"Day 1 Brussels-Seattle"
September 3 th. 1998
THE JOURNEY CAN START!
After a 10 hours of flying, sitting around, eating and watching some movies we arrived at Seattle-Tacoma Int. Airport. After we picked up our rental car, our trip could finally start.We booked our flight and reserved a car at Hertz, everything else is carefully prepared by Eddy.It wasn’t an itinerary to be followed strictly, but as much information about our target area as possible. This would allow us to adjust the trip to the weather, to traffic or just the mood we were in.
The net brought us al the information we required, what we couldn't read on-line was ordered for free at the state tourism boards or chambers of commerce.
It was 4 PM and we were leaving Seatac south towards Kelso where we spend our first night.Each time we set food on US soil it gives us a feeling of being home again!
After we stopped at the 7-eleven for the first shopping (snacks, coke, water, paper towels...) we went for dinner at Denny's. We arrived dead-tired at Kelso where we found a room at the Best Western motel.
After we watched some TV and took a refreshing shower we fell into a deep sleep.
At 4.30 AM we woke up with a roaring stomachs, the first signs of jetlag!
Driven miles 119
Dinner at Denny's steak & shrimp, french fries, garlic bread and pepsi 20$
Motel Best western Aladdin Motor Inn 50$ ***
"Day 2 Kelso - Seaside"
September 4 Sunny 27C
We were hungry for a big breakfast and found one of those typical American breakfast restaurants. It was a colorful place and the ceiling was full of toothpicks. The regulars blew them with straws into the ceiling.
The walls and the tables were covered with birthday pictures of the regular customers. The waitresses were wearing grass skirts, (well, aluminum foil grass), and were very friendly.
Eddy ordered an omelet stuffed with green peppers and three kinds of cheese, hashed browns, toast and juice. I chose to take the scrambled eggs, bacon, toast and some O-juice as well.
We drove to Mount St. Helens, which was really awesome. The eruption of May 18th1980 had destroyed the whole area, it’s unbelievable what the forces of nature are capable of. The volcano is still active and was the inspiration for movies such as Dante’s peak and Volcano. The real damage is even more dramatic than that portrayed in the movies. We took a short walk and toured the rest of the area by car. We decided to make this trip more relaxing than the other visits we made in the USA.
For lunch we had a turkey sandwich at Arby’s in Castle Rock and we went to see the movie The Eruption of Mount St. Helens in the Cinedrome Theater. This was a large theatre with a gigantic Omnimax screen. The ERUPTION SEATS give you a better sense of what went on at the time of the quake.
In the late afternoon we arrived at Seaside, we were lucky to find a room close to the ocean.We took a long walk on the beach were you can find lots of flat circular shells, they are called Sand Dollars because the local Indian tribes used them as currency.
We had dinner at the restaurant of the hotel. The special of the day was a prime rib & seafood buffet. It was delicious and our stomachs were so full that we decided to make an evening walk through the village and along the beach. Seaside has lots of wooden houses and small cozy shops. The day ended with a beautiful Pacific sunset.
Driven miles 172
Activities Mount St Helens
Breakfast at Stuffy's Breakfast 14.86$ ****
Lunch Arby's 5.65$ **
Dinner Ocean View Resort 36.40$ ***
Hotel Best Western Oceanview Resort 139$ ***
"Day 3 Seaside- Florence"
september 5 sunny 22C
7.30 AM, after a good breakfast with juice and pancakes and a misty beach walk we left Seaside for Tillamook. On the way we stopped at Cannon Beach en enjoyed the first sun of the day to make a short walk on the beach.
We were surprised that during Labor Day weekend there were only a few people at the beach, in Belgium it would have been crowded.
In Tillamook we visited the Naval Air Museum, It has the largest wooden building in the world,this is a former Zeppelin airship hangar. The collection of airplanes is not large but in mint condition and very varied. The alternative was visiting the Tillamook cheese factory, but we passed on that one.
After a one hours drive we arrived at the mini-rainforest of Munson Creek, we took a walk through the narrow green valley to see Munson Creek Falls. It was an easy walk over a narrow winding path. We had to climb over and under a few fallen trees to see the falls trough the dense forest. We passed some children that were fishing for crawfish in the small creek. We saw several plants that are used as houseplants in Belgium, like the one we call 'child on mother's lap'. it's not really expensive in Belgium, but it is strange to see so much of it in the wild.
