The Northwest – ancient forests and snow-covered volcanoes

Still in Canada, we took a break for a day of rock-climbing in Squamish on the way to Vancouver. The children played nicely at the foot of the towering rock in the woods while we were finally able to make use of our climbing gear. We definitely plan to do this again someplace else since it worked out so well for us as well as for the children. The next day, we celebrated a milestone when we finally see the sea again: the first long stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific is behind us!


In Vancouver, we rented two bikes and a bike trailer for children, so we were able to see a lot in a short time. We really liked the city, and biking was lots of fun for all of us. That same evening, we drove back into the USA, where we were held up at the border for a while, but only because the customs officials wanted to gaze in amazement at our vehicle. The next morning, Carla and Robert enjoyed the perfect place for spending the night: our Bremach was in a school parking lot directly next to a playground. The person in charge very nicely also opened the bathrooms for us.


Then we drove up along the long, but very worthwhile cul-de-sac to Mt. Baker. First, there were actually untouched forests with high, moss-covered trees and then a fantastic view out over the glacier-topped mountain slopes.

We drove on further to Mt. Rainier, where, unfortunately, a combination of clouds, swirling dust and smoke from forest fires stole a good view of the powerful volcano. So we decided, spur of the moment, to drive on to Mt. St. Helens, where we were lucky enough to have a better view. The eruption in 1980 changed the landscape there drastically and pulled down enormous numbers of trees from one moment to the next. Although, in the meantime, nature recovered well and the plants are sprouting, we could still feel the sudden emptiness. The next day, we explored Ape Caves, an almost 2,000-year old lava cave. What an experience it was for the children to orientate themselves in the utter darkness, with only a headlamp on their foreheads to guide them.


In Portland, we met up with friends from Germany who happen to be on the same route we are right now. In the evening, we enjoyed the best steaks from Whole Foods and some tasty beer from the local breweries around our campfire.

Now we are traveling on through the Cascades and marveling at how much thicker and higher the forests are here and how many mighty volcanoes stretch up into the sky. And then there are hot springs, cool lakes, and excellent places for camping in the wild. Meanwhile, we have become really good at finding places to spend the night for free and rarely have to resort to campgrounds. This is just the right place for this since wild camping is allowed in the State Forests and you can pick out the loveliest spots. In Willamette Forest, really every single little road between Breitenbush Hot Springs and Detroit that led away from the main road was full of campers and tents. Carla and Robert now can say that they have climbed their first real summit: we hiked up the 2764m hight volcano Mt. Bachelor and had a great view from up there.


After several cooler days, we have now arrived in warmer regions and continue driving southwards. In one month, we will already have to have crossed the border to Mexico.


One Thought on “The Northwest – ancient forests and snow-covered volcanoes

  1. Hallo Ihr Lieben,
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