Day 22 - Mt. Rainier to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho
Adjusted Adventure in an Accord (and good wifi)
“Of all the fire mountains which, like beacons, once blazed along the Pacific Coast, Mount Rainier is the noblest.” John Muir
Mr. Muir was not kidding when he spoke or wrote this quote about good old Mt. R! However, Mt. R is quite demanding with its weather system, and rare are the days that you can see the mountain while in the park. Luckily, on our first day, it was all clear, and we were able to see the giant in all its glory from multiple vantage points.
Fog and mist are the nemeses of seeing the Mount in the National Park. And, all those signs of wildlife, bunk!. We’ve seen nada. Not even one bald eagle, but we did see Woody the Woodpecker near our campsite, and I guess that is something.
A late evening hike made me realize that it is not about the animals we can’t see but the feeling of forest bathing, forest camping, forest sleeping, and forest hiking to the max. The smell of pine, cedar, and every other Christmas tree blanketed the Forest like carpeting and kept our noses and lungs breathing in all that freshness.
By 8:00 am today, we were ready to hit the road to Idaho despite the light rain that fell on our tent most of the night. No signs of tall trees or Mount R. were ever visible in the park as low-hanging clouds engulfed them.
Since we didn’t want to spend about three hours in the park driving at 20 MPH to the northern exit, we took a 2-lane side road that wound its way through the bumpy Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This Forest was thick and lush with wildflowers, vegetation, and moss-covered trees that we could almost touch from our car windows. The drive was spectacular, and we were not expecting all the beauty or feast of the eyes in every direction, including many lakes.
When we spun around enough through forests and what looked like an ancient primeval, we finally arrived at Interstates 82/90 to take us to our destination for today, Coeur d’ Alene. When we stopped for gas about 100 miles out, we got out of the car, looked up, and guess what we, now called Trail Angels, saw? Yep, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams in clear blue and sunny skies!