Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Traveling through the Cascades Mountains…

Mount Rainier NP Grey Jay

Randle WA 009Before leaving Claar Cellars, Debbie came by to say goodbye, give us hugs and exchange email addresses.  How sweet was that?   We then proceeded North on Interstate 82 to Yakima.  Yakima looked like a really interesting town yet we decided to charge ahead on State Road 12.  We began a gradual climb which escalated to quite a climb!  Abbey labored a little but got us up the mountains just fine.

PenstomonsJust outside Randle, Washington we pulled into Shady Firs RV park.  It is aptly named as we are nestled amongst some large, shady fir trees.  And at less than $14.00 a night including 50 amp, water and cable, we like it a lot!  Not to mention we are the only guests in the park.

Rain was in the forecast for the next two days, but we decided not to let it dampen our plans.  Monday we headed toward Mount St Helens where we encountered a really beautiful stretch of old growth forest with firs and trees with enormous girths.  As we walked among these giants, Sharon mentioned she felt rather like a Hobbit.  Unfortunately further down Forest Road 25 a bridge Randle WA Barhad washed out thereby forcing road closure.  We stopped at a clear cut which reminded us of the devastation caused by the eruption of Mt. St Helens yet all around us the greenery emerging reminded us life goes on.  We even picked a few wild flowers to brighten the motor home and stopped at the Big Bottom Bar and Grill in Randle to reflect on our day over a couple of frosty mugs.

Tuesday it was off to Mt. Rainier National Park packing our picnic lunch since the weather forecast showed a window of opportunity.  The scenery was amazing Mount Rainier NP WA   Mount Rainier NP WA 023

along the drive and once into the park it was even more lush.  The winding road revealed the craggy mountain spires lathered in snow and glaciers shrouded in Mount Rainier NP WA 024low lying clouds.  Our lunch stop was at a point facing Mount Rainier but it was completely covered in clouds.  To our delight as we gazed at the mountain the clouds kept drifting thus revealing peeks of the mountain.  Because we were there so long gazing and eating we were able to put the pieces of the puzzle together thus exposing the entire mountain in its enormity and grandeur.

Mount Rainier NP WA Christine FallsI have seen a lot of mountains in my life but none as imposing as this.  After lunch we continued to Paradise Point and the Visitor Center enjoying the exhibits and movie.  As we started back home we stopped to see several of the picturesque waterfalls. Then the forecasted rain began to fall but we planned an indoor meal of spinach cheese manicotti so it could rain all it wanted. 

Today we are headed to Ft Stevens State Park where we will stay for a week.  We look forward to visiting another friend and exploring the town of Astoria.


  1. Yo Sharon. Why was it YOU next to the Big Bottom sign and not John?

  2. Beautiful area. I really like that photo of the wildflowers growing in a crack in the rock. Life is amazing in its tenacity. Hope you get some sun in Astoria - it has sure been a wet summer so far.

  3. Um, I was kinda wondering about that "Big bottom" juxtaposition thing too.
    Subliminal message?

  4. Thanks for sharing Mt. Rainer. In the entire time we were in Washington and especially Seattle, we never saw it not once! Glad it was a clear day for you two.

    Love the wildflowers!

  5. You are right in our backyard, this is the perfect summer place. You are going to one of our favorite state parks. Actually We have many favorite state parks, if you are going south on the coast, Beverly Beach State park is a great park also. There is so much to see in the area. Hope you get to visit both sides of the river, it's really nice up by Long Beach and Westport. Loved your flower picture. I wish we could meet up with you but we are heading to Northern California tomorrow.

  6. Love your beautiful photos!

    We have hiked many trails to waterfalls on Mt. Rainier. So much grandeur.

    When we lived in Milton, Washington (near Tacoma) we had a view of Mt. Rainier from an upstairs bedroom window. If we wanted to go hiking on a particular weekend, we'd run upstairs to see if the "mountain was out." That usually meant a good day for sunny hiking.

    Glad you're enjoying the Pacific Northwest! Have fun in Astoria. Don't forget to go to the top of the Astoria Column and check out the restored artwork on the outside of the column. Great views from the top. Lots of stairs!


  7. Can't wait to discover this area of the country.

  8. Lovely area! Have yet to RV in WA, believe it or not.
    Enjoy your stay at Ft. Stevens. Lots to see and do around Astoria. On a clear day the hike up Saddleback Mountain is fabulous.