew, Vince, and partner, Kyle. Both are absolutely adorable and the Pike's Market area a bustling and fitting place for a visit. We enjoy a rooftop experience before a rain cloud chases us away. The surrounding market and view of the sound both remarkable backdrops. Fun time catching up, laughter and a cocktail make for the perfect Sunday afternoon!
Our stroll back to base camp provides a few more interesting scenes and we find that we have enjoyed our leisurely day in Seattle quite a bit!
Our time in Montana has been quite rich. Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Great Bear Inn one of the most inviting. We bid farewell to new friends we've met - Lori and David from Chicago are headed to a "Ritz-like camping experience" near Missoula (we can't wait to hear about this!). Benita and Gary from Houston are moving on to Big Sky for a month.
Susan and Ryan will continue to welcome lucky guests exploring this area to their beautiful home.
The sunflower seed planting this morning is even more special as we feel lucky to be part of such a wonderful group these past few days. Surely, quite a sprout will happen here.
We hit the road relatively early today as we plan to make it to Seattle by early evening. A lunch stop in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is a good midway point and this bustling college town is a perfect stretch. Finding a great people watching spot to enjoy sandwiches is a breeze and a quick walk through the downtown area is fun. A beautiful marina is also nearby. It is the quintessential college town enhanced by a beautiful lake and mountains as a backdrop in every direction. Really pretty!
The long drive today finds one more interesting overlook at the Columbia River. Breathtaking. Rattlesnake Warning Signs! We still meander along a path for several moments soaking up the beauty - it's everywhere! Washington State holds it's own with Montana without a doubt.
Seattle beckons at the end of our drive and the Space Needle tells us we've made it to our destination. A long day but we're safely here and have several days ahead to see family and ready for our Alaskan journey - hard to believe that's next!! Can Alaska top what we've just experienced. We'll see.....
After yet another evening of incredible food, good wine, and enjoying the company of some new friends, we again rest quite well. This is the only way to see Glacier, we believe!
We head back to the beautiful park for more nourishment this morning. Today's agenda includes a a 4-mile hike to Avalanche Lake and is one of those beautiful treks that provides endless scenery while journeying to the destination. In other words, the perfect hike!
We, alas, tarry a bit too long at the lake and a forming storm hits just about 1/2 mile shy of our exit. Of course, as good hikers, we are prepared with the necessary gear and, as has happened on several previous occasions, actually enjoy the gifts that come with a good rain storm. The personality of a forest so completely changes when one rolls in and it's nice to be a guest from time to time.
As the storm passes and the weather clears, we make camp at a beautiful area, enjoying the gorgeous and amazingly secluded scenery with our books. Ahh, life is really good!
After an evening of incredible fun, food, wine, and laughter, we rest hard as we'd had a full transition day. Today is reserved for Glacier National Park and we are eager to explore this place that promises such grandeur. We are definitely not disappointed.
The vistas here are stupendous, it is as if we've stepped into a movie. We, honestly, can't believe at times what we're experiencing.
Snow capped mountains, waterfalls, gorges, and a road, the Going to the Sun Highway, which provides an amazing drive to visit all that is available.
We begin today's journey with a beautiful little hike on the Trail of the Cedars, an easy nature trail packing a full punch of scenery. This morning is Celeste's moment. We take plenty of time here savoring every morsel.
Our incredible drive takes us up into these same snow capped mountains, waterfalls weeping virtually on top of us. Logan's Pass is at the summit and has been closed for the summer, but, of course, has opened just about an hour before we reach this mark. It allows us entrance into a vast winter wonderland where we admittedly aren't suited quite for hiking a trail we've eyed, but playing in the snow seems a fair trade off. It's June and we're throwing snowballs.
It can't get much better, we think!