Advanced Search

8-2-04 Vacation Trip to Pacific Northwest—Beautiful Country!

In 2004, we went to the Pacific Northwest and saw some beautiful country.   The forests, mountains, streams and flowers are very attractive.  We saw some of the biggest and prettiest roses that we have ever seen in Tacoma’s Defiance Point.  We toured Oregon, Washington, Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  



July 31, 2004


Oregon, Washington, Canada, Pacific Ocean, Mt St Helens


By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc.


For the last four years, Betty, Jennifer and I have toured a section of the United States that we had never seen.  This is one big country and there are many interesting things.  Our trips have included:


1.      2001—Kansas City—Toured Truman Home and Library in Independence; and Eisenhower Family Home and Library in Abilene, KS, and much more;  


2.      2002—Boston (Fenway Park, Kennedy Library, Adams Historic Sites) and New England-  Toured the Freedom Trail, Plymouth Rock, Concord and Manchester, N H; Montpelier, Vermont and Kennebunkport, ME and much more;


3.      2003- Salt Lake City (Mormon Choir), Idaho Falls, Helena, Montana, Little Big Horn and Custer Battle Field; Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Devils Tower and Wyoming.


In 2004, we went to the Pacific Northwest and saw some beautiful country.   The forests, mountains, streams and flowers are very attractive.  We saw some of the biggest and prettiest roses that we have ever seen in Tacoma’s Defiance Point.  We toured Oregon, Washington, Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.   Our itinerary appears below:


7-14-04. Arrive at Portland Airport, pick up car and ride around Portland before checking into the Fairfield Inn; ate at a sidewalk restaurant downtown;


7-15-04. Drove along I – 84 and the Columbia River Gorge—a big part of the Lewis-Clark Expedition; it is large and much bigger than I had known; Saw Bonneville Dam, Discovery Point with much information on Lewis-Clark, Indians, salmon and the settlement of Oregon and great clam chowder.   

Wendell & Betty Dawson, Columbia River, Oregon Side


We then took State Route 197 south through the Cascades (near Mt. Hood) and saw some of the biggest wheat fields (and on the mountain sides) that I have ever seen.  None were being cut but understood there would be a “thrashing contest” in mid-August.  We spent night at Hampton Inn in Bend, OR;


7-16-04. Drove west along Hwy 242 through McKensie Pass and saw McKensie River and Suslaw River.  We saw much black lava in “rock piles” with snow-topped mountains in background.  We arrived in Eugene, OR, and had lunch across from the University of Oregon; then drove east to Florence on the Pacific Coast.  Betty saw the Pacific for the first time.  We rode along the beautiful Oregon Coast and then east to Salem.  We stopped at the State Capitol and took pictures of the capitol and grounds.  We spent the night at Holiday Express. 


7-17-04. Drove north on I – 5 to Portland Airport to meet Jennifer. And then mailed some post cards we had fixed.  We drove east along the Columbia and saw Vista House, Horsetail Falls, Loutrell Falls and Multnomah Falls where we ate lunch with Jennifer having a great salmon dish at Multnomah Lodge.  We rode around Portland some and then north on I – 5 to Kelso, WA, where we spent the night at the Super 8 – Many folks in area for Seattle to Portland Bike Marathon.  It was the closest town to Mt St Helens. 


7-18-04.  We gave Betty her birthday presents and wished her Happy Birthday.  We then drove up Mt St Helens stopping along the way and taking pictures—we took over 250 pictures on this trip. 


Betty & Jennifer Dawson, Mt St Helens, WA--Westside that erupted in 1980


We went to Johnston Ledge named after the Volcano Scientist who died in the 1980 eruption.  We toured the area, took pictures, saw exhibits and a movie.  Some facts:  erupted in May 1980; spewed 12 miles into the air and scattered debris and ash for 17 miles and over a portion of three states – OR, Idaho, Montana.  Trees were washed up in torrents and into the river.  Silver lake rose 200 feet and much sediment went down the gorge to the Columbia.  57 people were killed and the stories of them and survivors are very interesting.

We then went to Mt. Rainier which has 26 glaciers on top.  They look like snow! This is a huge mountain with many trees around it.  It is an old forest and wilderness area.  There is a nice lodge there and some hiking trails.  The fir trees were beautiful.  We then spent night in Lacey, WA, at Comfort Inn, just outside State Capitol at Olympia.  


