Banff & the Pacific Northwest

We had such a great time visiting Canada and the Pacific Northwest! In the few short weeks since we moved on, we’re still dreaming of the beautiful bright blue glacier-fed lakes and streams, the mom-and-pop dairy where we spent an evening sampling their delicious gouda, the rocky beach near Seattle where we met some new friends, and even our event-filled trip into downtown Portland.

We have far too much to share than we can really fit into a single blog post, but in the spirit of “done is better than perfect”, we want to be better at getting some of these blog posts actually finished. So with that in mind, this one will be a bit more highlights and photos than hearing us ramble. 🙂

Before we start, do you follow us on Instagram? We are ever so slightly better at posting our updates over there!

Let’s go to Canada!

One of the places we were the most excited to visit in the first half of our journey was Banff National Park in Alberta. It absolutely did not disappoint! We were just blown away by the water at Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

We stayed a short distance away in Canmore. Our spot backed right up to a trail through the town, which had a beautiful wooden walkway.

On our way west toward Seattle, we stopped at a lovely dairy farm in Salmon Arm, British Colombia. This was our second attempt staying at a Harvest Host after Santa Fe, and it was a wonderful experience. The family showed us around the farm, let us do a gouda tasting (their specialty), and we even got to wake up at “dairy time” and “help” with the milking process the next morning!

Seattle

Our Seattle stop included two short stays – one in La Conner and one in Quincy. Both of these were a part of our Thousand Trails membership, and we were glad to finally use it for a couple of stays. We’ll do a review of Thousand Trails in another post, but for now we’ll just say our stays were good, but could’ve been better. At any rate, we’re certainly not complaining. We visited a lot of the touristy spots, since we only had one actual day in the city, including the Pike Place Market, the Fremont Troll, the gum wall, and the Space Needle.

In the second stop in Washington, we stayed in Quincy, near the Gorge Amphitheater. One of my (Harlan’s) favorite bands, the Avett Brothers, was playing, and I’ve always wanted to see a concert there. We lucked out getting to see them, as the show almost was cancelled due to weather. As we were driving up, we saw a full-on funnel cloud descending in front of us! Luckily it went away as quickly as it arrived, and the rain subsided for the show.

Oregon

I feel slightly bad grouping all of our Oregon experience into one section here, but the theme of the post again is brevity. 🙂

Our stays in Oregon included Portland and Medford. Portland allowed us to slow down a bit from the hectic travel we had been doing the previous 2-3 weeks. We were really excited about Portland before we arrived – being the resident hippies in our conservative friend groups back in Texas, quite a few people had told us how much we’d LOVE it there. What we discovered though is that while we may be too hippy for Texas, we’re not nearly hippy enough for Portland! That said we enjoyed our time there immensely, with visits to the downtown area, Voodoo Donut, the OMSI Museum (where they had an incredible Pixar exhibit!), and the nearby Multnomah Falls.

One of our favorite experiences on the trip so far was a trip to the Creo Chocolate factory. We booked a tour of the factory and shop, and even got to make our very own chocolate bars! They have such an honest, authentic and environmentally sustainable take on the process of “bean to bar”, and they were even full time travelers back in the day. It was meant to be!

Finally, we got to visit Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, while we were in Medford. It was so breathtaking, and so interesting to see yet another shade of blue lake.

At some point, we’ll dig in a little more on the details of our journey through Canada and the Pacific Northwest. For the sake of brevity, though, we’ll wrap it up here. Thanks for joining us on our journey!