Seattle : Mount Rainier


It was my second day in Seattle. Yesterday, Porntep had booked Arcelli and I on a tour up to Mount Rainier.

Early 8am, the tour bus arrived at Homewood and picked the three of us up. After zig-zagging thru Seattle Downtown to a few more hotels for other members of the tour, Joe, our guide started driving northwest.

We passed  few smaller towns and a dam along the way. As we drove, Joe would tell us stories.

Along the small roads that snake thru the countryside, Joe told us a story about being pulled over for going slightly above the speed limit. Luckily for him, there was a US Marshall in the back of the bus and managed to help Joe by speaking to the police officers. He then asked if any of us were in law enforcement and should we arrive to such a predicament, to step up and be counted.

Beautiful wilderness.

LaGrande Dam.

Alder Dam.

We passed the small town of Elbe which has one of the cutest churches and some train-cabins that serve as small diners.

The Elbe Church.

Along the way, we pass a metal sculpturer’s house.

The small man in the middle will freak someone out at night.

Finally, we arrive at the official entrance to the national park.

Halfway thru the journey, we stopped by for a short walk in the snow.

A short walk to some very large trees.

As the snow gets heavier on the top of the trees, be careful as the snow may fall. Watch and cover your head if it helps.

Count the rings and tell the age of this log.

It was time for lunch at the National Parks Inn.

This is the classic manual petrol pump. It is no longer functional and is just for display.

Trail of shadows brings you into the shadows as the walk is between tall trees that block out some of the sun.

Beware the beaver fever.


James Longmire was wrong!

Mount Rainier a distant away.

Lunch was a hamburger and chilli.

Chilli consists of beans and Joe did warn me about flatulence in the bus.

Pretty okay hamburger. The cheese looks so good.

When you are hungry, you eat.

Christine Falls.

Christine Falls was named by John Hatrue of Yelm, Washington, in honor of Christine Louise Van Trump – daughter of P.B. Van Trump, one of the two first ascentionists of Mt. Rainier – who in 1889, at the age of 9, climbed to the 10,000 foot level on the mountain, despite a crippling nervous system disorder.

Be careful here as it is by the road and most of the cars pass by a few feet away from you. Please look left and right before crossing. Photograph sniper’s tunnel vision is a common cause for road accidents among photographers.

There was a needed to wear snow shoes. I remember the cartoons of my youth, where tennis racquets were used to walk thru snow.

Paradise is famous for its glorious views and wildflower meadows during spring and summer.

When James Longmire’s daughter-in-law, Martha, first saw this site, she exclaimed, “Oh, what a paradise!”

My trip to Seattle was a light trip for me. I was dressed in pretty light clothing but I enjoyed the cold tremendously.
So Joe told me to cover up as much as I can and even gave me a thicker head cover. And then he called me Elmer Fudge!

I got more appropriate snow shoes provided by Joe. Always check to see if your toes are getting cold. Frostbite is no laughing matter.

If you have cold feet, please tell Joe. You may just need some help.

Walking thru snow, we followed Joe around and which much warning, to avoid falling off the cliff and also to avoid eating yellow snow. ( some animals , people) pee outdoors here.

Here, you can just remain quiet and listen to the howl of the cold wind. The air is crisp and fresh. Stand here for a few minutes and enjoy some peace.

I managed to finally get my 2nd experience of making a snow angel. The snow will not really wet you that quickly.
There were some places where I would purposely step in less dense snow and find myself knee deep in snow. But walking in snow is tiring.

Snow is roughly 8-10 feet deep.

The afternoon was long gone and as the time passed, it was about time to head back to Seattle. Most of the people in the bus started falling asleep and I was doing the same too. Darkness fell and passing by the Fred Meyer for a bathroom break.

Joe dropped the three of us off last and decided to give us a short ride up Queen Anne to Kerry Park. This was my first time seeing the cliche view of Seattle and though it was drizzling, I managed to take some shots.

The three of us decided to get some dinner and chose Buckley’s on Queen Anne.

Some nice smooth beer.

Where’s my steak?

Buckley’s has a decent steak.

Juicy and very filling.

The also have awesome fries.

It was a long day and it was a nice feeling to take a hot shower and then head off to the comfy fluffy bed at Homewood Suites.

Book your tour and ask for Joe Pritchard to be your driver. Awesome chap and tons of stories.


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