Crater Lake and the PNW

Part of the idea for the national park focus of our road trip originated out of our day trip to Crater Lake almost two years ago. My dad took us for the day since he lives about two hours away, and the beauty of the park blew us away. We did a few short hikes, but felt bad leaving my dad to hang around the car and vowed to come back and tackle the highest peak in the park, Mount Scott.

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Crater Lake, from our trip in September 2015.

Weather threw a wrench in those plans! We knew visiting in June meant we’d deal with snow pack and cold, and this winter saw Crater Lake get a near-record amount of snow that showed no signs on melting any time soon. We contented ourselves with our room in the lodge and views of the lake – until the fog descended the next day.

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Oh come on!

We had a good time regardless, and when the cloud started to lift the following morning, we got another peek at Wizard Island and Crater Lake. Mount Scott, we will return!

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We spent most of our time in Portland and Seattle visiting friends and family – thanks again to everyone who generously hosted us or took time to see us! I think it’s really special to have loved ones all over the country; we don’t get to see you all that often due to the miles between us and we miss you already.

We managed to fit in a little nature in between good meals and good times with friends. On Fathers Day we drove out with some New York friends who resettled in Portland several years ago, taking in Multnomah Falls and the view from Vista House before exploring the Edgefield Gardens.

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The day we left Portland, we took a detour on the way to Seattle and hiked out to Punchbowl Falls. We really wanted to make it all the way to Tunnel Falls, but we didn’t want to show up at my brother’s apartment after midnight when he had to be up for work the next day.

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Wade into the water and turn a corner for the payoff.


Despite my brother’s busy schedule, we still got to a Mariners game together.

The next day, we took one of the Seattle Ferries out to the Olympic Peninsula. We only had time for one of the national parks near Seattle; my brother recommended we hike up Mount Walker in the Olympic National Forest for its 360° views.

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Unfortunately, the fog insisted on not burning off as quickly as we’d hoped.

Time for a new plan, as we’d already spent one day in a cloud and didn’t relish hiking up into another. We opted for a woods hike, along a creek and through old growth forests, with a side trail out to Marymere Falls.

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Those slugs, by the way, were the length of my hand from thumb tip to pinkie nail.

We finished our visit to the Pacific Northwest by spending a few days with my dad, taking his big Alaskan malamute down to explore the rapids of the Rogue River.

Special thanks to the Pendys, my brother, and my dad for opening your homes to us.





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