Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The rest of the story... day 1

This seems like both just yesterday and so long ago... I say as I wait for our fight home. This will serve mostly as memory keeping for me, but I'll post here as well for anyone else that might be interested. Here's a compilation of iphone pics as well as "real" ones to document our day.
We got up really early to catch a fight, and then another flight and landed in Seattle about noon. (Virgin America, for the win. We enjoyed the in flight tv as well as awesome lights and sarcastic humor.)

It seemed like a whole day had already gone by. We picked up our rental car, found some thai food, and drove toward Mount Rainier.

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The Thai food did not disappoint. YUM.
The drive to Mount Rainier was beautiful and reminded me very much of our time spent near San Francisco. In fact, we were both expecting to have a day much like the one we spent in Muir Woods. (Click that link for a flashback to 2008.) If you read what I wrote before, you know what we saw that day was NOTHING like Muir Woods.
Here are a few photos from the drive to the park.



And finally the entrance. Notice the amount of snow on the ground... none.

We didn't believe the park ranger when he told us there was 20 feet of snow waiting for us at the main lodge.
Here is the view about 10 minutes after entering the main gate. First snow sighting and a mountain... Not Mount Rainier, but pretty.

From there, the snow got taller and taller.

There were also beautiful waterfalls along the drive.
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Still, the snow grew. (This is when Blake noted that it was "time to start driving crazy." That is what the sign is saying right?)

The snow grew even more. Here's a shot with a couple of cars for scale. I had a hard time believing my eyes. Also, notice we've entered a whiteout. This is only a 20 minute drive from the entrance.

What we came to see... Mount Rainier.

Only, this one was made of plastic.
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This shows the road we drove to get here and the arrow is pointing to where we were.
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The visitor center was nice. I think this was the first day it was open for the season. The snow was piled up past the very tall second story windows.

We'd come into this thinking we could take a short hike much like we did at Muir Woods. This was the hike we were thinking we'd take. All these people are wearing large snow shoes. I think they are crazy.
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We only made it as far as the parking lot.


These people only made it to the parking lot as well, but they climbed it. I'm pretty sure that is all snow.



Me, and Mount Rainier somewhere behind me.
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Once we got back out of the frozen tundra of Washington, we stopped so I could take some pictures of the trees.








After leaving, we saw this train along the road. I honestly don't know any more about it than that.


We then made the drive toward Seattle to check into our Hotel. We booked it based on a recommendation from a website. It didn't disappoint.



By this time it was about 9:30pm (west coast time) and we'd been awake for a VERY long time, but we also hadn't eaten dinner, so we walked down to a sushi place where I had my very first sushi experience. I guess I should note that I didn't actually eat fish, but it was enjoyable and a fun way to end a LONG day.

Next up, Seattle day 2 where we tasted yummy tea and explored the market. Stay tuned.

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