Wednesday, August 29, 2012

4 days on Mount Rainer with Dad Aug 29 - Sept 1

Dad decided to go with me on the first leg in the camper.  He had never seen Mount Rainier Park, and it was on the list… So we got dad off the island for the first time in over a year.   It was really nice.  We talked as we traveled and figured out that it had been about 32 years since we had been camping together.  It just happened that trip, long ago, was also in a truck camper  (though I have to say they were a lot different back then than mine is today)…  On the way down to Rainier,  we stopped by the massive REI in Seattle to pick up some new hiking boots…

The first night we found a campground at White River campground on the North east side of the park (near Sunrise).  One of the things interesting about the park, is that we could not find cell service anywhere…. 

The next day we got up and amazingly there was a mountain right there!  We could not see it the day/night before.  We had breakfast and then decided to walk up the river some towards the mountain.  We found the wonderland trail that goes all the way around the mountain and hiked it for a couple miles.

Since it was Thursday,  before the labor day weekend,  we decided to go over to Paradise to do hiking there.  We knew there was no way we could fight the holiday weekend crowds that would start on Friday…. This ended up being a very wise choice….We hiked a few miles up past the mountain meadows full of flowers up towards the glaciers.  There were still quite a few people, but much nicer than it would have been on the weekend.  We hiked about 3 miles on Paradise.  On the way back down,  we stopped at The Grove of the Patriarchs.   This is a grove of old growth trees that have not been disturbed for hundreds and possibly thousands of years.  We saw a couple of 1000 year old Douglas Firs.  It was pretty amazing…  we hiked about 1.5 miles here..  so we totaled about 8 miles for the day.  Pretty good with dad!

We decided to camp at Ohanapecosh campgrounds for the next 2 days and not drive at all for a day.  The campgrounds were incredible among all the old trees.  On the third day, we hiked up to Silver falls from the campgrounds.  On the last day we drove up to Sunrise for a final hike before getting dad back to the islands,  all of them were really nice hikes. 

You can’t go wrong hiking anywhere around Mount Rainer…  I probably should put in a lot more detail here… but I am typing this much later and the time was really just for dad and I… we had 4 days together without any technology,  not even a phone or text,  and it was just time for us... It was a wonderful way for dad and I to spend some amazing time together.

We had a nice Greek dinner on the way to the ferry and said our goodbyes till later….

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