North Cascades, Seattle, and Mt. Rainier

We are all the way over in Washington now! When I was probably about 12 years old, I used to tell my parents I was going to live in Washington because it was as far away as I could move away from them without having to fly over an ocean. At the time, I didn’t know about the gas prices here, the traffic, and I must have also been equally unaware of the lack of sunshine this state sees. Other than that, it’s quite lovely.

We spent one night in Spokane before heading up to North Cascades National Park, for which I didn’t plan nearly enough time to explore and would love to return to in the future. Having only 2 days there, we really only got to fully traverse the area along the main road. We did some hiking and saw truly awesome things like the remnants of a fire from 1922 preserved naturally in the forest as if the fire was just last year, and salmon spawning in the river right at our feet. The color of the crystal clear water is a bright green-blue because of the glaciers, it’s hard to believe even looking right at it, so beautiful. We camped right next to the rapid filled river.

We did the typical touristy stuff in Seattle. We started out at the Museum of Flight which is large enough to keep you busy for the entire day until they close at 5. The place is multiple huge buildings full of history including WWI and WWII exhibits with real planes you can get in and see, educational exhibits on flight in general, modern planes of all kinds including personal, commercial, and military. We got a mostly sunny day in Seattle the day we went to the iconic Pike Place Market, another place that you could spend a good part of the day. We wandered around checking out all the vendors and ended up being ripped off paying $113 for $45 worth of fruit. It’s an entertaining place to go with the outgoing vendors, the variety of shoppers, and the fish throwing. In the same visit, we checked out the waterfront and the port and went to Olympic Sculpture Park to get pictures of the Seattle Space Needle alongside the famous eagle sculpture that the kids insisted didn’t look like an eagle.

Mount Rainier National Park was much different than I had expected. I pictured it as a single mountain surrounded by flat land, closer to the look of Grand Teton. In reality, it was mountain after mountain on top of mountain with Mt Rainier being the highest of them. The lower surrounding mountains were so high that they had glaciers at 7 and 8,000 feet. Mount Rainier stands over 14,000 feet and is completely covered in snow and ice. Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe it. It really is awe inspiring.

We’re still in Washington so there’s more coming. Until then, leave comments, ask questions, and check back in for the rest of Washington!

*pic- the view from Gorge Lake Campground in North Cascades National Park.

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