This summer I did the most famous American road trip: the west coast. I drove from Seattle, WA, to Los Angeles, CA with my brother and Stefania, a rented car without an insurance for 9 days and it was awesome. I came home with a lot of memories, a new tattoo and some reality checks that made me understand why I will never live willingly in California. In this blog, there will be just the first part of the itinerary, the one thru Washington and Oregon.
DAY 1 – Seattle, WA
After a morning flight from Chicago O’Hare to Las Vegas, and another one from the Sin City we arrived in Seattle around 3 pm. We took a taxi from the airport to the downtown Budget Rental facility. After a problem with the rental, we finally got our car: a grey Mazda. Our first stop was Kerry Park, where we could enjoy the Seattle skyline in the front and Mount Rainier in the background.
Our second stop suggested from the rental guy was Discovery Park. We walked around the various paths, we got lost but at the end, we found the lighthouse that we were desperately searching. Discovery Park is such a nice place where to enjoy nature to its fullest.
After a nice hike, we decided to head back to downtown Seattle. From 8 pm the street parking in Seattle is free. So we waited patiently our time, parked the car and we walked to the Public Market and the Space Needle. We decided not to go up the Space Needle because it was about 30$.
After that, since it was already dark and we started to be tired, we headed to our first hotel in Lacey, WA. It was a Super 8 motel, just one hour away from Seattle. Since we already had problems with the car, we thought it was enough for the day. Nope, when we arrived the receptionist told us that there was no room booked with my name even if I had a confirmation with Booking.com. They “kindly” let us sleep there paying 18$ more of what we should have paid.
DAY 2 – Portland, OR and Crater Lake State Park.
The second day started with a nice breakfast at Super 8 motel. After that, we started our 2-hour drive to Portland, OR. I couldn’t take pictures of the landscape around the highway because I was driving but I felt like we were in Twilight. Tall pines, low clouds, and rain followed us till Portland. Our first stop for the day. I didn’t like what I saw of the city that much but we stopped at the huge Powell’s Book library and we spent at least one hour there.
After the library, we walked around Pearl District and Chinatown. Around noon, we decided to head to our second stop for the day: Crater Lake National Park. The park was 4 hours and a half from Portland. The drive was pretty nice, we left the highway pretty soon and the rest of the trip was on wavy roads surrounded by lakes and tall pines. We paid 15$ per car for a 7 days pass. The weather wasn’t the best but it gave the landscape a really particular atmosphere.
I’ve never seen such a beautiful place, so particular. After spending at least two hours there, we decided to head to our stop for the night, other 2 hours of driving thru woods and nothing more. We arrived in Medford by evening, in time to watch the episode of Game of Thrones live on HBO.
I loved Washington, but mostly Oregon, where we definitely spent more time. The drive was really relaxing, the temperature was cold but we enjoyed it. I really hope I could go back to Oregon to visit the coastline that we had to sacrifice because of Crater Lake, definitely worth a visit.
PS: if you’ll ever go to Oregon don’t do gas by yourself. There’s a law that fines you with 500$ if you do gas by yourself, we learned the hard way, no fine but we were pretty close.