We followed Highway 101 south to Florence. On the way we enjoy the views of lighthouses and the ocean.
We stopped at Depoe Bay for a stroll through the village and along the harbor. Depoe Bay is the largest natural bay in Oregon. It can only be accessed by a narrow gap, just wide enough to let a boat pass into the harbor. It was used in the Jack Nicholson movie ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’. This is the harbor from which Jack and his friends went on their fishing trip. At one of the stands we bought a bag of caramelized popcorn, the local specialty, it’s very sweet and filling.
Along the road we passed a lot of interesting antique shops with lots of Americana, too bad most of it was too large to carry home.
We spent the night in a nice motel by the Siuslaw River. Unfortunately the restaurant was full, it smelled so good in there. We were famished and wanted food as fast as possible so went to the local Burger King for a Whopper and Cheese instead. After enjoying the view over the river while sun was setting, the jetlag caught up with us and we slept like a log.
Driven miles 209
Activities Tillamook Air Museum 14$
Munson Creek Falls
Three Cape Loop
Breakfast Oceanview Resort 11.75$ **
Lunch Tillamook Pizzahut 13.48$ **
Dinner Burgerking Florence 6.78$ **
Motel Best Western Pier Point Inn 138$ ***
"Day 4 Florence- Roseburg"
September 6 Sunny 22C
We woke up at 6.30 AM looking over the beautiful Siuslaw river. After we took a shower and a continental breakfast (cereal, juice and blueberry muffins) we were the first ones to arrive at the Sea Lion Caves north of Florence. We had to wait 30 minutes before the caves opened. It was a cool morning, but we came prepared, we were dressed warm, this was advised because of the cold and damp in the caves. We had to walk a short path to the elevator that took us 208 feet down. Normally this large cave was full of sea lions but this morning they preferred to play outside in the ocean waves. We could see them swim and jump in and out of the water as close as fifty yards away from a viewpoint.
We continued our journey via Highway 101, which is in our opinion more beautiful than Route 66. Our next stop was a walk on the Tahkenitch Trail. This is a trail through the dunes along the coast. I didn’t think there was a lot to see and I did not feel like taking this walk but after a few minutes it became more and more beautiful.
The trail runs through a variation of woods and dunes, we didn’t see one living soul on this whole trail! Walking on the sand was difficult and we were glad that we brought drinking water in our backpack.
Our next stop along the coast was Cape Arago State Park. It was crowded at the cape because of the many sea lions. You could hear their honking from far away.
It's a beautiful place to take a few moments rest. There are plenty of picnic-tables with a great view over the ocean. Bring binoculars if you come here, it's a perfect place for whale watching. The top and sides of the cliffs are high and perfect vantagepoints, you only need some patience. Eddy saw the first whale after fifteen minutes, first you look for the water spouting up unto the air, then you'll see the back of one or more whales on the surface. We saw humpbacks and orca killer whales, the last are easy to recognize with their black and white pattern.
We drove to Coos Bay to enjoy a huge Texas Style Pizza (steak, pineapple, bacon and BBQ -sauce) at Abby's. We ordered a medium size but the waiter said that he didn't have any medium-sized dough left, would two large pizzas for the medium price be OK? When we left, he asked if we would require a doggy bag but we had more than enough!
We wanted to visit the Umpqua Lighthouse but it was closed by the time we got there, so we continued on to Bandon.
Bandon is the most beautiful beach I ever saw. The haystacks are gorgeous. This mile-long beach didn't have enough people on it to play a game of volleyball. The edge of beach against the cliffs was filled with of driftwood. It showed that the storms are very powerful. People come here for storm watching. I would have loved to stay here for a week but it was getting late and Eddy wanted to get to Roseburg to find a motel.
On our way to Roseburg we passed the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. A proud elk family can be seen from the roadside. They pretended not to notice all the people with cars by the roadside watching them.
We arrived at Roseburg at 7 PM and found a decent room in no time. The local Best Western is a good choice.
We browsed through some local travel guides and picked Brutke’s Wagon Wheel for dinner. This was a first class choice! The food was outstanding and the service was excellent. We had shrimp salad, grilled steak with baked potato, mushrooms and asparagus and it was yummy!!!
