Driving Portland to Seattle

Entering Washington state via the bridge that connects Portland, OR to Vancouver, WA, two cities divided by the Columbia River

Entering Washington state via the bridge that connects Portland, OR to Vancouver, WA, two cities divided by the Columbia River

Describing Washington, my state of origin, simulates describing an ex to someone who might want to date them, in that I simultaneously warn them of the bad parts while throwing in a “but you might really like it!” and a “I hope it works out for you!” Love is subjective, is it not?

We enter Washington by driving from Portland, on the south bank of the Columbia River (which divides the two states), to Seattle. Three insights as to what to expect during this drive:

1. It’s suddenly, overwhelmingly green. Western Washington as a whole is nothing but green, and while it can be beautiful given the right weather, it’s often muted by gray skies.

2. Clouds, always. It’s all fun and games and pretending to see animal shapes so long as the buggers don’t take up all of the sky, which they often do for days at a time, to the point that you can’t remember what having the sun on your face feels like.

3. Topographically, it’s varied. Compared to the redundant (but gorgeous) fields of northern Oregon, this stretch of I-5 is a series of forests, hills, farmland and dumpy towns – all repeating one after another until you can’t take it anymore and you sell everything and move to San Diego (it has happened at least once).

But, it has its beauty. I leave you with a handful of photos and, hopefully, the ability to make up your own mind:

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Learn more about traveling to Washington state here.

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