Today was the first day of our trip when neither Dave nor I had to drive even one mile! Of course that doesn’t mean we lounged in Kim’s backyard all day. Kim drove us up to Mount Rainier, which I’ve already mentioned is a permanent fixture in the Seattle skyline. Puyallup isn’t too far from Mount Rainier, so we decided it would be worth a little day trip. Kim had never been, and Madison hasn’t been to the mountains very often, so it was a good choice for all of us.
We left Kim’s around 12 noon, and got to Mount Rainier National Park at 1:15 pm. It took approximately another half an hour to arrive at the Visitor’s Center at Paradise. It was PACKED. There were people circling the parking lot hoping to get a spot, though nobody seemed to be leaving. We talked to an employee in the parking lot, and he directed us to a small picnic area about 1/2 mile back.
We had a happy little picnic of peanut butter sandwiches, pretzels, and fig newtons. It was sunny but not too hot. We couldn’t see the top of the mountain from our picnic table, but we walked to the end of the parking lot and could see the mountain. Mount Rainier is covered in glaciers, so when you look up at the mountain, you can see a whole lot of snow. (Note: We probably saw more glaciers here than when we were in Glacier National Park.) Unfortunately a large cloud was starting to roll in.
We drove back toward the visitor’s center, where it continued to be madness. We continued along the road and found a nice place to park on the side of the road just for a few minutes. Kim, Madison, and I admired the mountain and the meadow while Dave took a bunch of pictures. We could see the top of the mountain for just a few minutes until the cloud started to overtake it. We kept driving and stopped at a couple of spots to get out and admire various waterfalls. Overall, it was a nice relaxing day, and thankfully Kim didn’t mind driving us there and back.
In the evening, Kim’s parents hosted a BBQ so we could meet all of Kim’s family (she has two sisters and a brother, which also involves a bunch of kids), and got to see my Aunt Ann, as well as my cousin Liz and her family. A fun and relaxing evening!