Driven miles 223
Activities Sea Lion Caves 13$
Siuslaw Oregon Dunes 3$
Breakfast Cont. breakfast *
Lunch Arby's 18.20$ **
Dinner Brutke's Wagon Wheel 37.40$ ***
Hotel Best Western Douglas Inn 45$ **
"Dag 5 Roseburg-Sisters"
September 7 Th cloudy 23C
It was a wonderful sunny day, perfect for a morning walk. It really is beautiful along the Umpqua River, where we saw anglers are standing in the middle of the river. It's so restful to watch them with all the greenery surrounding us. We decided to stop to take a short walk in the wood. What looked really funny was the way fallen trees are handled. With chainsaws they cut away only the part that is blocking the path, since fallen trees are part of nature they are disturbed as little as possible.
The next stop is Susan Creek Falls. After a mile and a half walk, we arrived at what I think was the most romantic place of our trip. There is no living soul here except us. Beneath the falls there is a little pond. You could take a shower under the falls if you wanted but the weather was not allowing it. A bright rainbow was visible in the spray of the falling water.
The next waterfall was described as an easy walk on flat terrain. Never before did we walk such a difficult path, it was long and steep, but geeee, this was worth more than just an effort! Toketee Falls is absolutely the most beautiful waterfall I ever saw. We were lucky that the trail was described as being easy, otherwise we would have skipped this one. We were already tired and there are plenty of other falls in Oregon.
Toketee falls is a two-part waterfall, the river has carved a perfect half circle through the rocks through which the second part of the falls starts its drop.
Our next destination was Crater Lake National Park. The huge lake with the Wizard Island cone is impressive, but it can not compare to the hidden beauty of Toketee Falls. It was cold and windy on the rim of the crater.
After a short stay and a quick meal at Crater Lake we drove north. We stopped at Lava Butte for a short walk because we were sick and tired of spending so many hours in the car. Before evening we arrived at our hotel just outside of Sisters. The room was enormous with a high wooden sealing. The hotel was surrounded with green lawn and trees. They even had lama’s there.
We freshened up and the hotel manager advised us to go and have dinner at Hotel Sisters. This was a hotel in the 19th century. The menu was Tex-Mex which was very tasty and plentiful. Only one complaint, they forgot to bring our starter, which wasn't bad because we weren't able to finish our main course!
Driven miles 232
Activities Umpqua River
Susan Creek Falls
Breakfast Contin. breakfast *
Dinner Hotel Sisters 47.85$ ***
Motel Best Western Ponderosa Lodge 82$ ***
"Day 6 Sisters-Sisters"
September 8 Sunny-thunderstorm 27C
At 6.30 my husband awoke me with lots of little birthday kisses, even the weather was great!
After breakfast we went on our way to discover the Cascade Lakes Highway.
This is an 87 miles long National Scenic Byway which starts in Sisters and ends at Bend. We expected it to be just a side-trip, but once again we made a lucky choice.
At first we stopped at Lava Lake. I had never before experienced such silence in my life. Every step I took sounded like a roar, even the flow of blood through your ears was disturbing. A duck took of from the lake with the noise of an airplane. This was paradise!!! We were told that there are 111 little lakes in the Three Sisters Mountains, we visited only a few of them like, Cultus Lake, Little Cultus Lake and Osprey observation point.
Here you can watch many beautiful birds like the blue jays, with their magnificent blue colors, woodpeckers en the ospreys, birds that dive into the water to catch fish.
After our lunch at Subway (chicken sandwich) we drove back to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument were we had a short visit yesterday.
The weather looked bad, a thunderstorm was coming, so we didn’t stay long. We did get to the Obsidian lava flow. If the lava cools very fast, a jet-black kind of glass is formed. The entire lava flow consisted of these black and sharp glass rocks.
The thunderstorm kept following us and dumped a massive hailstorm on us. In no time everything looked white and a thin fog was forming between the trees. We visited the Lava River Cave. The cave is a lava tube, which is formed if the outside of a lava-flow cools and solidifies while the inside flows on and becomes empty. To go into the cave we put on some warmer clothes. We were given a gas lantern and we went down into the cave. It became so dark that you could only see when you stayed very close to the lantern. It was very creepy, the tunnel is a mile long and half way in I got scared and had to get out! I will never go into that cave again!
We had dinner near the hotel at the Coyote Creek restaurant. Eddy chose to have the grilled salmon with raspberry sauce, it was unusual but very tasty. The salmon has much more taste than in Belgium. I took the chicken, filled with spinach and cheese, which was delicious too. And so my 38th birthday was over.
We went into our sixth night happy and content.
