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Seattle/Olympic/Rainier Trip Report

Day 7 of 9

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Thursday, September 16th
Drive to Mt. Rainier

It was still overcast as we drove to the Wallingford district across Lake Union. There are lots of little shops here, but we didn't have much time to look around. Maybe next time.

Peppers at Pike Place Market

We returned to Pike Place Market, where I took some pictures of the market and the flying fish. Then it was Wild Ginger for lunch again.

Crabs for sale at Pike Place Market

It looked like it was beginning to clear up and we thought about going to the top of the Space Needle, but it was still too cloudy. We started driving toward Mt. Rainier at about 1:30pm.

We drove south on I-5, east on 152, then hopped onto Highway 7. On Highway 7 we saw a lot of logging trucks, and saw the resultant hillsides further on.

We reached the Cougar Rock campground (3180 feet) in Mt. Rainier National Park at about 4pm. We had our pick of campsites, as it was only about a quarter full. We picked the nicest one we could find and started setting up under sunny skies. Mt. Rainier itself peeked over the treetops.

Christine Falls

After a short rest we drove to the viewpoint for Christine Falls. It's okay. But much more impressive is Narada Falls, our next stop. Water rushes underneath a bridge and down a sheer vertical drop of about 150 feet. A light mist constant pours over the viewpoint railing. Unfortunately, it was late afternoon and getting dark; I decided we should return during better light to enjoy the view better.

Narada Falls

Mt. Rainier rises steeply, towering 11,000 feet over our campsite. There are several turnouts along the road which provide views of this impressive behemoth. As we drove back down to our campsite, a mysterious mist suddenly started rising out of the ground. It soon engulfed Mt. Rainier and the sky turned gray. I've never seen fog develop so quickly. Perhaps it has something to do with Rainier's glaciers.

Dinner consisted of macaroni, dried vegetables, salsa, and smoked salmon (courtesy of our trip to REI). Delicious! Dessert? Chocolate covered pecans (also from REI).

The bathrooms at the campground are a luxury compared to those at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite, or even those at Lassen. Not only are the bathrooms relatively clean and lighted -- they're even heated! Such luxury!

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