In August we will take the opportunity of having some time between jobs, to visit the northwest of the US during a 3 week roundtrip starting and ending in San Francisco. The tour is planned from Aug.15 to Sep.4, with visits of 5 National parks plus a few cities along the way. This blog will be updated every couple of days during the trip to show the latest images and impressions of the trip.
For the first time in many years I will be traveling without a laptop and only with a tablet. I will find out, if I can manage to update the blog while on the trip with this limited availability of technology 🙂 Anybody having some questions, feel free to contact me via facebook.
The following is the plan for the tour:
Flight to San Jose
Starting in Chicago very early in the morning at 5am, the flight with Delta airlines is routed through Phoenix, AZ. Due to the early arrival in San Jose, CA, we have almost the full day to explore San Francisco and it’s surroundings.
In addition to the arrival day, a full day of sightseeing is planned with visits to the main attractions in SF.
Yosemite National Park
The first highlight of the trip. We had visited the park previously in 2011 and left then with a lasting impression of how beautiful and magnificent nature can be. When we planned this trip, it was without question that we had to stop here again and explore a few areas in more detail. One of my dreams was to hike up to half dome. But since you have to get a “ticket” via a lottery, it is unlikely that I can do that. Instead, a day hike up to Vernal and Nevada Falls is planned. Pictures will follow.
We will stay here a day only on the way through to Yellowstone National park. The idyllic lake with it’s surrounding mountains provides a perfect setting for a day relaxing from the more active days at Yosemite.
Salt Lake City
A short stopover of less than 24 hours on the way to Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park
As previously, we will stay for a few days in Jackson Hole, WY since we want to experience again the western feel of the town. In addition, it provides a great starting point for tours to both parks. Since this will be peak season for tourists, it will be interesting to experience the traffic jams on the park roads.
Glacier National Park
Another highlight of the trip. One that we had never visited before. The drive from Jackson Hole, WY to Glacier National Park (we stay at Kalispell, MN), will take a full day through extraordinary scenery (I expect anyway).
First time we will get to Seattle ever. A day of sightseeing is planned.
Olympic National Park
The last National Park we will visit on this trip. It will have a totally different atmosphere than the other parks visited on the trip. With it’s coastal climate, the total opposite to the more dry and highland feel of the other parks.
The last stop on our way to close the loop back to San Francisco and San Jose. We also never visited this city before and we’re curious what to expect.
Return flight to Chicago planned for Sep.4.
The entire trip will be 3.200 Miles plus any side-trip we will take. We expect this to be a trip of a lifetime. Next update on this trip blog right after the start of the trip from San Jose and San Francisco. Stay tuned.