Day 20 - Stunning Mt. Rainier (When the Clouds are Away)
Adjusted Adventure in an Accord
Day 20 - Mt. Rainier, Washington - Noble. Dominant. Exquisite. Respected.
Thank goodness for WIFI in the National Parks - this one at the visitor center. It’s closed now, but it’s after business hours, so I think it’s fair game to type out a post and maintain my daily blog!
Anywhoo, Linda and I have picked up various “advice” on our travels thus far. For example, “don’t do that,” “do this instead.” Surprisingly, NO ONE told us to GO to Mt. Rainier! Can you believe that? Since we’ve had to pivot our trip, sometimes by the hour, and we talk to people along our journey, the big Mt. R never hit anyone’s radar to gush about it.
Never fear; I thought of a cousin that hiked all through these parts several years ago and asked Linda what she thought about pivoting again and stopping at this majestic park. With a not-so-pleasant camping experience last night - our tent was on gravel- ugh (the Lake was lovely, though, but we were not on it), camping at the National Park is heaven!
However, since we’ve been booking a place the day of, maybe the day before, obtaining a campsite on a busy July weekend looked dismal. Linda knew that extra sites open up and it’s first come, first serve. So, we broke camp early and hurried over to the NP to hopefully secure a spot.
As soon as we entered the park, we hit the visitor center - six miles in (I like to buy an NP patch of the park). The first question Linda asked the ranger was about available campsites.
He made a quick call to headquarters and revealed that there were ten sites left 20 minutes before our arrival. We thanked him kindly and high-tailed it out of there and onto the camp.
I think my ladybug bracelet (good luck charm) I bought yesterday at the Pike’s Place Market to replace one I lost years ago helped our good karma! The ranger announced there were three sites left to choose from. And, with Linda’s spanking new Senior Lifetime National Park Pass, we got two nights for a song ($20 total!).
One big mistake, though, we left the park for a quick lunch on the outside. We had to wait for over an hour to get back in because so many people lined up to pay their admission, plus we were on a two-lane road that backed up park traffic for over three miles. I promise we will not leave the park until it’s time to check out!
Burgers at the small Copper Cannon Restaurant gave us the fuel for our first hike in the park. We are looking toward more of the same tomorrow (hiking, not restaurant food).
Thanks for reading along. Now excuse me as Linda and I help some customers with a map and points of the park as pseudo-after-hours-unpaid-not-even-a-volunteer rangers.