Trip Start Jun 06, 2005
Trip End May 31, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Hi all, we've gone a little mad with the photo's this update so there is quite a few to look at!!

Last time we left you we had just arrived in Astoria at a very good KOA Kamp. We stayed here for two days and the weather was quite good. Astoria is where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean and the final destination for Captain's Lewis and Clark. The Lewis and Clark expedition, 1803-1806, was a U.S. expedition that explored the territory from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. During the winter of 1805 the captains and their 30 men built a fort near to Astoria to see them through to the summer which was called Fort Clatsop.

We visited the fort which was rebuilt in the 1950's. Americans are very proud of Lewis and Clarks achievements and the journals they wrote helped countless people to populate uncharted territory. (I wonder how many know that Lewis and Clark actually took a journal of an English fur trader called Alexander Mckenzie who had already completed a similar trip before them!!!)

We also visited Fort Stevens State Park which has a shipwreck on the beach. It was an oceangoing ship called the Peter Iredale that was wrecked in the early part of the century. After 90 years only some rusted iron and steel is left over. The wreck can be seen at low tide at Del Rey Beach Wayside.

We traveled about 150 miles east following the Columbia River through Portland to Cascade Locks. The river acts as a natural border between Oregon and Washington State and on the way we saw Multnomah Falls.

They say it is the second highest falls in the US but we've since found out it's not true, but still impressive none the less.

The campsite here was fine and we didn't really notice the passing freight train with it horns blaring as we set up the tent. Then about 1 hour later there was another and another and they basically run through the night about 50 yards from the campsite. We cut short our stay to one sleepless night and decided to move on to Yakima in Washington, but just before we had time to take a boat ride down the Columbia on a Stern Wheeler.

The weather was great and the scenery breathtaking but after our two hours we were off.

Now what can we say about Yakima, Washington, if you ever get the chance to go....DON'T BOTHER!!!! This place sucks. It was very hot with not much to do and downtown was decidedly dodgy. This time we rented a Kabin which was good and it sat by a little duck pond.

We purchased a fishing rod kit for $20 and I passed some time fishing.

I caught a small perch but Kelly was a little slow with the camera and he wriggled off at the bank. So an hour goes by and I catch a massive (not really) catfish and here is a pic to prove it, although it does look like I've just landed a small turd.

Our next destination was Seattle. We would be spending a few days with our friend Neil, who had kindly invited us to stay. We arrived about 2.30 and headed for the nearest bar. Neil took us around his favorite haunts and it wasn't long before we were all drunk and eating Sushi, halibut I think ;-).

The next day Neil had arranged tickets to a baseball game to watch the Seattle Mariners play the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field.

The weather was great and the seats had a fantastic view. The Mariners won 2-1 and halted a 6 game losing streak. Ichiro is one of their best players and here he is after smashing one to left field.

After the game we took a walk to the waterfront and saw a great view of Mount Rainer sitting majestically above the Stadium. After which we found the rest of Neil's favourite bars and before we knew, it was 2 am.

So the next day was the most important day in the American calendar, July 4th.
The locals were having a party in a park along the sea front.

The atmosphere was good as was the beer tent (do you see a pattern here?), it was very hot we even caught the cops tanning their legs!!!

Although good fun was had by all the main reason people were here was for the fireworks later that night. We decided to watch them from Neil's balcony, which was perfect as the display could be seen between two skyscrapers.

The pictures really don't do them justice, the display was amazing.

We really enjoyed Seattle and Neil was the perfect host, we had a lot of fun and a lot of beer!!!

Now our thoughts centered on Vancouver and as we were going to stay in a motel Neil suggested we bid on a Hotel room through and boy did we luck out, much to Kelly's delight. We managed to get a room in the Hyatt Regency which is as downtown as you can get for $70 p/n. This is a 4* hotel which would normally cost $190 p/n so we were very pleased. And that's where we are now, the border crossing was a little worrying as we got questioned quite a lot but we made it here safely and just as luck would have it the guy who checked Kelly bumped us up to a king room with a massive's good!!

Thanks again Neil for a great time, we hope to see you soon!!!!

Jack's Fact:- All porcupines float in water!!!

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