Driven miles 190
Activities Cascade Lakes scenic route
Newberry Lava River Cave
Breakfast Cont. breakfast **
Lunch Subway 6.90$ **
Dinner Coyote Creek 33.40$ ***
Motel Best western Pondorosa Lodge 82$ ***
"Day 7 Sisters-The Dalles"
September 9 rain-sunny 20C
We had a very good breakfast in our room and by 9 AM we said goodbye to Sisters. It was raining but we didn't mind, we had to try out our raincoats, didn't we? Today we planned to visit the High Desert museum at Bend.
Most of the museum is outdoors, showing the animals native to the high desert like otters and porcupine and lots of local plants and flowers. Inside the building there was an exhibit, which takes you back to the pioneer past. Even the smell and sounds were realistic.
Again we eat lunch at Subway with its low-calorie turkey breast sandwich (298 cal) because Tineke would not want to gain the 40 pounds she lost.
At Bend we did some shopping at the factory outlets. Wow, I did buy a lot of stuff here like Levi’s jeans at 25 $, that’s half the price I would have paid in Belgium, fleece jackets for both of us, perfume and T-shirts.
After our shopping spree we drove to Umatilla, by the Columbia river, through a completely different landscape than before, no more woods but rocks and desert. We dined at Burgerking and stayed at the Best Western.
Driven miles 190
Activities Newberry High Desert Museum 16$
Shopping Bend Mall
Cont. breakfast **
Lunch Subway 13$ **
Dinner Burger King 6.60$ **
Motel Best Western Umatilla 52$ *
"Day 8 The Dalles - Kelso"
September 10 sunny 27C
We planned to visit a few waterfalls and do some hiking along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
The Horsetail Falls were not that high but very graceful. We also saw the Bridal Vail and the Multnomah Falls. This last one was the highest, at 620 feet, and the most beautiful.
The view over the Columbia River Gorge at Rowena Crest en Crown Point are definitely worth a stop. The art nouveau Vista House at Crown Point was built to commemorate the opening of the River Highway back in 1916.
Getting closer to Portland we saw more and more mills next to the river, we now are in logging country. We stopped at a shopping mall and bought some PC stuff and CD’s. I never before saw a mall with a huge skating rink in it. We had a steak sandwich for lunch. We drove on, back to Washington. When we got to Kelso we had dinner at the Red lobster, a very delicious halibut with shrimp sauce, the special of the day. All tired out from shopping we slept at Kelso's Days Inn suite.
Driven miles 157
Activities Historic Columbia River Highway
Shopping Portland Mall
Cont. breakfast *
Lunch Portland Mall 10$ **
Dinner Red Lobster 30$ ***
Motel Days Inn 52$ ***
"Day 9 Kelso - Aberdeen"
11 september zonnig 23C
We had a light breakfast and left to visit to Astoria. The Maritime museum was easy to find. It was very interesting to find out about life at sea. But if you ask me, I wouldn't like to live on a boat, I would get claustrophobic. We visited an actual lightship moored at the museum's dock.
The sun was shining and it was perfect weather to walk around the older part of Astoria and visit the historic Homes. Most of them are now Bed & Breakfast Inns. We visited the Flavel House, it is not a B&B, but a museum. This beauty belonged to ‘Captain George Flavel’, the first millionaire in the area. I wouldn't mind living in his mansion with such an amazing view of the city and the harbor.
The Captain and his family lived here at the end of the 19-th century, it is now fully restored and furnished with beautiful antiques from that period.
In the meantime it was noon and our stomachs were protesting. We stopped at Subway’s and had tortilla filled with chicken, salad and the works. We arrived in the early afternoon at the wreck of the Peter Iredale, at least what remains of the ship. After 90 years only some rusted iron and steel is left over.
The wind was very strong and we decided not to stay for long and drive on to Fort Stevens.
This wasn’t what we expected either. There wasn’t much left of the coastal fort and it was covered with trees and plants, there wasn't even a view of the sea. All right, as we say in Belgium, it can't be Christmas everyday! A historical note: Fort Stevens is the only continetal US military installation that was fired upon since the war of1812. In 1942 a Japanese submarine fired 17 shells at the fort causing no damage. After arriving at Fort Clatsop we were happy again.
It was very interesting to learn and hear about the Lewis & Clark expedition.
Lewis & Clark were explorers who charted a route from the east to the Pacific through the Rockies and the Northwest about two hundred years ago. Fort Clatsop is the site of their westernmost winter encampment.
