Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 13 (Aug 19): Seattle and drive to Olympic

Statue of Lenin in Fremont. This statue was brought to US after the fall of Communism. The original owner of this statue was said to have moved and left the statue standing here. It has been here since and has become a landmark in the area.

Ballard Locks - this is an important passage in the 8-mi Lake Washington Ship Canal that connects Puget Sound's saltwater Shilshole Bay to freshwater Lake Washington and Lake Union. Here, we saw boats going through locks, and salmon fighting the stream to swim upstream to spawn.

After visiting Theo chocolate factory, a Vietnamese lunch, a few record stores and more coffee at Vivace, we head into the national parks again.


Day 12 (Aug 18): Seattle

Pike Place Market bright and early!

Inside Seattle Public Library

We wondered around the city enjoying city-civilization after almost 10 days in the vast country and walked into this store. Chris had a fun time trying out different instruments and chatting with the store owner. The store is under cash flow problem and may not be there too much longer. Chris knew the store before from their website and probably ordered instruments from them before. it'll still operate online at least.

The first Starbucks!

As much as we enjoyed the nature, Chris is looking forward to his...

Chinese food

Tea and cupcake at The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co. on 4th Avenue

Another espresso

Sashimi and sushi!

The shrimps were still alive when it came to our table, hence the shock below...

And no better way to end a fun day in the city with live jazz...

Day 11 (Aug 17): Ginkgo Petrified Forest

We stopped by the Ginkgo Petrified Forest on our drive west. This entire area is covered with gingko tree fossils. They also found the below in the area believed to be left behind by the Native Americans who used to live here. Notice the peace sign on the top left? This Native American tribe is known to be very peaceful, and it is also believed that that is why they did not fight back and lost the land they have lived in for centuries.

Gingko fossil

Columbia River

Finally, Seattle!

We headed straight for a good seafood dinner. Dungeness crabs piled up in front of Chris.

Day 10 (Aug 16): Glacier National Park II

A beautiful hike along Avalanche Creek to Avalanche Lake

You can see the multiple streams feeding the lake which are created as the glaciers above melt during the summer.

We stopped for lunch by the lake side

Huckleberry - I had this in my salad dressing the night before and was wondering what it looks like. Here it is!

On our way back, we saw a big pile of animal waste with lots of berries in it. We thought it's likely from a bear so we hurried out from the thick woods.

It was raining on-and-off all day so we decided to head out of the park after the hike for a relaxing Mexican dinner. At this point of the trip, we have been eating only local food (aka bison, elk, steak) so we are craving something different. After dinner, we were treated with the sight of a FULL rainbow and a double rainbow on one side.

Day 9 (Aug 15): Glacier National Park I

After a night rest at Helena (where we had an amazing yet affordable dinner), we continued on the mountain country road up to Glacier. We were lucky to arrive during the weekend special so entry to the park was free! We drove in through St. Mary along Going-To-The-Sun Road to Lake McDonald where we spent the night.

At St. Mary, we saw a nest of Ospries trying their wings for the first time. We were just stopping to pick up a park map when we saw this so I didn't have my tripod with me at that time and I had to zoom in to get this frame. It is the moment so no time to get anything. Just click.

It is August, it is snowing on the east side of the park, and raining on the west side of the park. The snow was too heavy to drive in so we took a break at Rising Sun for lunch (elk chili soup). Bikers riding from the west side of the park underprepared for the rain/snow find the perfect spot to dry their gear.

Similar to earlier parts of our journey, we run into bikers everyday enjoying the parks along their road back from Sturgis, South Dakota after the Harley rally. These bikers arrived shortly before we did at the lodge where we are staying.
The main building of Lake McDonald Lodge. We decided to take it easy for the rest of the evening and just walk around the lodge we stayed.

Harp performance in the lobby

Around Lake McDonald