Oregon & Washington

I took a vacation from work to visit a few places in Oregon and Washington. Despite this year not being the best in terms of local rainfall, almost everywhere we visited was a carpet of green which along with the hilly and mountainous landscape of the American northwest gave us some breathtaking views. These photos are from some of the highlights.

The first item on the itinerary was Mt. Rainier National Park – majestic, spectacular and awe-inspiring:

Portland-36

Paradise indeed! I can’t imagine how much greener it will be after the rains

Portland-20

Nisqually riverbed – follow this on and you’ll get to a glacier climbing up Mt. Rainier

Portland-24

More great views

Portland-25

Mt. Rainier surrounded by a sea of conifers

Portland-28

Nisqually River again, from viewpoint much higher up

Portland-40

Views of the hills and mountains surrounding Mt. Rainier, from Paradise

Portland-41

Mt. Rainier, its head in the clouds

Portland-43

Sigh, if only the clouds had cleared a little

Portland-51

More Mt. Rainier

Portland-55

The national park is a natural wonder; every turn gives way to a scenic view

Portland-59

A final look at Mt. Rainier as we drove through the park

We got time to visit Olympia, WA too. Olympia was as quaint as Mt. Rainier was grand.

Portland-3

Olympia’s waterfront

Portland-4

The pier is full of abstract sculptures; here is a seemingly pregnant woman

Portland-5

A happy orca

Portland-7

Capitol House in Olympia

Portland-14

Olympia has several charming houses like this

Oregon’s coastline is great too – peppered with small beach towns in places and in others with rocky jagged cliff faces. We drove from Lincoln City to Cape Meares all along the coast, before turning inland into Hillsboro.

Portland-89

Lincoln City beach, very sedate

Portland-90

Lincoln City is like most beach towns, a lot of interesting things catch the eye

Portland-92

Taft beach in Lincoln City

Portland-93

The Siletz River meets the ocean here and is seemingly a favorite spot for salmon fishing

Portland-94

More of Taft Beach; bare logs strewn about give it a stark beauty

Portland-100

Views along the coast while heading north from Lincoln City

Portland-101

Approaching Cape Kiwanda; the giant rock afar is Chief Kiawanda Rock

Portland-104

At Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, OR

Portland-109

View of the bay to the south from a lookout in the Cape

Portland-111

A panoramic view of the ocean to the north of the lookout in Cape Kiwanda

Portland-114

At Cape Lookout point – the ocean to the left and Netarts Bay to the right

Portland-117

Amazing views of the Pacific Ocean from Cape Meares

Portland-120

The ‘Octopus Tree’

Portland-123

More views

Portland-126

This is a great lookout for birds, we waited unsuccessfully for a swooping Peregrine Falcon

Portland-128

Neither gulls, nor seals… our wildlife watch was rather uneventful

Portland-129

At Cape Meares, conifers line the way to the lighthouse

Mt. Hood is to Portland, what Mt. Rainier is to Seattle – unlike the latter though, Mt. Hood isn’t inside a National Park. We drove to Trillium Lake and were lucky this time (unlike earlier) with clear weather. Mt. Hood looks truly regal across the lake.

Portland-146

As serene as it gets

Portland-152

Sunset gave it a different hue

Portland-154

A closer look at Mt. Hood, from Timberline Lodge

We visited Chihuly Garden & Glass, a museum in the heart of Seattle right next to Space Needle. It was easily among the most beautiful ‘art’ museums I’ve visited. Each exhibit is a riot of colors and the way light interacts with abstract shapes to create interesting reflections & shadows is a treat for the eyes.

Chihuly Museum is inside the Seattle Center, which has several eye-catching structures – Space Needle, the EMP Museum, Pacific Science Center. After spending an evening roaming about, we managed to take the elevators up the Space Needle to its observation deck for some nice nighttime views of Seattle.

Portland-178

The EMP Museum, its skin is a rainbow of colours

Portland-182

The reflection looks reptilian

Portland-187

Space Needle

Portland-189

A view from the Pacific Science Center nearby

Portland-225

More Space Needle

Portland-220

Sunset from the observation deck

Portland-221

Seattle waterfront from the Space Needle observation deck

Portland-222

Another view

Portland-224

Lit after sundown

I’ve always enjoyed colours at dusk, and the american northwest didn’t disappoint. Each evening was spectacular.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s