At Aberdeen we slept at the Red Lion Inn. It was not much of a motel, it was old with a small room but we had a good dinner at the Bridges restaurant. Eddy had clam-soup, salmon, baked potato, carrots and broccoli. I chose to have a salad and ravioli, steak, carrots and broccoli. Aberdeen was visibly suffering from the decline of the logging industry. Empty shops, abandoned houses and neglected streets were hard not to notice.
Driven miles 170
Activities Maritiem Museum 10$
Flavel House Museum 10$
Peter Iredale Ship Wreck
Fort Clatsop NM
Ontbijt Cont. breakfast *
Lunch Subway 13$ **
Dinner Bridges Aberdeen 36.50$ ***
Motel Red Lion Inn 71$ *
"Day 10 Aberdeen - Sequim"
September 12 Sunny 27C
Breakfast at Denny’s did not taste well this morning, it was too fat and too greasy.
On the road again driving north, the first thing we did when we arrived at Olympic National Park was looking for a place to stay. We tried the lodge, no luck it was already booked out for that evening. Although it was out of season you needed reservations.
We made a walk through the rain forest. The trees were covered with Tillandsia moss, it's all over the place. This stuff is very expensive in Belgium, it's used for flower arranging, too bad I couldn't take a bag home with me. The humidity was bearable; I expected a tropical heat and constant fog or rain.
Halfway our drive to Sequim we stopped at Ruby Beach. This is a lovely beach of black smooth pebbles and rough haystacks. We selected a secluded spot, hidden from the wind, and ate an apple. Life can be great! We only left because the tide was coming in and there was just one way up the cliff, back to the car.
After a long drive to Sequim we heard that most motels had no vacancy. That weekend there was
a regatta at Sequim, we were lucky to find a room at a brand new Ramada Inn.
We had dinner at the wonderful 101 Diner, a classic fifties style diner. Eddy had a ‘Louis Louis’ (bacon-burger) I was more in a swinging mood and took ‘the twist’ (cheeseburger). This really was a great place. We realized that were already at the halfway point of our vacation.
Driven miles 245
Activities Lake Washington
Breakfast Denny's 13$ *
Dinner 101 Diner 15$ ***
Motel Ramada 68$ ***
"Day 11 Sequim - Sequim"
September 13 sunny 27C
After a long drive west along the coast we entered Makah territory. First we visited the Makah Tribal Museum, this museum tells you everything about the history and customs of the tribe.
The road to Cape Flattery was unpaved, recent rain had turned it into a mudslide. After we reached the trailhead you could not recognize the color of the car, it used to be white. Cape Flattery is the most northwestern tip of the continental US.
We walked a long but well maintained and clean path to the viewpoint. Halfway through I screamed at Eddy, a snake was crawling over the path, but Eddy said it was only a harmless garter snake. As if that would reassure me, it was a snake!!!!!!
The view from the cliffs of Cape Flattery is spectacular. The waves crash against the base of the cliffs, I wouldn't want to try to swim down there.
I was tired but we took a walk to Sol Duc in Olympic National Park, the trail leads through the dense forest to three waterfalls converging into one narrow canyon.
Back at Port Angeles we had dinner at Joshua’s, we had salmon, crab, mashed potatoes and a salad. At 6.30 PM we watched the 50-th Emmy Awards’ at the motel-room. Although we spend a lot of time driving, the places we saw today were fantastic again!
Driven miles 229
Activities Makah Museum
Breakfast Cont. breakfast *
Lunch Sol Duc 12$ **
Dinner Joshua's Port Angeles **
Motel Ramada 68$ ***
"Day 12 Sequim - Everett"
September 14 sunny 28C
6.45 AM. We wanted to leave extra early this morning to drive up to Hurricane Ridge, the road was narrow and steep. We went from sea level to 5300 feet. From the parking lot we could see that this was going to be a relaxed walk over a paved path and that it would be very quit, only a few cars were parked here.
The view over the mountains is breathtaking.
There were magnificent birds like the cooper's hawk. A real birdwatcher pointed out a Blue Grouse with her chicks. From afar Eddy noticed a giant marmot. We are used to seeing them as pets, the size of a hamster, but this one was WOOO big! After a long and rather tiring walk we reached the ‘top of the world’.
There we were, the two of us, looking around from this impressive place, clean air, and wow what a view! It was foggy over the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We could see the San Juan Islands and Vancouver, across the strait in Canada. To the northeast we could even see the top of Mount Baker, which was about a 100 miles away. We sat down on a rock, enjoying the view, and got the company of a chipmunk family.
