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Road Trip To The Northwest Part 1

June 30, 2010

jeremy and steph at public market in seattle

My wife and I just got back from our vacation to the Northwest. Our road trip took us through western Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. We spent the first part of our trip in Portland OR. We stayed there for a couple of days and then drove up the coast to Seattle WA. We spent five days in Seattle hanging out with friends and seeing the sights.

We saw all of the touristy things, like the Space Needle and Pike’s Public Market. I also visited Starbuck’s first store. We walked all over downtown, took the bus, and drove around to the different neighborhoods of Seattle. We were sad when the end of our trip arrived and we had to leave.

Along the way we enjoyed a ton of new things. Here is a look at a few of them. I will post more later in the week.

seattle skyline from ferry

Seeing New Places
I absolutely love visiting new places. Seeing new things and interacting with different cultures excites me. For example, just north of Salt Lake City I-84 branches off of I-15. I have taken I-15 all the way up to Montana, but I had never been on I-84 before. Around every turn I saw parts of the world that I had never seen before. I saw people and towns that I never knew existed. Seeing new places makes you realize just how big this world really is.

Cascade Mountains
The Cascade Mountains are a mountain range located about 200 miles off the coast of Oregon and Washington. The range includes gorgeous snowcapped peaks and and even has a couple fourteeners, including Mt. Ranier.

We drove through them on our way to Portland as we crossed from the deserts of Eastern Oregon into the wetlands of coastal Oregon. We passed through them again on our way out of Seattle. I had no idea there were such beautiful mountains in the Northwest. To be sure, they were not the Rockies. But they did have a majesty all their own.

mountain biking Hagg Lake

Mountain Biking in the Mud
While on our trip I had the opportunity to bike two NW trails. I have never biked in this region and I couldn’t wait to see how my desert riding skills adapted to the wet and slippery trails that Oregon and Washington are known for.

The first trail attempted was Hagg Lake, 45 minutes southwest of Portland. The trail circumnavigated a lake set in a green valley surrounded by large hills reminiscent of my wife’s native Pennsylvania. My wife joined me as we followed the rolling singletrack through dense evergreens and ferns. Roots crisscrossed the trail that was also littered with mud puddles at nearly every turn. I sped through them as quickly as possible, my knobby tires spraying brown goo in all directions. My wife, more intent on staying clean then taking a mud bath, eased through them a little slower.

The second trail was located 45 minutes east of downtown Seattle on Tiger Mountain. According to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, the mountain bike advocacy group in the Northwest, this is the most popular mountain biking trail near Seattle. After riding the 13 mile trail I could see why.

It starts with a 3.1 mile climb up a fire road about 2/3 of the way up the mountain. From there it turned off onto singletrack, which switchbacked down the mountain through the forest. Again, the terrain was mostly roots and mud puddles like Hagg Lake. But this time the trail had much better flow, and the constant downhill grade kept my butt over my rear tire and my hands on the brakes. It was easy to quickly pick up speed, but with all of the slick roots around I couldn’t go too crazy. Still, by the time I reached the bottom of the mountain, I had a huge grin on my face. What an awesome ride!


From → Travel

  1. Johnny permalink

    Great article. I would read it even if I didn’t know you. Sounds like you will love it there!

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  1. Living Out Life’s Story in Seattle « JEREMY GREEN

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