Archive

Posts Tagged ‘best of’

Best of the West Coast: Other Stuff

August 22nd, 2009 2 comments

Since no one demanded it, I’m providing it.

Best West Coast Campgrounds

  1. Island Campground, Rogue-Umpqua (Day 16) – Riverside campsite, no mosquitoes, decent privacy, the sound of rushing water putting you to sleep…
  2. La Wiss Wiss Campground, Mt. Rainier (Days 24-25) – Riverside campsite (fine, you had to go down a trail), few mosquitoes, decent privacy, and the sound of rushing water to… A little less private than Island, quite a bit bigger, which is why it’s #2 instead of #1, despite the benefit of providing potable water.
  3. Dalles Campground, Mt. Rainier (Day 23) – Mt. Rainier has good campgrounds. For that matter, so far, everywhere that isn’t California has good campgrounds.

Worst campgrounds: Odessa in Oregon (although I shouldn’t complain about a campground that costs $0, it was pretty divey and there was no concierge service); Plaskett Creek at Big Sur (*no* privacy, no apparent understanding of boundaries by the people staying there, relatively loud, pretty crowded, $25/night).

Best West Coast Geographic Features

  1. Waterfalls.
  2. Peaks.
  3. Rivers.

Best West Coast Restaurant Food (I haven’t been trying to eat in great restaurants or anything, just — you know)

  1. Mi Chalateca, Federal Way (Day 30)
  2. That Peruvian place in San Francisco, San Francisco (Day 5)
  3. Round Table Pizza, South Lake Tahoe (Day 11) – All you can eat for $5.99!

Best West Coast Mountain

  1. Mt. Rainier
  2. Mt. Shuksan
  3. Mt. Thielsen

Best West Coast Waterfall

  1. Tunnel Falls, Columbia Gorge (Day 19) – They should blast tunnels behind *every* waterfall. Plus it was very pretty.
  2. Nevada Fallsf, Yosemite (Day 10) – Probably the most angry waterfall I’ve seen in my life.
  3. Fall Creek Falls, Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway (Day 17) – Like I sort of said yesterday, it reminded me of a secret waterfall you’d find on Kauai, only it was in Oregon.

Meh. Good enough.

bkd

Best of the West Coast: Hikes, Drives, Photos

August 21st, 2009 2 comments

I have the trip broken down into four or five parts (West Coast, Northern States, Northeast, South, and Southwest — it’s four if I combine the Northern States with the Northeast) and the West Coast is now finished, which means I figure I can do some evaluation. And if you’re joining the game already in progress, maybe this will help catch up. If you want to.

Nice intro. Oh well. Here goes:

Best West Coast Hikes > 10 mi.

  1. Glen Alpine Trail to Aloha Lake, Lake Tahoe (Day 12, 14 mi.) – Had everything. Except waterfalls. And there were bugs. But still: ever mile there was something new to look at that you hadn’t seen before, plus plenty of places to throw your hiking pulls on the rocks and jump into a lake.
  2. Half Dome Trail, Yosemite (Day 10, 18 mi.) – It wasn’t fun, but it was kind of an accomplishment and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t dang pretty.
  3. Eagle Creek Trail to Tunnel Falls, Columbia Gorge (Day 19, 12 mi.) – The hike itself was kind of dull, at least until you got close to the big falls, but the payoff was huge and there were many waterfalls.

Best West Coast Hikes < 10 mi.

  1. Bumpass Hell Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park (Day 14, 4 mi.) – Kind of cheating in that the hike I did went beyond Bumpass Hell and I’m really just talking about the trail to Bumpass Hell and not the one that continues past it. Whatever. Great views of Brokeoff Mtn. and various mountain scenery for the first and last mile, interesting views (and odors) of hell for the second and third.
  2. Fall Creek Falls, Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway (Day 17, 2 mi.) – If you took your basic Hawaii waterfall hike (e.g., Manoa Falls on O’ahu), removed all the people, then put it in Oregon, it would be this hike — which I liked a lot better than the hike to Manoa Falls.
  3. Lassen Peak, Lassen Volcanic National Park (Day 15, 5 mi.) – Another hike that’s no fun, but ultimately pretty and rewarding. It’s kind of a steep one (2,000 feet elevation in 2.5 mi.), but it’s pretty cool to be on top of something 10,000 feet high. Some pretty nice views, too.

Best West Coast Drives

  1. Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, Oregon (Days 16-17) – Some awesome river gorges, a couple of very noteworthy mountain peaks, and trails leading off to waterfalls every four or five miles along the way. Highly, highly recommended.
  2. Mt. Rainier (Days 23-24) – The wildflowers were great, the rivers were great, the road borderline breathtaking. And I need a better thesaurus. And every time I hear the word “breathtaking”, I think of that one Seinfeld episode where the doctor calls Elaine “breathtaking”. It wasn’t really a top-flite joke or anything, I just remember it.
  3. Big Sur (Days 2-3) – I still think it’s a drive pretty much wasted if you don’t have a date with you and I didn’t really manage my routing very effectively while I was there. But still: pretty coastline! and not nearly as crowded as the Oregon Coast. Or as foggy.

Best West Coast Photos (That I Took on This Trip) (BTW, if you click on the link of the photo title, you’ll get a bigger version of the photo.)

  1. Mt. Thielsen, Rogue-Umpqua Byway (Day 16) – I love photos with roads or trails in them, sorry. And this mountain was very surprising to me. And I guess I also like how the photo conveys, you know, a *road trip* and all. mt thielsen oregon
  2. Stream Fording on the Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Park (Day 29) – I like the action in this photo — it kind of moves the eye around a little bit. Most of the photos I take just show nature, which gets all static and boring, but my nephew is neither static nor boring.hoh river trail stream crossing
  3. Tunnel Falls, Columbia Gorge (Day 19) – I like feel like big, impressive nature stuff can be interacted with, which I guess is why I think it’s so cool that they blasted a hole behind this waterfall so that I could walk through it. And I like the big white line on the left side of the photo.tunnel falls landscape orientation
  4. Vernal Falls, Yosemite (Day 10) – Mostly I just like the dark red-brown stripes in the granite that run parallell to the waterfall itself. If I could marry those stripes, I’d do it, so help me. I also like that this photo got taken at 6 AM — I’m amazed any time I have evidence of having been awake before 10.vernal falls in morning light
  5. Grass Lake, Desolation Wilderness/Lake Tahoe (Day 12) – Reflection + red mountains + blue sky + contrail + where’s-Waldo waterfall = pure gold. IMHO.glen alpine grass lake

Right, so that’s it. Feel free to argue with me, especially on the photos — it’ll only make my ego grow stronger. If I get to it, I’ll post another West Coast Best-Of thing. If not, you didn’t miss much (“best things I vomited”, for instance).

bkd

Categories: west coast Tags: , , ,