Thursday, September 6, 2007

Day One - Roadtrip 1

Day One of our trip was something unlike the typical rainy days Seattle is know for. It was bright, sunny and wonderful outside. It was a photographer's dream day with clear skies and bright light. Our hosts gave us a whirlwind tour of Seattle's best spots to enjoy times together and capture memories. We first headed out for a walk along the Olympic Sculpture Park. The ambiance and the art were an added bonus to the spectacular downtown and bay views.

A view of the Elliot's bay from the Olympic Sculptures Park

Kerry Park was our next destination. It is a photographer's spot, with views of the city and the bay and Mt.Rainier as a backdrop it is picture perfect. Mt.Rainier was not really clear but it still was a good place to sit, soak up the sun and enjoy those rare moments we get to spend with friends.

A view from Kerry's Park, can you make out Mt. Rainier at a distance?

Our final destination was Seattle's very own Pike Place Market.The energy of this place is amazing. The colors, the exotic scents, the blooms are a sight by itself. It was just a cleaner version of the Indian markets and you need to be there to experience it. Since we were on a trip we really could not shop there and a few pictures later we were off. A laid back lunch and it was time for us to get on the road.

Sights from Pike Market, fresh produce (above) and colorful chili strands (below)

Our plan was to reach Leavenworth by nightfall. And along the way stop at anything that catches our eye. We headed out of Seattle on WA-522 and hit the Stevens Pass Highway/US-2 at Monroe. Nothing spectacular to write about the drive and Monroe was just another town. We stocked up on good eats and water at the local Fred Meyers and headed on towards parts unknown.

Our drive lead us through the small towns of Sultan, Gold Bar, Index and Coles Corner, these towns are small and I mean really small. But the views are amazing. Green rolling fields, evergreens, winding roads, mountains in the horizon, in short picture perfect.

A roadside park pullout point near Goldbar

We made a few interesting stops in this area, one at a state salmon hatchery and another at the Wallace Falls Park. We did trek for an hour but as we had to reach Leavenworth before dark, we cut short our hike and were back on the road.

Sights as we trekked in Wallace Falls State Park

The golden rule about roadtrips is to pullout as often as possible and this highway has amazing view points and pull out points all through. Just off the highway is the amazing deception falls and it is worth stopping there.

The deception falls, right off the highway. Amazing

Highway 2 to Leavenworth passes along the regions that offer some of the best outdoor activities. The slopes are famed ski areas and the ofcourse you can do anything from rock climbing to rafting rapids in the area.

Somewhere along the drive, River Wentachee flowing along the highway

And our final destination for the day, Leavenworth, a slice of Germany in the US. It is a reproduction of a small Bavarian town. It is quaint, cute and pretty. But as we have already visited Bavaria and enjoyed the Bavarian hospitality, this kind of felt flaky and over-the-top. But ofcourse it is one of the most romantic towns and is real nice place. It sits 8000feet above sea level and is surrounded by orchards of pears and apples. It is a fruit lovers haven.

We spent the night at the amazing Cottonwood Shores B&B, just a few miles out of Leavenworth and on the banks of the River Wenatachee. If you are ever in the area you should stay there. Absolutely stunning views, wonderful rooms and exceptionally friendly hosts. The hot tub is just another bonus.

And that was day 1!

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