Mt Rainier National Park – Washington, USA

seattlemapWith so many famous parks to see in the pacific northwest, It was difficult to choose one to explore. In a split decision between Olympic National Park and Mt Rainier, we opted for the latter. Mt Rainier holds the title as the fifth national park in the United States and is famous for the subalpine meadows, old growth forests and 25 glaciers. The centerpiece: the stratovolcano that towers over 14 000 ft, known as Mt Rainier. Apparently, summer is the best time of year to visit, when the skies are clear and the best views can be obtained. In the early spring, it was wet, rainy and foggy. One step into this landscape and we knew we were in temperate rainforest.

The land is certainly different from the eastern forests that we are used to in Virginia and Ontario, the ground is lush with vegetation and water seemed to be present in all nooks of the forest. Small streams seemed to course their way through the entire forest. The evergreens, towered above us and created a canopy unlike any that I’ve seen. As with most things, our time here was much too short. Magical park.

Pike Place Market – Seattle, WA

One of the first places we visited in Seattle was the Pike Place Market. Open since 1907, it is one of America’s oldest public farmers’ markets. It attracts more than 10 million visitors annually, earning it the rank of 33rd most visited tourist attraction in the world. Certainly a place to overwhelm the senses; the smell of fresh cod in the air, vendors bargaining, the fresh, salty air from the Elliot Bay and of course tastes of all different sorts. I was able to pick up a cool book on canoeing in British Columbia, serving as a little incentive to return one day.