Jul 16, 2010

Washington State, Mt. Rainier

Our destination for sleep, Spokane, WA was a quaint, artsy city with an almost old-timey feel. After unsuccessfully trying to find a hotel and settling on the only one we could find, pricey as it was...we had a nice dinner at this restaurant called the Steam Plant Grille, the food was excellent and the interior of the restaurant-an old steam plant-was a feast for the eyes.
We left Spokane on West Coast time around 11 and after a quick grocery run started our journey towards Mt. Rainier National Park.

The interstate we traveled on for most of our journey into Mt. Rainier had surprisingly subpar scenery...wasn't Washington supposed to be the evergreen state? It seemed pretty bare and dry so far.


At one point the scenery, even though it was bare and dry, took a turn for the better. We pulled off onto this designated scenic viewpoint and it did not disappoint. The view was of this stunning river at the bottom of a deep gorge. Signs in the area warned of Rattlesnakes, but we never saw any. The view was very breathtaking and it was quite a nice area to stop and think a bit before heading out again.


 We drove through some mountains with humongous wind turbines, I'm guessing they were once used to generate power although none of them were moving anymore. Chaz said there was some controversy because of these wind turbines-I am not sure why they were not in use, but standing still and unmoving on the tops of those mountains/cliffs they looked strange and very morbid. Like giant, dead, beasts.
 dead
We drove on and came to the road we needed to turn onto to get to Mt. Rainier. Along this winding two-lane road we went through some more stunning scenery, many cliffs and mountain ranges. The area started to get a bit greener too.
video

   
Finally we arrived in Mt. Rainier National Park, we drove along and saw some majestic views of Mt. Rainier going along some winding roads. Some signs warned of geological dangers: falling rocks, flooding, avalanches, volcano evacuation routes...Some roads going into Mt. Rainier are closed during the Winter. We saw a few areas with destroyed, fallen trees where flooding or avalanches must have occurred. Snow was prevalent too alongside the roads, you could clearly see it on Mt. Rainier, Chaz pulled over and instigated a snowball fight, the snow was freezing! It was a strange experience, how many times do you get to have  a snowball fight in 70 degree weather?
heh heh
 

We found our campground, settled in, had some bacon and potatoes and felt content. The temperature was chilly but not unbearably so. We saw a short presentation at the campground amphitheater about the history of campfires throughout the National Parks, not too exciting...we did see a slide about the infamous Yosemite Fire Fall-that looked interesting-
bedtime and then the journey to Olympic National Park tomorrow!

3 comments:

  1. Bacon and potatoes, eh? Seems to be a staple of Chaz's diet.

    I for one am all for wind turbines and don't see why people get so worked up over it. They have a certain beauty to them that meshes with the surrounding environment - at least in my opinion.

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  2. I think the controversy with these was with the turbines killing birds-which will naturally happen-but not too often I don't think. It's strange because we saw turbines almost exactly like these in the same sort of location in Arizona and they were in use.

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