To bad we had to go back again, it took us one hour to get started. It was getting hotter and hotter. The walk back to the parking lot was much easier and we even met a few living souls, 'it's lonely at the top'.
We crossed Puget Sound by ferry from Kingston towards Edmonds, north of Seattle.
Tired but content we drove to Everett. We had dinner in a Australian restaurant, the Outback, which I really didn't like.
Our plans were finished for the day and further on we did some more shopping (one of the favorite activities of Tine and not one of Eddy’s). I had a chilidog, yummy, that was so long time ago! At Everett we took a room at the Best Western, it was a business motel, It was dirty, and there was a lot of noise from the railroad and other guests. I slept very little and had a real bad temper the next day! Poor Eddy!
Driven miles 159
Activities Hurricane Ridge
Breakfast Cont. breakfast *
Lunch Ferry 3$ *
Dinner Outback Steakhouse 40$ - **
Motel Best Western Cascadia Inn 76$
"Day 13 Everett - Monroe"
September 15 Foggy- sunny 26C
It’s 7.45 AM and we left for a visit to Boeing's airplane construction factory. You can get a free tour if you come early enough to get a ticket. We were lucky and got an early tour at 9.00 AM. A bus took us to the start of the tour and a guide explained everything. The hangar is so large that they can work at six jumbos simultaneously. This is the largest building in the world under one roof! It's a very noisy place. When the tour is over, the bus takes you to the Boeing gift-shop so you can get your Boeing souvenirs.
We drove on to Seattle and arrived at noon. We had lunch at the Briazz-café, we ate a delicious tuna-sandwich and a Cobb salad. They had about 50 kinds of salad and sandwiches, all wrapped up and extra fresh. Seattle is both hectic and cozy. Of course you can’t forget to drop by at the big Levi’s store and Nike Town to do some shopping because the prices are about the half of what you find in Europe. At least if the US$ exchange ratio would remain the same. We bought 5 T-shirts, 2 jogging suits, a pair of jeans and two pairs of sneakers. In my opinion Pike Place Market is the most pleasant place of Seattle. It is an inside market, very colorful and crowded. Particularly the fish-stands because of the bright orange and red colors of the crabs are beautiful, I won't mention the smell though. You can hear the yelling of the salmon sellers over the noise of the bustling crowd. The ones at the entrance put up quite a show throwing those huge salmons about.
We also made a walk to Pier 59 and visited the Seattle Aquarium, if you want to pass some time just sitting at the dock of the bay you can watch the coming and going of the ferries.
It was another busy day and we were really tired when we got to the motel in Monroe. It was a nice motel, but the trains and the neighbors kept us awake. They probably couldn't sleep because of the noise of the trains.
Gereden miles 65
Ontbijt Cont. breakfast *
Middag eten Seattle Briazz cafe 13$ ***
Avond eten Burger King 8.74 **
Overnachting Best Western Baron Inn 94$
"Day 14 Monroe - Wenatchee"
September 16 sunny 32C
7.45 AM again, and we were leaving Monroe to tour the beautiful Cascade Loop, our first stop is Roslyn. This place we know as Cicely, Alaska of the fantastic series Northern Exposure. When you drive in to the village it really feels like driving in to the series! If you were a true fan of the show it feels like coming home.
The buildings were used as they were, no false fronts, just small town reality. Chris wasn’t there but you expected him to step out of the Brick and say ‘Hey there, Tineke, what’s up!’ The food at the Roslyn café wasn’t great (ham & cheese sandwich and the fries were to big and undercooked! The food at the Brick café looked much better, but we weren't hungry any more. The locals claim that the Brick is the oldest saloon in Washington State. You really have to see the bar, it was transported by boat from England (Liverpool if I'm not mistaken), all the way around Cape Horn.
We left the series behind us, and drove on to Wenatchee, the apple country of Washington. If you are in the area of Wenatchee you have to visit Ohme Gardens. It’s a small patch of luscious green landscaping on a dusty rocky hill along the valley of the on the Columbia River. This was a lifetime effort of the Ohmes, it is really worth preserving.
We slept at the beautiful Holiday Inn motel and had dinner at the Roaster & Ale, a restaurant on the top floor of the Convention Center with a stunning view of the Colombia River Valley. Great view, great food.
