The road from Portland to The Oregon coast weaves through mountains with lush greenery where rains are a resident of the region. Constant rainfall allows for moss to grow on trees forming a cotton candy like web on the tree branches. Our destination was Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach houses the haystack rock which with the Pacific Ocean on the backdrop is as alien as the floating rocks of Pandora. The wayfarer sits on the edge of Cannon Beach and flaunts views of the stunning rock while serving impeccable dishes and drool-worthy desserts. A sunset view with a hot beverage on a chilly evening makes for a perfect end at the beach.
An hour from Seattle, located in the heart of Snoqualmie National Forest is the Mail Box Peak. Known to be one of the toughest hikes in Washington, the summit of mailbox peak holds jarring views of the landscape and Mount Ranier. The summit is accessed by two trail head and I was gonna try my hand hiking the old trail which is supposedly stuff of legends. People hike the old trail while they train to summit Mount Ranier. The elevation gain was 4200 FT in 2 miles. I was in for a thrashing. You need a Discover Pass to park your car at the trailhead. I started the hike while it was drizzling braving the weather and was puffing 30 mins into the hike as the terrain drastically gained elevation. Even though the temperature was a cool 10 degrees I was sweating as if I had completed a marathon. The weather kept worsening while my energy levels depleted. I had to use a cane to support myself from falling while slowly making my way up. Around halfway up the drizzle turned into ice cold rain splattering my face and with my energy already running low, I beat a hasty retreat. The way down is more treacherous than the way up. With the rain making the earth wet, holding on to my footing was becoming impossible. One slip and emergency services would have to comb the trail to find me. But amongst all this, the beauty of the woods stood out making me forget the laborious task of climbing downhill. After 3 hours I was back at the trailhead where I had started.Maybe next time I would be better prepared to conquer this chimerical hike.
After my debacle with Mailbox Peak, I headed deep into Snoqualmie National Forest to witness one of the many incredible waterfalls of the Northeast- Franklin Falls. It’s a one-mile hike to get to Franklin Falls and a pass is not required to park near the trail head. A relatively easy hike compared to mail peak, this trail weaves along the road and portrays sublime vistas of the Snoqualmie River. At the end of a one-mile hike, I witnessed the alluring Franklin Falls. Thought the height of the falls is just 135 feet, the thundering flow of the water makes it as majestic as any other waterfall in the northwest. Making my way through a narrow ledge I got closer to the bottom of the falls. If one can bare the freezing water and lug a tripod all the way to the falls, an islet directly below the falls makes for a sweet spot as any to capture a captivating image. Standing there and gazing at the majestic falls with the wind whipping through your hair and water spraying on your face is enough to remind you why the Northwest is a nature haven.