In June last year I went on a road trip through Northwest USA, into Canada and back down into the American Midwest, and it was one of my most favourite trips I’ve ever taken. America is such a vast, beautiful and rich country geographically – there’s so much to see and do and the landscape constantly changes meaning that every day is different from the last. Throughout the trip I kept thinking about that great Krakauer quote from Into The Wild, “the joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun”.
The trip started with a few days in Portland, Oregon which was just enough time for to absolutely fall in love with the city. I stayed in a beautiful Airbnb and ate as much vegan food as I could fit in my face – it was delightful!
Driving up the West Coast from Portland through upper Oregon and Washington state was absolutely incredible. The scenery was stunning and we stayed at so many peaceful and beautiful camping spots – I was seriously impressed with the quality of the state and national parks everywhere we went.
After driving to the border (and going via Astoria, the town from Kindergarten Cop aka the best movie ever!!!) we crossed over to Vancouver Island, my first time in Canada. I love gardens, if you hadn’t already noticed, and The Butchart Gardens, a privately owned botanical haven on VI, might be the most stunning garden I’ve ever been to. There’s this one part, called the Sunken Garden, and when you walk around the corner you literally and uncontrollably gasp over how shockingly beautiful it is.
Then on to Vancouver City which I really loved – it’s a beautiful, clean city and everyone was super friendly which I loved :)
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was a particular highlight – it was such a thrill to be among the treetops.
A selection of photos from the many beautiful road trip pit stops:
Driving the Icefields Parkway..
You know how sometimes you see pictures of places on the internet from far away countries that are so perfect looking that you doubt they can be real? Peyto Lake was always like that for me. I figured all the photos I’d seen of it had been photoshopped because there was no way a place that that existed. Except that, oh..
THIS IS A PLACE THAT ACTUALLY EXISTS.
IN REAL LIFE.
Just stunning. I can’t put into words what it felt like to stand on a cliff to overlook this beautiful place, it was just special and humbling and made me feel so lucky. Speaking of incredible lakes…
Moraine Lake! Another stunner. Every single place in Banff, Alberta is the picture of perfection. I honestly couldn’t comprehend how gorgeous and clean and dreamlike this part of the world is. I fell in love wholeheartedly and obsessively. Can’t wait to go back.
Also I got photobombed by a chipmunk! Which is another reason that this Lake is basically the best place on Earth.
Banff is known for its bears. Lots of people go looking for them but rarely see them. One day driving around Banff, we saw 6 bears. Six grizzly bears in one day. Eating berries on the side of the road. I couldn’t believe our luck. They are SO HUGE. And beautiful. And scary and just so awesome.
I made friends with lots of other critters as well :)
I was really sad to leave Canada but more adventure awaited. Aka Yellowstone National Park and a shitload of bison!
Wonderful Yellowstone. Colourful, geothermal, volcanic, animal laden, sometimes smelly (sulphuric) Yellowstone. It’s just so beautiful and different to anywhere I’d ever been before.
This little rascal kept stealing all our paper kindling from the fire pit! Pretty damn cute.
Best. Trip. Ever.