I took a week off and took my son, daughter and their significant others on outdoor adventures around the Pacific Northwest. It was their first visit here ever, so we hit some of the highlights that you’d find if you Google “things do do around Portland/Seattle”.

Of course Multnomah Falls pops up, so I took them there first. We saw the falls from the bottom, then we hiked to the top to look down. That hike isn’t easy because it’s a long trek, uphill. Once you get to the top it’s amazing though.

We cut across the Bridge of the Gods which wowed them, then on to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest to see Panther Creek Falls. That’s not the easiest place to find, but luckily I had been there before.

On the way back, we passed Beacon Rock and decided to come back the next day. If you’ve done it, you know it’s a steep walk, but the view of the Columbia River is spectacular.

We headed north to the San Juan Islands, which everyone loved. We took a whale watching tour, and while didn’t see any whales, it was worth it.

As for what we DIDN’T like it was the to-and-from. Seattle/Tacoma traffic on the way back was HORRID. On the San Juan Islands the ferry system leaves a lot to be desired. You need to get in line early in order to assure a spot on the sometimes very full boats, and they can be late, or not show up at all. The last day when we were leaving we got there at 6:30 am and didn’t get a boat until 10:45. Too much waiting!!!

Overall, even though we were tired from so many adventures, uphill hikes and too much time in the car, the trip was a big hit, and first time visitors to the Northwest were extremely impressed.

Oh, and I forgot to mention we found a fish that none of us had ever seen.  At the end of the photo slide show is a video.  I posted it on the Pacific Coast Tide Pool and Beachcombing Facebook page and have been told it’s a Lancetfish,  a member of the family Alepsauridae, which is a close relative of the sailfin swordfish, and the marlin.


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