First Weekend Note to self: Don’t schedule a park visit on the first weekend they open after winter! It could have been better. The park has one of the wimpiest signs we have seen: not big side sign, no NPS emblem. Could have been better!
No! We arrive at the inn. We were promised mountain meadows with wildflowers! All we see is snow snow snow! And the inn, itself? We realize it is kind’a open… Internet? Not yet! The IT guy hasn’t made it up yet. Do you have milk? No, not today. Today we received yogurt, but no milk.
Rooms? Well, some have windows completely blocked by snow; of course, we are placed in such a room!
Weirdo And of course, we don’t just settle for the first offering, ie the worst room in the house. The second room, albeit a bit weird, is much better. There are two rooms, each with their own sink, but no toilet or shower. And there is a bathroom, with only toilet and shower, and no sink! Ok, whatever. Could have been better!
At least the windows are not covered with snow. We actually have very nice views out of our separate windows.
Mountain! Very similar to Denali, we know that when you see the mountain, you enjoy it and take your photos. You never know if you will see it again. And, that is exactly the case! On the first day, blue skies, beautiful poofy clouds, and after much “is that it? Or wait, is that it? No, over there… is that it?”… ta-da! The clouds part, and there it is: the mountain with all its glory. Well... having just visited Denali, not so glorious, but still very pretty. Could have been better.
So, Mountain, check!
Ridge? No! Next we go down the mountain to do some hiking. There’s a ridge trail that is very promising. A very steep uphill ends at a 2 mile ridge top section before it heads down.
You say ridge top, and we imagine expansive views on at least one, if not both sides. Not this ridge: we end up walking 2 miles in icy snow with zero views on either side. Basically a forest on the ridge. Dear Mt. Rainier NP: don’t mislead us! Definitely could have been better! Nonetheless, it is a nice hike.
Back at the lodge, the mountain is shrouded by clouds the entire day. We meet and chat with some nice folks by the fire, none of whom had seen the mountain. Sorry folks!
200 Turns And par for our National Park course, we bail a day early to spend the night in Seattle, mainly so we don’t have to deal with the drive on the day of our flight home. To our dismay, GoogleMaps decides that we should drive in country backroads for the entirety of the 70 mile drive! Could have been better.
23 To Go Mount Rainier wraps up Washington’s parks, and our #40.