Epic RVing with the Gradys - Day 9 - My Favorite Mountain

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We lazily started the day, for the most part. Even still, I was up at 6:45, which is 7:45 local. I’ve been sleeping pretty well here! Last night when we got into the park we were surprised by the fact that the water was out in the park! We’ve been getting used to “roughing it,” but no shower in the morning - that’s a road too far!!! I took a little walk around the park and found out that there was one restroom in the park with water, but it was FAR! I went back to the RV and told Jenny who immediately grabbed her shower stuff and the car keys. She was able to shower while I was waited and also finished up some morning business, then we were set for the day!

Breakfast this morning was on the grill - eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and toast. We also got a chance to clean out Zaz’s cage as it was getting pretty nasty - he was happy… By 9:00 we took off on our way to Mt. Rainier, my favorite mountain in the world!

The park is about 90 minutes from the mountain, so the trip didn’t take too long. We had purchased an annual park pass, so we breezed through the south west entrance gate and did the additional 30 minutes uphill towards the Paradise area, stopping a few places along the way for pics!

Dang that's a nice mountain!

Stranger took this one - pretty good!

At Paradise, we did our traditional sandwich and chips lunch, this time with grapes, then plotted out a hike - the Nisqually Vista trail. Normally it wouldn’t be too challenging, but apparently in July, this entire area is still snow covered! The paths were paved, but also covered with snow, making it pretty challenging. Each of us fell a number of times while we tried to look for human tracks to mark what most people thought was the trail. All told, the 1.5 mile hike took us well over an hour, but it didn’t disappoint with views!

Snow hike

More snow hiking!

Mt. Rainier National Park is pretty interesting. It’s all just about the mountain. Everything you see in the park relates to the mountain. Every stream originates on the mountain, every crater, every canyon. It’s really pretty incredible. The most impressive thing I saw was a far off waterfall. It’s impossible to tell how far away, but it seemed like maybe only a few miles? Anyway, it was jutting sideways off a rock formation and cascading down to what I can only imagine was a pool below. The cool part was seeing it from the side!

After our hike we started meandering down the mountain, taking some windy roads along the way. One particularly cool spot was when we stopped at Narada Falls. From the top it looked a bit like the waterfalls in Yellowstone, but it was a shorter walk to the bottom, and you got to be MUCH closer to the falls there. At the bottom observation area the falls were spraying up on the people viewing. Really an impressive experience.

Narada Falls

We eventually would our way back to the Longmire Museum area and did a short 0.7 mile hike around there where we came up on a deer grazing about 20 feet from us. It certainly didn’t have any issue with people as we were not quiet - have you met Quinton?

Pretty tame deer...

We buttoned up our day at Rainier and headed back towards “civilization.” We tried to stop at a brewery in Morton, but they apparently have a rule against allowing minors in their drinking area. There was nobody in the brewery, yet we were unable to sit and enjoy a beer due to this doubtless antiquated law protecting my kids from the evils of craft beer. Happy the government is looking out for my kids!!!

We finished off the driving part of the adventure at Frosty’s, a hole in the wall saloon nearby where we had some greasy food and a couple of beers. We’re now finally back at the camp - Quinton is biking around, Mireille did a little swimming, and I’m holding out hope that the WiFi will hold up long enough to publish the last 5 days of vacation adventures.

Random thoughts:

  • There is an apparent ice shortage in the greater puget sound area. We’ve been unable to get a bag of ice since we crossed the Cascades!
  • This park is BUSY! Most of the plates in the park are Washington, so it seems that this is a local’s weekend getaway.
  • The water is back on!!!
  • The Bucks Won the East!!! About 10 minutes ago as I write this, they finished off Atlanta and will be moving on to the NBA finals for the first time since 1974. Very exciting!
  • We are apparently very reliant on WiFi. Of all of the comforts we are missing, ubiquitous network is the one most noticed. Even not having water this morning hasn’t been as annoying as not having internet. Here in Chehalis, it’s hard to come by, either by terrestrial means or over cellular. First world problems…

Written by Brandon Grady
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