So we’re coming to the realization that we just can’t spend a week at every place we want to go. It’s just not possible with all the ground we have to cover. Alan wanted to spend more time in Olympic NP, so we opted for a quick visit to Rainier.
Another discovery. When making the rounds as we are, it sometimes feels like you are reading the table of contents of a REALLY good book, and only get to read a page or maybe two of each chapter. You never really get to fully dive in. This is a little bit what Rainier felt like to us.
That being said, it was stunning.
The sub alpine wildflowers, and the fact that you can just drive up to the foothills of this majestic mountain and see it in all it’s glory without really venturing far out was amazing.
Apparently we were very lucky to be able to see the top. Rainier creates its own unique weather patterns, and often times is shrouded in clouds and mist.
This area is literally called “Paradise”
Just stunning. You can’t tell, but these trails are quite populated.
This time we got to camp in the Park. Across from our campsite was the Nisqualy River. I was fascinated by it due to it’s power and color.
The roaring water is coming from the snow melt, and the color is due to the glacier constantly eroding the mountain and grinding it down. This river never runs clear. As you stand next to it, it sounds like thunder due to the rocks constantly tumbling underneath the surface. When you stand back, it looks like a giant river of mud, or a debris field from a recent mudslide. But no. It’s just the river as it is, and a reminder that the mountain is ever changing underneath the surface of the snow.
We made some friends at camp, and they took us along the river and over this “bridge” to a swimming spot they found.
This is the view from the middle of the bridge….
The swimming spot was beautiful but the water was FREEZING!
This is the paradise river… as clear as clear can be.
The next day we drove to the other side of the park to walk through some old growth forest. We stopped at the visitor’s center and had lunch here….
This is the picnic area! Good god. PB&J never tasted so good.
Harlan of course earned another Jr. Ranger Badge. This makes 12, I think.
Our last stop was to visit some more large trees but we kind of got distracted by the water, and stopped… and well, didn’t make it to the grove.
But Harlan made it, once again into the FREEZING cold water!
He is my hero. I just can’t. I mean I could, but…
He swam all the way to the other side. Brave boy. This is seriously glacial water folks. Brrrr!
Another thing about rushing through the park? Alan and I totally forgot to do our ritual toast with the vintage Scotch. Seriously.
Looks like we’re going to have to double down when we get to Olympic!
Cheers, and thanks for coming along!