Ryan Herbert

Joined May 2016
  • Day115

    Yosemite National Park, California

    September 18, 2016 in the United States

    The West coast is the place for friends. That's what we told ourselves anyway, because we dropped Anna off at the airport, sat in San Francisco traffic for a few hours, and picked up Amanda and Jason in Sacramento that night! We had to rearrange the car extensively so that 2 extra people could fit in it, and we technically succeeded! They just couldn't move, see us in the front, or adjust anything in the giant wall of gear separating the front and back of the car. But we made it to Yosemite, and had a blast exploring the park. While we didn't rock climb up Half Dome, we did hike mountains, explore rivers, climb waterfalls, and felt like we got to do everything. We even got to hammock by a river, which I think was the first time Eric and I had rested since an afternoon in Yellowstone! We had a great time in a beautiful, beautiful park.Read more

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  • Day112

    San Francisco, California

    September 15, 2016 in the United States

    After dropping off Sarah in Portland, getting new tires (ick), and hoofing it to San Francisco, we picked up our wonderful friend Anna!! She was already in San Diego visiting family, so she flew up to see us for a couple of days. We had such a great time exploring the city (shops, beaches, sea lions, parks, bath ruins, and all), walking across the Golden Gate Bridge (twice), and eating yummy food. It was such a great few days!Read more

  • Day108

    Portland, Oregon

    September 11, 2016 in the United States

    Portland was our last stop with Sarah in tow, and it was a fun one! The main highlights were the food trucks, the International Rose Test Garden, the breweries, Multnomah and Wahkeena (the two waterfalls outside the city), and Voodoo Doughnuts.

    As a side note, all of the hipster stereotypes about Portland are hilariously true. I saw an unbelievable amount of people who, from their outfits, could have been homeless... until you saw their spotless $600 shoes!Read more

  • Day105

    Mt. St. Helens, Washington

    September 8, 2016 in the United States

    Mt. St. Helens is so much bigger than I thought it would be! I mean, I understand that it's a huge volcano, but guys... it's a HUGE VOLCANO. We got to see it from the side/profile view, as well as an angle straight into the mouth of the crater. At one of the overlooks, we stopped the car and watched a 20 minute YouTube video about the eruption. It was great being able to look out over the places that they talked about, and really have an understanding of what happened. It was a bit out of our way, but we were so glad we were able to go see it!Read more

  • Day104

    Olympic National Park, Washington

    September 7, 2016 in the United States

    Olympic National Park had one of my favorite things of the trip- Ruby Beach! It was gray and rainy while we were there, but we just had so much fun exploring and playing on the beach! Plus, I've definitely missed the water during our travels, so I was very glad to see it again. We got to play "the ground is lava" on all of the beached tree trunks, skip stones in the big tidal pools, look for otters in the caves, climb the giant rocks to look for bird's nests, look for seals on all of the tiny islands dotting the water, and explore the beach shelters people had made from tree trunks. We had such a great time!

    Olympic also had a lot of rainforests (we camped in one), and a really cool little hike called the Hall of Mosses. It's a gorgeous trail that leads to the biggest trees I've seen yet (haven't done Redwood or Sequoia yet though!), and they're all covered in curtains of moss. It was a very neat experience, as we definitely don't have anything like that in NC!
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  • Day102

    Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

    September 5, 2016 in the United States

    We stopped for a day in Mt. Rainier before going to Olympic National Park. The forests around Mt. Rainier are rainforests, complete with huge trees and lots of very low undergrowth like ferns and mosses, giving it almost an enchanted feeling.

    Mt. Rainier is huge. At one point while driving up the mountains, we came around a switchback. We saw a large range of mountains, and were sufficiently appreciative, wondering which was Mt. Rainier. Then we turned the next bend and saw a looming peak that seemed to be twice as tall as anything else staring down at us. We were silent for a brief moment before saying, "well, I think we found it!"Read more

  • Day101

    North Cascades National Park, Washington

    September 4, 2016 in the United States

    Quick stop up in North Cascades National Park before heading down to Mt. Rainier! I think this deserves it's own post because 1) it was a beautiful park, and 2) this is just about as far away from home that we can get in the continental US (possibly with the exception of Olympic National Park), and is as far away as we'll be going on our trip. From here on out, we're technically headed towards home and not away from it!Read more

  • Day99

    Seattle, Washington

    September 2, 2016 in the United States

    We got to Seattle and found a friend! We picked Sarah up from the airport on the 31st, and she was able to stay with us until the 10th! I'm already bad at remembering to take pictures, and I'm sorry to say that I slacked off even more in the presence of an actual photographer. So, some of these pictures were stolen from Sarah!

    We really made our time in Seattle count! Along with doing a bunch of work, we did an underground tour, the EMP museum, a harbour tour, the aquarium, a Pikes Market food tour, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and the Space Needle. They were all great, but the standout was definitely the Pikes Market Food Tour. If you go to Seattle, you've just got to do that tour. The food was incredible, the tour guides are hilarious and informative, and you got to see the market in a cool way. Plus, getting food immediately while others are waiting in line for hours? That's not a bad gig!Read more

  • Day92

    Glacier National Park, Montana

    August 26, 2016 in the United States

    Say hello to Glacier National Park, our favorite park of the trip so far! Words and pictures will both come far short of describing this park, but I'll give it a go. Everything in Glacier is huge. The mountains are simply enormous. The glaciers have slowly carved the mountain peaks into horns and spikes, and flattened some into buttes, and the sides of the mountains are so steep in some places that they are nearly vertical. The valleys between the mountains are filled with icy blue lakes made of glacier water.

    Glacier has the highest population of grizzly bears in the continental US, and is also home to black bears, coyotes, wolves, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and many, many other creatures. We were lucky enough to see most of the list above. Each hike in the park leads to some of the most breathtaking views you could imagine. When we arrived in August, nearly all of the 20+ types of wildflowers were in bloom, and the 7+ types of berries were ripe. This is something that only happens for a couple of weeks during the entire year, so we were very lucky.

    We were only able to stay in the park for a few days, but we both absolutely loved it. Glacier, we'll be seeing you again!
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  • Day88

    Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

    August 22, 2016 in the United States

    Yellowstone is one of the most unique places that we've been to so far. The majority of it is in the caldera of an active volcano, so there is thermal activity everywhere. It had a lot of wildlife, including large bison herds (that do not care about your existence and are happy to cross the road right in front of you) and herds of elk (many of whom seem to live alongside the people at the Mammoth Hot Springs village). The landscape is also extremely diverse, including features such as plains, mountains, a giant canyon, waterfalls, a lake, rivers, and forests, not to mention the geysers, hardened lava and lava tubes, bubbling mud pots, hot springs, boiling pools, and fumaroles. While it was not the most awe-inspiringly beautiful place we've been to on this trip, it was certainly one of the most interesting, and definitely the most unique.

    With the exception of long day/overnight hikes, we essentially saw everything there was to see in Yellowstone. My personal favorite part was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and it's waterfalls, particularly the lower falls. Seeing all of the thermal activity was definitely something new though, which I loved!
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