As a lifelong East Coaster, I’m familiar with Portland, ME’s reputation as the foodie capital of the northeast, which is why I found it funny that we would have our best food experiences of the trip 3000 miles away on the opposite coast in Portland, OR. Our time in the city was spent hopping from one amazing meal to the next, stuffing ourselves silly.
After spending a number of consecutive nights out in the woods, we were ready to head back into society with the offer of a home cooked meal on the horizon. Our journey miraculously collided with two fellow travelers as they also were briefly passing through Seattle, one of whom I’ve known since college. Jake and Natalie were married last winter and have been travelling around Southeast Asia ever since.
Once we left Vancouver we dropped straight down the Washington Coast to Whidbey Island. From there we hopped across to the Olympic Peninsula via a night time ferry ride. Pretty cool being on a boat that big at night, however not being able to see the horizon doesn’t help with the sea sickness.
Despite being on a bit of a time crunch, we were able to make the most of our short stay in Vancouver. Among its many charming qualities, Vancouver is extremely bike-friendly and we took full advantage of that fact. After an early morning breakfast and coffee overlooking the ocean in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood, we headed out on a bike tour of the city.
We met Bob and Julie while camping in Yellowstone – they gave our car a jump early one morning. We chatted a bit and after telling them about our trip, they extended an invitation to stay at their place in Coeur d’Alene if we passed through on our way West.
Among the laundry list of places we intended to see during our tour of the US, Glacier National Park was at the top. We had lofty expectations for our time in the park, not only because of the stories shared by family and friends who had visited, but because Glacier is one of the most highly coveted backpacking playgrounds in the US.
At Joe Fasula’s insistence, we made a stop in Butte, MT on our way to Missoula to see the infamous Berkeley Pit. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Butte was in the midst of its heyday as the largest mining boomtown in the American West. The advent of electricity caused the demand for copper to soar and the town’s abundant copper reserves soon gave it its nickname as “the richest hill on earth”.
It’s been said the Beartooth highway is the most scenic in the U.S and, after spending nearly 4 hours driving a mere 60 miles, we’d be hard-pressed to disagree. It begins not far from Yellowstone’s northeast entrance and soon turns north into Montana.