We slept in a little bit, waking up for the day around 8:00am. We went downstairs to have breakfast. We waited for the waffle maker for a few minutes, but after it was apparent that this lady was making a couple waffles for each of her kids in her clan, our hunger got the best of us and we opted for English muffins. Jeremy had hard-boiled eggs, sausage and coffee with his. I had sausage and water with mine.
After breakfast, we went back to our hotel room, showered and got dressed for the day. We went over to Shell to see if they had batteries for my film camera. They did not. I ended up getting an overtly sweet cappuccino, Jeremy got a Java monster, and a huge silver monster. I did not finish the cappuccino.
On the Road
We got on the highway, destination: Mount Rainier National Park. The fog was thick, and we were slightly worried that we wouldn’t be able to see anything when we got to the park. We drove through Puyallup, a town name that resulted in a few giggles and jokes, and we ended up stopping at a Target. They had batteries for my camera, and a hooded sweatshirt for Jeremiah.
We got back on the road. The drive was absolutely beautiful, with trees lining the road for most of our way, little towns greeting us and leaving us, and then there was a big lake. We were tempted to stop, but decided to continue to the park.
Mount Rainier National Park
After more country roads aligned with gorgeous, fall-colored trees passed by, we made it to the park entrance. My America the Beautiful pass got us easy admission, and the nice ranger gave us the map and newsletter as well. The fog had lifted.
Shortly after getting into the park, there was a parking lot with a sign that said “viewpoint”. We parked, headed across the road, and got our first grand view of Mount Rainier. After taking photos, we got back in the car.
We stopped again to get a view of narrow rivers of water. There was a pathway that cut out among the rocks in the valley. We wandered along, and found ourselves on the riverside, the chilled air surrounded us as we admired the view, Mount Rainier looming above us. We watched a family run along the rocks, the kids excited to be having fun with so much space to explore.
We headed back to the vehicle and drove on. I was staring out my window and saw a deep gap in the earth and requested for us to stop. Jeremy was already pulling to a stop in the next parking area because he had seen a waterfall. Turns out the gap in the earth was where the water was flowing from the base of the waterfall. A stone bridge framed the fall, and it was beautiful. We hiked a bit down the hillside and the trees opened up to reveal a scenic shot of the water cutting down the side of the mountain. We got our pictures, and then headed back to the car.
At the next viewpoint, Jeremy noticed how many of the evergreens only grew branches on one side of the tree. We also got a great view of the mountains opposite of Mount Rainier. These mountains are a lot more jagged and dark.
Our next stop was at a popular viewpoint of a giant waterfall: Narada Falls. We went down a path that was only .1 miles long to get an excellent view away from the big crowd of people. A rainbow circled its way around the mist coming off of the waterfall.
A little bird landed on the stone fence close to us, and flew away as more people approached our viewing spot.
We drove to the highest lot we could in the entire park, a place called Paradise, literally, and got another great view of the park’s namesake. We got a photo of me kissing his cheek in front of the mountain, marveled at the view, and decided it was time to heard back down. We had seen a car turn right, going a different way than we had, and decided to make that same turn now that we were going back down.
We ended up at Reflections Lake. The wind was active, so the lake was not as reflective as the name may imply. Jeremy actually took some pictures, and I was, perhaps, slightly proud. I ended up laughing later, because it turns out he just wanted pictures of these miniature evergreens.
As I went down to the shore to take photos, Jeremy stood proudly on two rocks, one foot on each, and declared “I am Yao, king of the rock!” This was a Mulan reference from the Disney animated version.
We drove through a short tunnel in the side of the mountain. We drove through a more natural looking tunnel in the side of the mountain.
We drove over a stone bridge. We ended up parking right on the other side of the stone bridge and got to view Jeremy’s favorite part of the whole trip: Box Canyon. There was a little wooden bridge that was 151 feet above the surface of the water in the canyon below. It was splendid, and the rock walls looked so smooth where the water had worn away the cliff walls.
We found ourselves exiting the park, and went back to the town of Elbe. We had seen some train cars on our way in, and wanted to head back to see them. We ended up eating at this restaurant called Mount Rainier Railroad Dining Company. Jeremy had a monte cristo. I had fish and chips. The fries were homemade, the food was all very yummy, and my chocolate shake was divine. We also had a pound of clams for an appetizer. Jeremy had a blackberry lemonade, and determined that blackberries were popular in the area.
We finished eating, took photographs of the train cars and an old steamer engine. I had Jeremy take a photo of me in front of a red caboose, since I am the caboose!
We headed back to our hotel, hopped in the hot tub and pool, and relaxed a bit. Jeremy wanted to do one more thing before heading to bed, so we went out and grabbed froyo. We then snuggled back into our hotel room bed. Jeremy dozed off to Will and Grace, and I wrote this entry, and then fell asleep.