Friday, August 14, 2015

Mount Rainier National Park: Day 2

May 30th, 2015
474 Awoke to another beautiful day!  Sunshine and clear blue skies made for a perfect backdrop showcasing Mt. Rainier.
After breakfast, we all went for a walk/hike back up to where the boys and I had gone the night before.
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Oh, the beauty of it all...even more magnificent to behold in the morning light.
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We spent some time in the visitors' center learning about the Tatoosh Mountain Range. Once I took my eyes off of Rainier it was evident that there were other mountains around and that they were something glorious to behold as well. {smile emoticon}
The boys took some time and completed their Jr. Ranger Badge programs. (Shh! Don't let them know I told you. They thought they were too old, but we convinced them to do it one last time.) The ranger didn't embarrass them too badly either, so we were all thankful for this.
x1 The park itself has so much to do and see within its boundaries. We stopped to walk through the Grove of the Patriarchs. Huge, old trees offering shade and shelter to those needing it among them. The views of the mountains and gorges as we drove out were breathtaking. Such untouched beauty exists so few places nowadays.x Driving out, we drove upon a one truck accident that had just happened seconds before. None of our cell phones had service, though. After we pulled up and got out and saw he was alive and able to talk, a local and friend of the accident victim drove up on us. He rushed off to go to a phone and call for help. The injured man was awake, had a massive goose egg on his head and a laceration on his hand. His seatbeat (and well built truck) saved his life. The damage on the tree he hit was about 15 feet off the ground...he hit the ditch asleep and the truck ramped into the air until that tree stopped him. Out of respect, I took no pictures, but will never forget sitting there with him keeping him talking about his family and what he remembers about the accident while staring up at that mark on the tree.  He was getting more and more drowsy as the minutes passed by. We were able to acquire some ice from another passer-by and I held it on his head as long as he could handle the coldness. When his friend who made the call and another friend made it back, I left the driver's side and let those who knew him take over. Walking back to our SUV, the sirens could be heard and they pulled up as we were pulling away. So thankful he was wearing his seatbelt...it would have been so much worse had he not been.
We journeyed on, Pacific Coast bound.  The GPS was set for a landmark where we ran out of road and into the Big Blue Wet Thing (Reference from Muppet Treasure Island, there, in case you were wondering. Hilarious movie; you should see it.)
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Dinner when beach bound was at a local, one of a kind burger hut, in the middle of somewhere Washington State.  Norma's.  Best burger I've had outside of Vortex...and it gave Vortex a run for it's money.  I had "The Duke" John Wayne Burger.  Don't remember what all it had on it...and do not recall taking a photo of it (gasp!)...so you'll just have to take my word that it was huge and yummy!  I remember jalapenos. I just googled it and found their website...click here.  Click on "The Duke" above if you want to see what I splurged on this day.  It was so worth it! I had been watching my food so carefully thus far.  I enjoyed my treat, messy hands and all.
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Our stop for the night was at Ocean Crest on the Pacific Ocean with an amazing view from the living room.  It was a nice walk down to the water, so windy and cold once there, but it was a good way to stretch our legs after driving for a few hours.

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