2013 Western Road Trip Day 13, June 11th

Today we said good bye to our great oceanfront cabin and headed toward Mt. Rainier via Crescent Lake and the mountain zone of Olympic National Park. Babs is sporting the feather that she found on our cabin doorstep and she took as a good omen.

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Today is the first day which we have had rain since Denny and Jane joined us. Babs has had a cold since we left MD and Jane caught it and has been feeling miserable for the last couple of days. Now I have have it also but am coping. Even in the rain the drive along the 12 mile crystal clear lake was beautiful. The lake is 12 miles of crystal clear aqua marine water. It has no algae because the water is basically nitrogen free.

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Our first stop of the day was the mountain section of Olympic National Park. Unfortunately, today was the day that the park decided to do road maintenance and the road was closed until 11:30 am so we settled for stopping at the visitors center.

We had a change of plans and our next stop, is Mt. Rainer National Park. Mt. Rainier is around 14,600 feet in altitude. On a sunny day you can see it from 25 or more miles away. Today you couldn’t see the mountain from five miles away. On the way to the top Denny and Babs hiked down to Christine falls but could only get part way down because of 4 feet of snow.

The trail ends

The trail ends

Christine falls

Christine falls

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We also saw this fox with a kit about two miles from the visitors area.

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Even though you couldn’t get the best view of Mt. Rainer, we drove up to the Paradise Visitors area at 5,000 feet and enjoyed whatever views were available along the way. It was still beautiful.

The road up Mt. Rainier

The road up Mt. Rainier

a smaller mountain in the range

a smaller mountain in the range

Snow at Paradise visitor center, much less than 2 years ago

Dirty snow next to parking lot. Katy & Jason do you recognize this spot?

Dirty snow next to parking lot. Katy & Jason do you recognize this spot?

2 years ago the snow covered the lower building. This year they "only" got 119 inches!

2 years ago the snow covered the lower building. This year they “only” got 119 inches!

The wind was blowing 15 knots and the air temperature was a balmy 42 degrees

The wind was blowing 15 knots and the air temperature was a balmy 42 degrees

Leaving Mt. Rainier, we headed east to Yakima, WA to spend the night at a Best Western. For all of you beer drinkers, the valley in which Yakima sits produces 80% of the hops used for beer production in the US.

Tomorrow we head toward the Grand Coulee Dam.

Babs Says: Rain and clouds are nice but not when you’re looking for the summit.

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