The West Coast Trip: Second leg

The first leg of the west coast trip ended in San Francisco having spanned the southern parts of California all the way to San Diego. This is where the second leg began, with two of my friends and a rented car. We had meticulously planned this trip to go through California, Nevada, Oregon, and all the way up to Washington.

Downtown San Francisco

The towering buildings of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego did not fail to mesmerize me. However, mighty mountains, and their winding roads lead you to this place of scenic natural beauty. The first stop on this leg was the beautiful Yosemite National park.

Yosemite National Park

Once inside the park, we saw a group of cars parked along the road, indicating it to be a point of attraction. So we got out and walked along the general direction of the crowd. That got us to the Bridal Veil Falls, where the foamy waters were gently descending over the rocks as if in slow motion. Further down the road, the enormous wall of the El Capitan brightly lit by the sun was a sight to watch. Also, this was the same time as the infamous government shutdown and the park was technically closed and we had a hard time finding a place to do our “business” (LOL).

3000 ft ride up to the observation deck

The next stop on the road was South Lake Tahoe, this charming lake is nestled at about 6000 ft in the mountains with a town on its banks sharing the same name. There is a sky lift that takes you to the top and gives you these amazing views of the lake below. Even though it looks serene in the picture, I thought I almost lost my fingers from the cold to click the picture because this observation deck is 3000 ft above the lake and I wasn’t wearing the appropriate thermals.

South Lake Tahoe

Day three had the longest drive from our overnight stay in Reno, Nevada to Crater Lake in Oregon. There was a prediction of snowfall at Crater lake so we were a bit hesitant to drive there. But we reached there after a 6 hour drive only to find that it had snowed heavily by the time we reached there and the final road leading to the lake was blocked and we couldn’t get to the lake. We were tired as we headed back to the motel, slightly disheartened as we dozed off.

Snowed road at Crater Lake

We started the next morning with fresh excitement as we arrived in Portland for a scrumptious brunch at a local cafe. As we were roaming around the downtown area we stumbled upon a donut place that had some mind boggling varieties of donuts. With our tummies full, we headed to Cannon beach, a fine little village at the northern tip of Oregon coast. We woke up early next day and walked to the beach to see the Haystack rock and made way to our final destination of the trip.

Haystack rock at Cannon Beach

Seattle, the home to Amazon, Microsoft, and the space needle, welcomed us with rains as we threw our luggage at the airnbnb and headed off to see the Space Needle. It was crowded and we were able to get the tickets to the go to the top only for the next day. In the meantime, we went to see the Museum of Pop that has several exhibits about American pop culture ranging from music to science fiction and fantasy.

The next day was new years eve and we had a long to-do list that started with the museum of flight. This place is a heaven for nerds with so many interesting exhibits about air travel, airplanes, and space travel. Spent most of our day there and later in the afternoon we headed to the Chihuly Garden. Now, this is almost like any ordinary garden only that the flowers and trees are all made of colorful glass sculptures that makes it extraordinary. No pictures will ever do justice to this beauty in glass.

Seattle from the top of the Space Needle (Mt. Rainier in the background)

Now it was time for us to go to the top of the space needle. The elevators zoomed us to the top for magnificent view of the city. It was almost sunset and watching the buildings light up in the dusk was an amazing experience. Our stomach were growling for food and it was new years eve so we treated ourselves to a fancy dinner before we headed back to the space needle. Finally, the clock struck 12 and the space needle erupted in fireworks marking the end of an awesome year and an awesome trip.

New Year celebrations at the Space Needle

To conclude, the two-week long fantastic trip of the west coast took me from San Diego all the way to Seattle. Spending time with family and friends rejuvenated my spirits. In this trip, I experienced the beaches on Pacific ocean, the snow-clad heavens at Lake Tahoe and the beautiful roads that took me through this 1800 mile long journey in tow weeks. Although, this trip checked off a lot of boxes on my bucket list, I wish I could spend more time at these places. Soon, I have promised myself.

The West Coast Trip Indeed.

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