Mt. Rainier to Seattle – 7/2/13

For our last day at Rainier, we drove back over the south road to the northeast corner to the Sunrise area, north of Mt. Rainier. From this side you see more of the mountain range, different glaciers, less dominated by Rainier itself.

Our weather was unusual – park rangers said most visitors never see the top of Rainier, which is usually shrouded in clouds, fog, rain. Our view was all sun and clear. All the time.

This morning, the Reflection Lakes were still and mirror-like. And the cell-phone camera is way better than the emergency disposable film camera – duh! But too reflecty to see what photos it was taking, if any. Shooting blind or shooting low res. Oh, well.

The view from the overlook at the S-curve approaching Sunrise was spectacular.  And definitely the road less traveled. We hiked the 1.5 mile Sunrise Nature Trail which hits a section of Sourdough Ridge. Spectacular views of Rainier and the Cascades. The meadow down to Sunrise Lodge is blooming with wildflowers. Easy paved path, until you make the turn onto the ridge, where the paved path disappears under snow fields. Follow the footprints in the snow – is that the trail? how ’bout this? The path peek-a-boos in and out of the snow. Slipping, sliding, falling. Shorts, sun, and snow – refreshing! Where’d that trail go?  Dang, lost it completely, and for the final few-hundred feet we gingerly forged a shortcut over the meadow to the section of trail we could see ahead to return to the parking lot.

Back in the car, taking the northern route around the park to Seattle. Past dozens (hundreds?) of fireworks vendors on the roads. Checked in to our hotel near the Space Needle, headed straight to the downtown Target for a new camera. Yay, my dead camera’s batteries fit, and the memory card, with 2 days of unsaved photos, lives!

Visited Pike’s Place market, saw a little fish-tossing, tons of food, craft, and flower vendors, and visited a little park with totem poles near the market.

Strange thing about Seattle – cars stop for pedestrians, pedestrians wait for the walk-signal, and cars never “block the box” of an intersection. And no irate horn-honking. This ain’t Boston, baby! But the downtown traffic is still horrible, just polite.

Then found Five Hooks Seafood Grill up on Queen Anne hill – great menu, delicious food, gracious owner/chef Paul who recommended we visit Kerry Park nearby for the best sunset view of Seattle.

He was right – this little park squeezed in among luxurious homes was crowded with photographers, tripods, visitors of all types. And the view was ridiculous – Space Needle against the background of Seattle’s skyscrapers, with a ginormous Mt. Rainier hovering over, bathed in purple light. Locals said they never see Rainier so clearly from there.  How many times can I say “oh, wow”?

[click each image to show full-size]

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Nancy Machinton said,

    Sent from my iPad


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