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A Mountain Above the Fog

Day 16: 12/06/2021

Sorry, everyone, for not having any recent updates! Sometimes it’s crazy how easily time can fly and before you know it a week or more has flown by. Well, unfortunately, that happened to us over the past week. Thankfully, we’ve made it to our next destination safe and sound while managing to see a handful of wonderful sites. We’re currently in Bend, Oregon where we’re able to settle down for a couple of weeks and enjoy the holidays! Speaking of holidays, we hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!

Anyways, this post is about day 16 of this journey through the western United States. It’s Monday and we’ve decided to make the journey from the west side of the Puget Sound down to Mt. Rainier. Our plans were to enjoy some winter hiking and maybe catch a glimpse of the iconic mountain. The drive out to the mountain wasn’t too bad and we were quickly making our way through winding mountain roads lined with lush evergreens. Unfortunately, our views were filled with fog and it was impossible to see the mountain. Even so, we were quickly blown away with the drive into the park. We entered through the Nisqually Entrance. Upon arrival, we were pleased to hear that the road was open leading up to the Paradise area of the southeast side of the mountain. The ranger notified us that the road was closed the day before. So we were assured that we had made the right choice of visiting when we did.

We took Longmire road from the Nisqually entrance up the Henry Jackson Visitor Center in the Paradise section of the park. Even on a very foggy and drizzly day, this route through the park was phenomenal. The route included many easy turnouts and parking areas where we could get out and make small hikes to several scenic areas. We came across three waterfalls and a few nice trails. The highlights of this route were Christine Falls, Narada Fall, and a short section of Skyline Trail which we hiked to Myrtle Falls. On our little hike, we were able to break out our new trekking poles! Some other people were using snowshoes, but the trail had been compacted plenty to where they weren’t necessary. As we made it back down to the truck, it had begun to get a bit foggier and we knew the gate at the bottom of Longmire road would be closing, so we called it a day. But, man, what we saw in just a few quick hours was just the outlines of a masterpiece. This mountain and park have so many amazing adventures to be experienced, from trails, to waterfalls, to forests. This is certainly a park that requires much more time to explore and we will definitely make it back in the future! Perhaps the warmer months, even though we know it’ll be much busier.

We were very glad we made it out to Mt. Rainier, even if we didn’t get a good view of the mountain. We made the tired drive back to the RV park, however, what was a two hour drive out got turned into a 3 hour drive back due to jammed traffic. Even so, the memories made on the mountain far out-weigh any disappointments from this day!

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