I am a true desert rat, a term for Americans who enjoy being in a hot desert (see the fourth definition on this list: Desert rat - Wikipedia ). Why would I leave the sunny Southwest in late winter for the bleak rain and cold of the Pacific Northwest? Zoos and photography, of course. Here is the itinerary, which includes a first for me: three aquariums in one day. The latter is at the advice of my friend @snowleopard , who lives for these kind of mad dashes in between long drives. March 24: fly to Portland (overnight Portland) March 25: Oregon Zoo (overnight Newport) March 26: Oregon Coast Aquarium, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Seaside Aquarium (overnight Lake Quinault) March 27: Olympic Rainforest (overnight Lake Quinault) March 28: Woodland Park Zoo (overnight Tacoma) March 29: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (fly home) Five of the six facilities are new to me (as is Olympic National Park). The only facility I have visited before is Woodland Park Zoo in 2002.