Roadtrip around the Northwestern US

Okay, this post has been a long time coming and had I been holding myself to the staunch routine of setting and meeting deadlines, I'd probably consider this a fail on my part. Good thing I'm not doing that. Instead, I'm enjoying my third week of unemployment after leaving Motorola in mid-July. It's temporary but I just wanted a small taste of sweet reprieve from the grind that is the rest of adult life. I'll shape up again soon.

And what's next? More traveling ofcourse. Many plans are in the process of being investigated, filtered out, booked, and canceled so I'll have more specifics later on.

For now, I just wanted to share some recent photos from a week-long roadtrip around the Northwestern US. It was a quick drive checking out some of the not-so-famous but still beautiful national and state parks this side of the country.

The first destination was Humboldt county, an area famous as the weed production capital of the US. It's possible I'm in the minority of visitors to this place who came simply to walk through its famous redwood forests. I'm captivated by its beauty and it's so close to home!

Scenes from the Avenue of the Giants on Highway 101:

Unfortunately, the night before the drive was another experience entirely. I thought it best to keep the costs down as much as possible during this trip seeing as how I had just cut off my source of income. So the night before, I drove into the city of Garberville looking for the cheapest, shoddiest motel in town. Then I saw this little gem and my criteria was met.

So many of my well-to-do American friends make such a fuss about the decrepit state of the hostels I've stayed in while traveling. But say what they will, I firmly believe there is no other place on this planet which exudes the kind of pure, unadulterated sense of dilapidation and misery quite like that of your small-town American motel.

The journey continued North, eventually crossing into Oregon.

Along the way, I made a small detour to see Crater Lake in Oregon. It was just my luck, though, that the whole place was covered in fog that day.

This is what the internet told me Crater Lake would look like:

Photo by Arcataroger via Wikimedia

And here's what I saw:

By evening, I pulled into a small little state park North of Bend, Oregon called Smith Rock and set up camp. And it was only $5 a night to camp here! It's always such a nice treat to find deals like this.

Some shots from the park:
The view from my $5-a-night campgrounds

Rim Walk Trail

River Trail

View from Monkey Face near the summit

View with Monkey Face in the mid-gound. This was taken from a rock ledge away from any main trail. I sort of got myself lost while walking around the summit.

Found my way back to the trail with the help of a couple locals I bumped into who themselves went off trail on purpose. This is the view from Misery Ridge Trail as I made my way back to camp.

From Canyon Trail near the road entrance

After two nights, it was time to pack up and head for my last destination, the city of Twin Falls, Idaho, where the main attraction is exactly what you'd guess it to be - two waterfalls.

Just entering the city is a sight to behold. Driving South on highway 93, you'll get to a giant bridge crossing the Snake River Canyon.

Perrine Bridge crossing the Snake River
Snake River Canyon

Unfortunately, the waterfalls themselves were less impressive. It was another case of bad timing as the waterfalls had almost completely run out of water. And I learned then this is something they tend to do periodically.

A view of the Shoshone Falls rock ledge

By the end of the week, it was finally time to make my way back home. I had the choice of driving a full 11 hours from Twin Falls back to San Francisco or cutting the trip into two days with an overnight stay in Nevada. I made the choice to push on for the full 11 hours after I reached Nevada and found myself thoroughly uninterested in stopping anywhere along the way. Yes, I know this sounds elitist but come on, most Californians would probably agree with my decision.

So in one day, I went from here,

to here.

Exhausting! Without unpacking any of the accumulated junk in the car, I ended this trip by rushing home and getting a good night's sleep in the best bed I had laid in all week.


  1. Hey Kel,
    I took that picture of Crater Lake and was just curious about who was using it. I used to live in Humboldt County too, and your picture of the creepy Garberville motels captured their feeling perfectly :) I'd always been afraid of running out of gas in that area because I'd be forced to stay in one of those, heh.

    I have never been to Smith Rock, although I now live really close to it. Must check out out soon. Seems beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing your travels :)

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words! I highly recommend you check out Smith Rock whenever you get the chance! I'm sure you'll walk away with some amazing shots.

      It's a stunning photo you took at Crater Lake. I'll need to return there to get the full view without the fog. :-)