Sunday, September 26, 2010

Traveling the Pacific Northwest: Mt Rainier and Seattle

The last of our 6-hour driving days brought us to Mount Rainier National Park. We changed our itinerary to include this detour and it was such a great idea! It helped that the weather was absolutely perfect. There were lots of little things to see on our trip through the park to make it to the main parking lot at Paradise.

As we made our way into the state of Washington the views along the road were incredible.

As we got closer, we were so excited at each glimpse we could catch of the huge mountain.

Once we got to the park we stopped at all the different view points that didn't require any major hiking. =)

The view was so amazing that this photo doesn't even come close to doing it justice.

As we headed out of the park we spotted a momma bear and two cubs passing through a valley.

Since it was such a clear day as we left the park, we headed straight to this amazing view point once we got to Seattle to capture this view.

The next day we roamed around Seattle. Our first stop was the top of the Columbia Center Skyview. We decided to go up and see the view from the 73rd floor of the tallest building on the Seattle skyline instead of going up in the Space Needle. If you look closely you can see that the Space Needle looks tiny from this height.

To fully get the Seattle experience, we rode a ferry over to Bainbridge Island. The view of the skyline was just gorgeous!

Then the famous Space Needle.

Our last day in the Seattle area, we drove up to Anacortes for a whale watching tour in the San Juan Islands. We had a really long day on the water (6 hours) but it was great to see a handful of Orcas. I only wish we had been able to get closer to them.

The views out on the water were just gorgeous.

The naturalists on board the boat can identify each individual whale by their dorsal fin and markings. The first whale we saw was Ruffles, who was the star of the movie "Free Willy". He was around for most of the day because he apparently likes to have his picture taken.

We even got to see one Orca do a spy hop and a few others do some flips in the water.

This really gives you an idea of the size of these creatures.

And here is one last photo as we headed back to Anacortes.

We had a great trip, but as with any trip, it was exhausting and it's always great to get home.


Maggie said...

Aww I know you guys got the picture of the bears for me! :) These are gorgeous as usual!

Jason Anelini said...

great images! What an amazing trip!!


so jealous!!! would LOVE to see orcas in the wild. just beautiful!

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