Bucket List Outdoor Trip — North Cascades

north cascades - mtbaker

North Cascades National Park – Mt Baker area by
waswisgirl1, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

From Glacier, I traveled past hot Spokane and met up with my buddy Anne in Seattle. From there, we drove to the North Cascades, Mt. Baker area, and camped at a North Cascades National Forest campground.

We found one of my favorite trails I’ve ever hiked-check out the photo above that I took. We drove a bit up part of a mountain, and when we started hiking, we were already at alpine level, hiking between mountains, in the snow, in shorts and a t-shirt. It was simply gorgeous.

After hiking, we drove up to Vancouver and tried out city life, while staying at a KOA, south of the city. I never felt so safe in a city-people walked on the city beach at night, and people kept their doors open to the beach as we walked by..granted, this was in 1990..so it may be very different now.

From Vancouver, we drove back past Seattle, and went out to Olympic National Park, as I’d already spent a week at Mt Rainier National Park with a park ranger friend a couple of years before.

Bucket List Outdoor Trip — Olympic


Olympic National Park trail by waswisgirl1 CC BY-NC-ND

From the North Cascades, we  drove back past Seattle, past Mt Rainier and went to Olympic National Park. 

I’ve never been more disappointed in  a National Park.

Why? If you go to the mountains (part of Olympic Nat’l Park), then you’ll be somewhere like Mt Rainier National Park, which is beautiful alpine mountains/lakes (which I’ve already spent a week at, which is gorgeous), or if you go to the beach, you’ll see something like the Oregon coast, which I later went to. But the Olympic rainforest, which is probably incredible to a botanist, but to a Midwestern hiker, a temperate rainforest that is green from foot to sky, and very wet, is just plain boring, except for the occasional blue waterfall/river (see my photo of it). All of my other photos were just pure green, which was not interesting, to me, anyway.

After Olympic National Park, my buddy and I went to Oregon to check out the coast, Oregon Caves National Monument, and Crater Lake National Park.