USA West Coast road trip – The Washington state (26 – 27 November)

From Seattle, we rented a car which became our home for the next 9 days. This was as much time had available to discover the west coast of USA. At first, we had very ambitious plans to visit several famous national parks and also the city of Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. When we were already on the wheels it soon became clear that we won’t have time to visit all those places.

When we were in Boston and planning the road trip it became clear that we will have to exceed our budget. We hoped we could use the rental car relocation which is popular in the USA. This way we could have got basically a free car to take this from one place to another. We found several offers which matched our destination and origin but many of those companies required US driving license. In addition, the allowed time was relatively small. For example, from Seattle to LA only 5 days which would not leave much time to explore around. Thereby we still had to stick to renting the car. Surprisingly the cheapest car we found was the typical US pickup truck. Ford F150 XLT. The rental company was a bit surprised that we had chosen that type of the vehicle for the road trip and offered a change for a regular car because of better gas mileage, but we decided to stick to our original booking because it’s the most American thing.

Our first destination was the Olympic national park. This is the contiguous USA most north-western part. It was still raining, so we decided not to take any long hikes to some of the waterfalls. Jaanus also found that in that national park there is a heart-shaped lake but unfortunately,, we could not see it because of the rain. Olympic natural park is also famous for having the only rainforest in the USA. The forest there was definitely different from regular forests in Estonia. The trees were much bigger and covered with a lot of greenery. Also in Estonia, we do not have such rapid rivers – obviously because the landscape is pretty flat there. The park was definitely very beautiful but due to the weather, we could not explore it more deeply. Also, we were quite cautious because there was a lot of sign warning for the bears. Bears smell the food and approach the campsites to steal the food. Thereby the food must be kept locked in the plastic barrel or hoist high up to the tree.

On the edge of the national park, we found the Ruby beach. It was the first time for both of us to see the Pacific Ocean. The beach itself was incredible. The rainy and foggy weather made it more mystical. Jaanus couldn’t resist trying to get onto the nearby rocks. It was foreseen that it might end being all wet. We continued walking at the beach and wondered how many and big logs the nearby river had brought down from mountains to the beach. At one point we found a bone of the whale. At first, we thought it’s a log because it was huge. But it had a specific rotten smell and a particular shape of the bone joint, so we could tell it must belong to some big animal, most probably a whale. The beach is also famous for whale spotting however we could not see any…apart from the bone..

P.S from the pictures you can see that Kaija was hiking with a stick. This is because there was a sign that you may meet a cougar and its advisable to scare them off with a stick. Luckily, we did not meet any.

With that our adventure in Washington state became to the end and next stop was the city of Portland in Oregon. The road along the west coast was full of beautiful views of the sea. We drove through several small villages which were already full of Christmas lights.

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