Scenes from a Western Road Trip

After attending a reunion in Colorado Springs last weekend, my mom, sister, brother-in-law and I set out in Big Red for a western road trip. Our original plan had been to do a return drive to Alaska, but since my niece and her husband moved back to Minnesota in the spring, that was out.

In planning this trip, we wanted to go somewhere that none of us had been before, and since we are a traveling family, identifying such a spot was not a particularly easy feat.

As we scanned the map of the western United States, we realized that while we had all done the major national parks in the west, had all been to Seattle, and three of us had been to the Oregon Coast, none of us had been to the Olympic Peninsula in NW Washington, a place that we had heard was magnificent.

So that’s where we headed, stopping off to see a couple of national parks and visit cousins in Washington along the way. Once on the peninsula, we spent four days exploring Olympic National Park, which includes a stunning mountain range, a rain forest, and miles of stunningly beautiful coastline.

While not being surprised by the beauty of it all, we have been surprised by the weather. We thought it would be cold and raining, but it has been 75 and sunny every single day. The locals swear this is normal for this time of year.

We’re in Victoria BC this weekend, and tomorrow begin the trek back to the land of flat.

Here are a few scenes from the road trip:

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Blackcanyon

Arches National Park, Utah

arches2

Mt. Hood, Oregon (the view from my cousins’ living room!)

Mthood

Cannon Beach, Oregon (from Ecola State Park)

Cannonbeach

Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Rubybeach2

Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington

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Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, Washington

Hohrainforest

Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Rialtobeach

Cape Flattery, Neah Bay, Washington (the northwestern-most point in the Lower 48)

Capeflattery

Cadets on Parade, Victoria, BC, Canada

Victoriaparade

If you’re looking for a great place to vacation (in the summer), get thee to the Olympic Peninsula!