DFJ and I love camping! We have had a very busy summer and only got to go camping once. However, if you live in Washington State and you only go camping once in your life, ever… I highly recommend camping at Mt. Rainier. No joke, my heart constricted and there were tears in my eyes as I said goodbye to Mt. Rainier (for now). Moving away from Washington doesn’t mean I won’t ever go back, because I will. Perhaps, DFJ might even consider hibernating to Rainier with me.
Anyhoo, amidst a very busy week of swimming, a job interview gone terribly wrong, a 4th of July party, a seamstress visit, and riding bikes with friends, DFJ and I packed our gear and went camping at La Wis Wis, which is just outside of Mt. Rainier National Park. We had a low key hike around the campsite on our first afternoon and proceeded to set up house and settle in. I read The Soul of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman (it's quite a fascinating read written in a straightforward manner) as DFJ was whittling the tip of a stick for hotdogs and s’mores. We ate some delicious corn chowder that I cooked ahead at home and roasted some hotdogs and marshmallows after. It was so wonderfully relaxing to just sit and watch the embers die down.
The next day we went to Ohanapecosh and hiked to Silver Falls and Glove of the Patriarchs. There’s something about the powerfull fall of waterfalls that just leave you in awe of nature’s strength and beauty. As DFJ and I went into the Glove of the Patriarchs, the big, old trees greeted us warmly… it was truly humbling to be in the presence of such natural, ancient greatness!
After our hike, we went to a coffee shop in Packwood for Internet because I wanted to know if my interviewers contacted me with a job offer. What a waste of time. Of course they didn’t! So, we headed back to our campground and built our tent at a new campsite (this is what happens if you don’t make reservations ahead of time). No big deal though, the ranger was so nice… he felt bad for kicking us out of a reserved spot that he gave us two piles of firewood and a riverside site to boot. Oh the kindness of mountain folk! We cuddled in our tent and took a nap under the shade of a tree. Have you ever taken a nap in a tent to the sounds of the river rushing and the breeze swaying the tree branches? It is the perfect lullaby! And the sun behind the thick trees kissing your face? Simply wonderful! We finally woke up from our slumber and explored other parts of our campground and found the Blue Hole with a rope swing that thankfully didn’t break! After all that fun, we went back and had some pasta (again cooked at home and just reheated at the campsite), more hotdogs, and s’mores. We stayed up so late just gazing at the stars. They are much brighter in the mountains and they seemed so close you could almost touch them.
The next day we drove up to Mt. Rainier. It is a jaw-dropping, breathtaking drive, all the way up. Mt. Rainier is as majestic as can be in its full glory! There are no words to describe it. We went on a hike and encountered some slippery slopes. That was on July 10th and the park just opened two weeks before we were there, so there was still a lot of snow. As I was taking slow, painful steps down the snowy mountainside, a crazy family ran past me barefoot in the snow! What?! DFJ pushed me down the hill and we rolled around some… that was the moment I realized that I needed to just relax and enjoy it. I don’t think I have enough adjectives in my back pocket to describe how beautiful Rainier is, so here are the pictures!
More on our summer adventures in the next few posts…