Ah, civilization. First shower in a week, clean laundry, hot restaurant food, and a real bed for a night. A resupply of food and reorganized car in Tumwater, and we’re back on the road, headed for Alder Lake Park. It’s July 19th, a calm, cloudy rest day. After pitching the tent and preparing some PBJ sandwiches, we walked down to the dam and beach, contemplating what to do with the rest of the day. We were feeling anxious and curious about the Rainier climb coming up, and decided to drive into Ashford to see the town and scope out where we need to meet the guides for orientation in a couple days. It was still early enough and Ashford is REALLY small, plus the weather was getting nicer, so we decided to head into Mount Rainier National Park and drive up to Paradise.
I turned on my phone to take a video as we drove up the road. With the exception of the view of Rainier from the airplane flying into Seattle, we haven’t been able to see the mountain since we’ve been here because of clouds. Watching my iPhone screen, we round a bend and Rainier comes into view. “It doesn’t look that big in a video.” With nervous laughter, Ted replies, “Yeah, it never looked big in pictures either. Maybe that’s why I thought this was a good idea..” We parked at Paradise, picked up some chocolate covered expresso beans and huckleberry cordials from the visitor center, wand hike up to Myrtle Falls to stretch our legs before going back to Alder Lake for the night.