1 Year Journey – Washington – Part 3

We spent the afternoon at Mount Rainier National Park!  This is something I’ve been wanting to do for years.  We went here when I was really young, but I couldn’t really remember much about it.

We drove about 2.5 hours from Bothell to Paradise, WA, which is right on the side of the mountain at an elevation of 5400′ (Mt. Rainier is 14,410′ high):

The drive into the park was really pretty!  We could feel the temperature drop the higher we went.

When I was researching the trails to hike on around the Paradise area, I was a little disappointed when I saw most of them were paved.  Once we got there, however, I wasn’t complaining much because they were pretty steep as it was!  We gained 560 feet in elevation in a pretty short hike, and you could really tell the air was a lot thinner starting out at 5400′.

The trails were sure are pretty!  We were able to see some blooming wildflowers in a few areas. 

This little guy posed for us!

Once we gained some elevation, we saw lots of marmots running around!  So neat!!  We didn’t know they could whistle, either.

We loved how they lay on the rocks!

In this next video, you can hear them whistle!


It was a really steep trail to get to Alta Vista Point, but worth it!  The below image shows where we started and where we ended up (the tiny red heart):

On our way back down the mountain, we stopped by Nirada Falls:

Tripp and I hiked around the other side so we could get a better view:

Toward the end of the day the clouds went away and we got some really pretty views with blue sky!

On our way home, the sunset turned the mountain pink right when we happened to drive right be a scenic pull off.

The next day, we went outside to watch the solar eclipse and frantically look for eclipse glasses at some local places about 30 minutes before the eclipse was at its best. We had seen them for sale all over, but waited too long to pick up a pair. We first went to Fred Meyer, and their store was closed for 30 minutes while their employees were all standing in the parking lot with their glasses on. We then went to Safeway, where I couldn’t find any and even if I did they had one guy checking everyone out while all of the other employees were in the parking lot with their goggles on as well. We then went to Walgreens, which had signs taped on the door that said they didn’t have any for sale either.   We were out of tune and ended up watching the eclipse from the parking lot of Walgreens!

The kids were not overly impressed and Carla and I were also a little disappointed add how light it was outside. Granted, we were three hours north of the path of totality, but I thought it would be darker.

This next photo shows exactly how light/dark it was. Kind of an eerie light!

We headed back to the RV and it dawned on me that the skylight over the shower is a pretty good filter (2 layers of plastic) and you can usually see the sun as a clear orange ball.  Sure enough, that was the best way to view it and I think it was pretty safe:

The funniest part is that we were all jammed into the tiny bathroom trying to look up through the skylight!

Within tried the colander trick my mom told us about. It was neat to see several little eclipse shapes!

We relocated to Issaquah Village RV Park for a couple of nights since Lake Pleasant didn’t have any openings for these days. It’s a tiny RV park with minimal spacing (I think we have more spacing than any other RVs), but the Wi-Fi is excellent!  Good alternate place to stay at Lake Pleasant is booked.

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