Monday, May 3, 2010

Road Trip to the Northwest

Willamette River in Portland
Starting Point: Provo, Utah
Destination: Portland, Oregon
Final Destination: Enumclaw, Washington

Distance Traveled: 979 miles
Traveling Time: 16 hours
About a week ago, me and three other people piled into my Pontiac Vibe for a road trip to explore the Pacific Northwest. The four of us did not really know one another - some of us were not even friends on facebook - but we shared one thing in common: we all like hippies, rain, green landscape and eco-friendly communities. We didn't have plans before we left, but a unintentional parallelism emerged as we did similar activities in both Seattle and Portland: exploring open air markets, used bookstores and hiking up waterfalls.
Modern Art Outside of Powell's Bookstore

In Portland we went to the Saturday farmers market which included a colorful crowd. We watched break dancers, listened to street musicians, and browsed the work of local artists.

Powell's bookstore is known as one of the largest used bookstores in the United States. All of us went to our own area of interest (philosophy, economics, and pop culture) and perused. I have to say that I was disappointed by the prices at Powells in comparison with the used bookstore I visited a few months ago in New York. However, I had a friend who went to Powells a few days and found the complete works of Shakespeare for thirty dollars, so apparently there are deals to be found.

While the sun was setting, we climbed Multnomah Falls. The water at Multnomah Falls cascades 620 feet, which makes it the second-highest waterfall in the United States. One of the most beautiful parts about visiting the falls was climbing up to the top and looking out over the Columbia River Gorge.

While in Seattle we visited another open air market: Pike's Place Market. While at Pikes Place we bought bouquets of tulips, sampled food, and watched men in orange jumpsuits throw salmon to one another. We also walked through the Seattle Art Museums outdoor sculpture garden and along the pier in the rain. For dinner we had Indian food at Roti, a brilliant Indian restaurant in Queen Anne, and cupcakes at Cupcake Royale in Ballard. With full stomachs, we went to a small lookout point in Queen Anne to see the city at night.

Because we hiked a waterfall in Oregon, we obviously needed to hike one in Washington too. We set our sights on Snoqualmie Falls, which is not as tall as Multnomah, but it was still spectacular.

Sadly our road trips came to an end as my three comrades flew back to Provo.

Overall...huzzah for road trips.