7-19-04. We took pictures of the Washington Capitol and grounds.  (Saw a young couple trying to visit all of the State Capitols before their wedding next year)

As we drove along I – 5, we stopped at the entrance to Fort Lewis, WA, home of the 3rd Infantry that has been deployed to Iraq.  We viewed memorial stones and maps of the installation and I talked with a Warrant Officer about the size and the sizable military activity at the Post.

We drove to Tacoma and rode around the harbor and bay area along Puget Sound.   Jennifer directed us to Defiance Point Park – one of the largest public parks in the U S.  There we visited the Rose Garden which was a real treat.  We saw many beautiful roses- some of the biggest I ever saw. 


Jennifer Dawson at Rose Garden, Defiance Point WA


We ate lunch at a Café in Tacoma and then drove along Puget Sound to Seattle.  Seattle is a big place and, in my opinion, not very car friendly.   There are many huge bridges because of all of the water.  It is easy to take the wrong one!  We spent night in Coast Suites at Bellvue, east of Seattle.   It had two floors and a spiral staircase to the bedroom and bath.  Betty and Jennifer had fun with me and those steps!


7-20-04.  Took Harbor Cruise in Seattle. Beautiful bay and scenery and skyline—including the Space Needle.  We ate fish and chowder at Steamers for lunch.  We then drove to Vancouver, Canada, and spent night at a Best Western.



Jennifer, Betty & Wendell Dawson

Vancouver Harbor at Stanley Park


7-21-04.  Drove around Vancouver and visited Stanley Park.  Again Jennifer was our guide.  Since she is a sixth grade teacher we had to see the Totem Poles and the view of the Harbor.  There are many Totem Poles in Vancouver and western Canada – all related to Indian History in the areas.  (We got a parking ticket ($6 Canadian and about $0 US) because we did not see the parking fee box at the other end of the parking area- and no signs!).  We then took the ferry to Victoria.  The Ferry ride with the car was like a cruise and we enjoyed it and lunch on the boat.   At Victoria, we then went to Butchert Gardens, which is a floral heaven.   We spent considerable time there and took many pictures.  We saw some of the loveliest flowers we have ever seen.


Betty & Jennifer at Butchert Gardens in Victoria British Columbia


That evening we got a room at Travelers Inn and walked around Victoria and Market Square.  We ate seafood dishes at a local Swans Pub & Café.


7-22-04.  We learned that the Ferry to Port Angeles in Washington filled early in the morning.  We got our car in line and then walked around the harbor.  We have several pictures of the Parliament Building or Capitol of British Columbia.  Many other buildings, ships and bay scenes were beautiful—with colorful flowers everywhere. 


Betty & Jennifer Dawson, Parliament Bldg, Capitol of British Columbia, Victoria, Canada


The Ferry ride, car included, was another pleasant trip and beautiful picture scenes.  Again we ate lunch on the boat.  Each Ferry trip was about an hour and half long.

At Port Angeles, we took Hwy 101 West along Olympia National Park, a huge wilderness park—bigger than Rhode Island!  We entered the Park twice- once at the Elwha River.  Then we went to the Hoh Rain Forest.  We saw and took pictures of a huge Spruce tree- the largest I have ever seen.  We enjoyed the tree lined drive through the Wilderness area.  We walked around some at the base of the mountains.

We then drove south along Hwy 101 to the Washington-Pacific Coast. This was a lovely drive and Jennifer got her first view of the Pacific and we got many pictures.  We continued south to Fork. 

We then drove east to Aberdeen and stayed at a Red Lion Inn.  We ate seafood dishes at Billys Bar & Grille.


July 23, 2004.  We drove south on Hwy 101 and stopped for coffee and biscuits at the Corner Café in Raymond, WA.  I really enjoyed that stop and seeing another piece of “Small Town America”.  This is logging country with many lumber mills.

We crossed the wide Columbia River at Raymond and drove south along the Oregon coast.



Jennifer Dawson at Cannon Beach on Oregon-Pacific Coast


We got some good beach pictures at Cannon Beach.  It was 101 there—a heat wave!  We just took pictures and got back in the car.  We then drove east on I – 26 to Portland, seeing much agricultural activities, including cattle and wheat being cut.  We saw many of the Fir trees and cedars.  We stopped at a Dairy Queen and got in a line- including several saw millers—it was a hot day—103 in Portland!   We then arrived at Fairfield Inn for the night but rode around Portland some that evening.


7-24-04 Left early for Airport to fly back to Atlanta and the Eastern Time Zone where we had to get adjusted to three less hours of sunshine!


This was a very enjoyable trip.  We are glad we did and will be enjoying the pictures and memories for years to come.  We learned much about the geography, culture, forests, mountains and history of this very interesting part of the United States.