We had Turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, apple filled with cranberry sauce and a broccoli mix. Yummy, this was delicious food, home cooking style! About 7.00 PM we were back at the hotel, we took a shower and watched some TV to relax for the next day of travel.
Driven miles 214
Ohme Gardens 10$
Cont. breakfast *
Lunch Roslyn Cafe 15$
Dinner Roaster & Ale - Wenatche 35$
Motel Holiday Inn 66$
"Day 15 Wenatchee - Mazama"
September 17 sunny 36C
After a good night's sleep and a great continental breakfast with cornflakes, pancakes and fresh OJ, we were on the road again. You can notice that your in the Apple county, even in the morning you get some apples to take along from the motel, you don't see anything like this in the Southwest. Nice touch, since we are from Belgium's fruit country. How do you like them apples?
With only a few days left on the Cascade Loop we turned east to Mazama where we spend the night at The Freestone Inn, the most romantic hotel, we asked for a two nights stay but we were lucky to get at least one night. The hotel is completely build with logs, it looks like a large antique cabin. Each room has a gas fireplace and beautiful furniture. It is located in an oasis of green, with a lake on the grounds. In the evening we even got company from a deer just below our balcony. The lawn of the hotel is probably greener than the dry grass of the valley.
We drove east again to visit Winthrop, the next village east from Mazama. It looked too new and touristy, however it is a real pioneer town. We ate at Three-Fingered Jack's, we had a grilled chicken burger with chips and the necessary green stuff. Three-Fingered Jack's is the oldest licensed saloon in Washington, if you want my opinion, the Brick in Cicely looks more authentic. However, the food is splendid.We had enough sitting and eating, so we went for a h hours long hike to this little lake way up in the mountains.
I wasn't used to walking with my new walking shoes, my feet were burning and of course by the time we reached the lake Tine had a huge blister on her heel. Wow, once again it was so beautiful here, and yes we are alone like we thought we would be. The lake is located between a ring of mountains, this is called a circus. After nursing my blister with the company of a little bird sitting beside me, the pain stopped. We rested for a while and headed back to the car. When we arrived at the parking I looked behind and saw this huge dark cloud coming up behind us. Were we lucky? Yes! I would not be happy to stay in those mountains with that thunderstorm! It really started pouring down.
By 6 o’clock we were ready for an outstanding meal at the Freestone's restaurant. A salad with balsamic vinegar, a filet mignon with steamed veggies, and potato gratin. Hmmm, how does that sound? Well, it tasted even better than it sounded. And this was not all, as desert we had gingerbread with forest fruits. This was absolutely the best meal we had during our vacation!
Driven miles 168
Activities Cascade loop
LunchThree fingered-Jack 17$**
Dinner Freestone Inn 60$****
Hotel Freestone Inn 143$ ****
"Day 16 Mazama -Oak Harbor"
MAZAMA _OAK HARBOR
After an excellent breakfast, with fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh house baked muffins and again a fresh fruit salad we said goodbye to the wonderful Freestone Inn, not knowing that we would return within two years ;-). We continued our tour of the Cascade Loop. We stopped to walk the two-mile trail to Rainy Lake. This little lake was formed by the melt-off of a glacier. The light rain makes the lake deserve its name.
We also made a stop at the Washington Pass Overlook and Ross Lake, a reservoir on the Skagit River. Ross Lake is colored emerald green because of a fine powder that the glaciers, that feed the river, grind of the mountains. We leave the Cascades and drive on west to Puget Sound.
We ate we ate a roast-beef sandwich at Arby’s. On Whitbey Island, the Best Western motel was booked out. We were two minutes late to get the last room. So we ended taking a room at the Auld Holland Inn, which was a big disappointment after that night at the Freestone Inn.
This hotel was not clean and smelled musty. The San Juan couldn't convince us to stay there any longer than necessary. Probably because they are no match for the Cascade Mountains.
At the restaurant of the hotel, Kasteel Franssens, Eddy had a red snapper and I choose chicken with mushrooms. With a longing for the Freestone Inn on our minds we managed to get some sleep.
Driven miles 170
Activities Washington Pass Overlook
Continental breakfast ****
Lunch Arby's 10$ *
Dinner Kasteel Franssens 33.60$ **
Hotel Auld Holland 60$
"Day 17 Oak Harbor - Bellevue"
September 19 Sunny 19C
On our way to Mount Baker we changed our minds after we saw that the weather up there was very bad. You couldn’t see the mountain because of the fog and the low hanging clouds. So we decided to make a turn towards Seattle and see what else it had to offer.
