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  1. #1

    Default 2015 Fall - Olympic, Mt. Rainier and Yellowstone

    Folks, my wife and I just had a wonderful two-week trip starting from Seattle. We visited three National Parks and some lovely towns.

    Before anything, I must give my sincere thanks to Dave, Mark, Donna and Lifemagician and other warm-hearted people that helped me complete the planning of the trip and gave me many pieces of useful advice. This trip would have never been possible without you.

    I promised to write a road report, but wasn't able to do so due to busy work until now. And here it is.

    Itinerary Overview:

    Seattle 2 days
    Olympic NP 2 days
    Mt Rainier NP 1 day
    Driving, staying at Orofino 2 days
    Yellowstone NP 3 days
    Driving, staying at Coeur d'Alene 2 days
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 11-02-2015 at 09:26 AM. Reason: Added link to planning thread

  2. #2

    Default Day 1 - Seattle

    After another over-ten-hour flight across the Pacific, we arrived at Sea-Tac in the morning. The popular way of handling jet lag is to stay up all the way till the night and get a good sleep. So we didn't hesitate and picked our car, Dodge Journey, a standard SUV from Aloma, and headed to Pikeplace.

    DSC08770-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC08771-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC08774-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC08788-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    We spent the afternoon at Boeing's Future of Flight Tour. It was fun to witness the construction of giant aircraft, but they didn't allow taking pictures.

  3. #3

    Default Day 2 - Seattle

    It was amazing that the second day in Seattle was also a sunny one, perfect for us to take a panorama view of the city from the Space Needle.

    DSC08812-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    On top of the Space Needle, we happened to see a plane flying across the water.

    DSC08818-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    Afterwards, we took a walk along the waterfront.

    DSC08853-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    And the good weather seemed to be enjoyable to everyone.

    DSC08862-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    Then we decided to take a one-hour cruiser tour around the bay, to enjoy the horizon of Seattle from distance.

    DSC08888-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC08913-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    The famous Underground Tour was a good way for us to understand some interesting history and facts about the early days of the city.

    DSC08959-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC08960-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Good to see you back.

    Nice to hear you had a wonderful trip Kevin. Nice photos and I am looking forward to reading more about your adventures !


  5. #5

    Default Day 3 - Olympic National Park

    Previous two days in the city allowed us to overcome the jetlag for the better part. Having learned the weather forecast, we still couldn't quite believe the luck we had, almost a whole week without cloudy, let alone a single drop of rain, in this area west to the cascade range.

    The main theme of this two-week trip was to visit national parks. We spent our honeymoon two years ago around California, during which time the Federal places were all closed.

    This time, the first destination was Olympic National Park.

    Most of my homework was about Yellowstone, so besides some printed maps and guides, the only thing I had in my mind was Dave's word: the climax of the park is Hoh Rain Forest. :P

    We followed the Google Map, getting on the ferry to Bainbridge at the Seattle Port.

    DSC09000-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    The ferry took 45 minutes to the other side, and the city was behind us.

    DSC09001-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    Just before noon, we made it to the entrance near the Hurricane Ridge.

    DSC09032-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    Nice view near the visitor center of the Hurricane Ridge.

    DSC09042-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    After learning the trail map, we decided to take the Hurricane Hill trail that would provide a panorama view around the area. But before that, we needed to refill some calories. So we took out the food we got earlier at the grocery store and got ready for the first picnic in the park.

    DSC09087-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09056-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    Not long before our guests showed up...

    DSC09060-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    She was really close.

    DSC09068-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    The trail was a moderate one, and the view alongside was worth the effort.

    DSC09094-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09101-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09141-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09162-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    When we returned to our car, we only had about three hours before it got dark, and we needed to arrive in Forks. Thus we drove past the Crescent Lake, and briefly visited the Sul-Duc Falls area.

    DSC09183-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09230-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09236-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr
    Last edited by kevin_chn; 11-02-2015 at 09:25 AM. Reason: fixed typos

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Close encounters !

    Really like the photo taken form Hurricane Ridge. We were there just 3 or 4 days before you and also experienced good weather.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Brings back memories.

    Thanks for the great report and photos. Brings back so many memories. It must be almost a decade since I last was in Seattle. Pike Street Market was our highlight.

    Looking forward to the rest of your trip.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    I am enjoying this report and hope to read more, soon! Glad that our advice helped you out; that's what we're here for. It's been so long since I've been in Olympic National Park -- guess it's time to include that in a trip, soon!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Seattle attractions

    Yes, very nice photos -- Thanks for sharing them with us!


  10. #10

    Default Day 4 - Hoh Rain Forest

    The town of Forks hadn't been fully awake when we got up and headed for Hoh Rain Forest.

    DSC09267-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    When we arrived at the visitor center, we saw this car from Bayern, Germany. They insisted on driving their own car, so they took it across the Panama Canal and the Atlantic.

    DSC09304-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    There were three short trails around the area. We took them all. The plants and trees created a magical atmosphere. As Dave suggested, this area was a must see in the park.

    DSC09311-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09315-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09323-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09346-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09365-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09463-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    Our next stop was the Paradise area in the Mt Rainier National Park. We booked a night at Paradise Inn. Out of Hoh Rain Forest, we encountered a brief beach area, but we didn't stop for long since we'd driven along a lot of beaches in California.

    DSC09475-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    Four-hour long driving from Hoh to Paradise.

    DSC09493-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    The light before sunset was perfect for picture taking of the mighty Mt Rainier.

    DSC09518-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09525-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    DSC09578-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    Just before darkness, we arrived at our room in the historic building of Paradise Inn. The room was compact but comfortable and kind of bringing us into the history.

    DSC09584-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    A picture of Inn in the old days, hanging on the walls of the aisle.

    DSC09588-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    The only dinning room was open till 8 pm, so we rushed there and had our dinner. We also ordered the "Trail Lunch" for the next day. You could pick items from a menu and they would get them ready early in the morning, so that you could hike without worrying about what to eat.

    DSC09589-01 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    The same dinning room in the old picture.

    DSC09590-02 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

    A corner of the second floor in the lobby.

    DSC09598-02 by Kun Wu, on Flickr

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