Tacoma, WA to Mt. Rainier – 6/30/13

Flew Alaska Air to Seattle, with Mt. Rainier looming over the area – good airport, centralized rental car facility (too organized and logical for Logan!), then headed straight to Tacoma on the way to Mt. Rainier. Stopped to walk the Chihuly footbridge outside the glass museum, with installations by glass artist Dale Chihuly. Some huge aqua chunks, a wall of vases, and a Persian ceiling, like at Bellagio. Outside the museum was a reflecting pool/fountain with lots of clear glass spires and curls. Surprised to find the artist Martin Blank was from Sharon, MA! Had to go cross country to learn about him.

Got to Rainier, about 90 minutes from Seattle if you don’t stop. Checked in to our little cabin at Stone Creek Lodge, 200 yards from the Mt. Rainier National Park entrance, then headed to the park for our first hike. Yay, National Park Senior Pass! First stop – along the park road to find hiking sticks. Stopped next at Longmire and the historic National Park Inn. Good guidance from a ranger on a variety of trails.

Carter Falls Trail takes you across the Nisqually River on a log bridge, on a LARGE log – we’re in big tree country. The river is milky white from “glacial flour” – fine stone ground to dust by the movement of glaciers. Hiked up along the river, and up, to Carter Falls, then up a little further to Mad Cap Falls. Lush, green, and cool in the shade. Plus rainbows – really!

Dinner-to-go from a local joint, then soaked in our cabin’s outdoor hot tub. Ah, vacation.

[click each image to show full-size]

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