A big perk of living in Seattle is being close to two national parks: Mt Rainier and Olympic. Well, we had our initial outing to Rainier the other day, and let’s just say I might need to try and figure out how to make this a weekly or bi-weekly occurrence. I also think it’s time to get a national parks pass.
Damn, what a gorgeous place that gave my soul a hug. This was even on a cloudy/foggy mountain misty day when Rainier wasn’t anywhere in sight. Actually, in hindsight, it all fit my mood.
If you’re looking for some sort of travel guide, I might be your worst resource. However, I can assure you if you have no plans, are clueless, and just picked a random entrance (although your friend recommended heading to sunrise – which we will definitely head to next time), you can still have a good time. Like we did.
Ok, I have one tip. If you run into one of the park Rangers named Bill, he’s cool, drives a rad truck, and has lots of tips, info, and stories. He’s also hiked all around Mt. Rainier himself – a 93 mile hike called the Wonderland trail (adding that to my to-do list).
So, it was me, my mom and Levi. We started at the northwest entrance at Mowich Lake (A lake Levi later went into fully clothed and quickly realized I meant what I said when I told him if he went in it’d be cold. Fun times.) We (per Bill’s Rec) did the hike to Spray Falls. It ended up being totally covered in fog/clouds/mist but still..fit my mood.
Major perk: I can one day tell Levi his first “big kid hike” was to a waterfall in Mt Rainier Nat’l park. He hiked the way out to the falls, then I carried him on the way back.
Life Saver: I purchased a LILLEbabay CarryOn toddler carrier – which has been one of the best investments I’ve made to help me keep my sanity/ability to explore and hike. I can carry him until he is 60 lbs and also get a sweet leg workout along the way. If people give me weird looks as to why I am carrying such a large kid, I smile and say he’s my training partner. (If I ever do a hike where I have to carry a 53-pound Pack I’ll thank Levi for the preparation.)
The Sunshine: Hiking with my mom. There’s never many seconds of silence, always a fun story or song, and she took some sneaky great pics of Levi and I too. Plus an outing to Rainier or Olympic, while she was visiting, was her idea in the first place. Thanks, mom.
The moral of this whole post: Yes I’ve been in a funk, but I also have to remind myself what I preach – that there is beauty everywhere. The best way to start to love wherever God planted you is to get up, get out and look for it. It is so easy to tell myself it’s too long of a drive, to much of a hassle, traffic sucks the life out of me, that our schedule will get all messed up or whatever other BS I like to chirp to myself. When in fact sometimes the switch up is exactly what we need.
Which in this case was the first of what will (hopefully) be many outings to Mt. Rainier National park.
Because man oh man did life feel beautiful for a few hours on this day. Nature is amazing like that.
**More info about Mt Rainier National park, and all national parks, really, can be found here. Also, today (August 25) is National Park Service’s 103rd birthday so if you’re close to one admission is free.