Starting in Seattle we first headed south and crossed Washington state until we reached the beautiful coast of Oregon.
After driving along the coast we arrived in Cannon Beach, a small and neat little town which is well known for its landmark, Haystack Rock.
This impressive volcanic rock reaches 72m out of the ocean and is accompanied by several neighboring rocks which are called the Needles.
After driving for several hours, we were overjoyed to arrive at the beautiful pacific beach and couldn’t help but to challenge each other to handstands and gymnastic figures 🙂
In the meantime the sun kept setting and we enjoyed an amazing sky with Haystack Rock in front of it:
The next day we left the coast and drove east, through Oregon, to visit the Lava Fields of Newberry National Volcanic Monument.
On the way we crossed the Deschutes Forest, which is nestled along the Cascade Mountains.
They had a very big wildfire during the summer of 2003 and it was impressive to see the young trees growing in between the burnt tree stems. We also learned that the fires are named and the ones responsible here were the Bear Butte and Booth Fires, or the B & B fires as people often refer to them.
In the blistering heat of the sun we went for a short hike through the black lava fields near the inactive Lava Butte volcano.
On the way back we had the chance to watch a very cute squirrel struggling with his lunch:
We also drove up Lava Butte, which is a 155m high cinder cone. The last eruption was about 7000 years ago so we felt pretty safe…
On the top there is a fire observation station, which is staffed around the clock to observe and locate emerging wildfires as early as possible.
After this Oregon volcano outing we continued heading east through central Oregon. The sun just kept burning down on us and the car thermometer rose to 32C.
In the late afternoon we stopped at a rest area along the highway and prepared dinner:
The next morning we started crossing Idaho on our way to Yellowstone National Park. It became even hotter than in Oregon (about 37C) and we were happy to have working air conditioning in the car 🙂
That evening we finally arrived in the small city of West Yellowstone just at the west entrance of the Yellowstone park. We stayed at a campground outside of Yellowstone, at the south shore of Hebgen Lake.
After an amazing sundown that evening, a red glowing ball rose on the other side of the lake and was awaiting us the next early morning as we set off to enter Yellowstone.