But since we had some spare time, we wanted to visit a relative: My mother's cousin Rosa Munters, who is married to an American.
This was hopeless, after 2 hours of searching and not finding we had to abandon every hope of finding them. We found the street but not the house. We even asked some locals and the mailman, but they couldn’t help us. I hope that they will ever receive their mail, if your own mailman can't find your address you're in trouble. We did find the numbers as close as twenty of the one we were looking for, but to no avail. There even was a friendly man who tried to drive us to the place but he also lost track.
At Pioneer Square we bought tickets for the underground tour scheduled at three PM. This left us some time for browsing the shops, among them Seattle's largest bookshop. Eddy didn't buy anything, maybe it was too hard to choose.
The tour wasn’t what we expected it to be, I had hoped to see more furnished rooms in stead of empty basements. The tour took about 90 minutes, the guide's story was amusing and interesting. The Underground is really the original Seattle, it was situated too low compared to Puget Sound to have the sewage run of into the sound. So it was decided to raise the level of the streets by ten feet. Seattle was the starting point of the prospectors to the Klondike goldfields. The Klondike Museum is the smallest National Monument in the USA.
We took a room at the Hilton hotel in Bellevue were we first had dinner in Jack's restaurant. As starter we had Quesadilles, a very rich cheese dish. Eddy had a pepper steak and I had the tomato and cheese chicken with pasta. Everything was served in a record-time, resulting in us feeling stuffed.
Driven miles 138
Activities Pioneer Square
Underground tours 14$
Klondike National park
Cont. Breakfast *
Lunch Subway 10$ **
Dinner Hilton 43$ **
Hotel Hilton 74$ ***
"Day 18 Bellevue - Bellevue"
September 20 Sunny 24C
After a cholesterol-rich breakfast at Denny’s we were ready for day 18. This part is for the Twin Peak fans. We drove to Snoqualmie. This is where the big Northern Hotel and the famous falls are located.
The area is not as mysterious as in the series. It was Sunday and people were dressed at their best. There was one family of about 20 people who were having a pick-nick and it looked so cozy. Snoqualmie Falls is higher than the Niagara, it powers a hydro-power plant. There was not much else to see. We took the rest of the day of for shopping. We bought another fleece jacket, some gadgets, a few books and a duffel bag to take all of the stuff we bought home.
At dinnertime we had grilled chicken with honey and with extremely thin French fries. We did all the things we planned, we would find out how to fill our last day tomorrow.
Driven miles 110
Activities Twin Peaks
Breakfast Denny's 12$ *
Lunch Mall 9$ *
Hotel Hilton 74$ ***
"Day 19 Bellevue - Bellevue"
September 21 sunny 26C
We had an American slam breakfast at Denny’s.
We visited the Museum of Flight. Eddy really loved this one, it's Boeing's airplane museum. They really had something to offer. President Kennedy's Air Force One is the main attraction.
About 11 AM Tine got terribly tired and noticed the she had forgotten to take her Thyroid tablet. Without that one her batteries run down by noon. We had to drive back to the hotel and I felt exhausted for the rest of the day. In the afternoon we went to the Puyallup State Fair. There were performances by big country stars like Leann Rimes. There also was a contest for the biggest and finest pumpkins, the most beautiful cow and the best beans. And you can not miss the pig race. This was fun, it was such a non-tourist attraction that it was a nice change.
For dinner we had a steak and shrimp. We drove back to the hotel. Far away we could see Mount Rainier in the light of the setting sun. We had a terrific time at the fair on our last day of this wonderful vacation.
Driven miles 110
Activities Museum of Flight
Puyallup Fair 15$
Breakfast Denny's 17$ **
Lunch Fair donuts 6$
Dinner Denny's 23$ *
Hotel Hilton 74$ ***
"Day 20 Bellevue - Kuringen"
September 22 Sunny 24C
At 10 AM we got out of bed, packed our stuff and discussed what we could do for the remaining hours. We found a mall nearby in Bellevue. The had a sale of all the big brands but our bags were so full we really couldn't add anything. At 3.30 PM we arrived at Seattle airport. We checked the car in and we went home with a very happy feeling. This was an unforgettable trip but HOME still remains SWEET HOME.
Cont. Breakfast *
Lunch Fogherty's 21$ ***
Hertz Chevrolet Lumina 1400$