Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mount Rainier (or so we hoped)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today we went down to Mount Rainier, hoping the clouds would clear in the afternoon, revealing the mountain in all her glory.

We stopped for lunch at Scale Burgers in Elbe.  

At the Nisqually Entrance into the Mount Rainier National Park we upgraded our annual Olympic National Park pass to the America the Beautiful Pass which allows entrance to all the national parks and parking at the national forest trailheads.

We drove up to Paradise which is at 5050’ elevation. The surrounding Cascades.

Cool Henry Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise completed in 2008.



Rainier? Clouds covering its 26 glaciers, the most on any mountain in the contiguous U.S.
Cascades.




We hiked up the mountain a bit planning to see what we could at the lookout, but the snow cover made it difficult to keep track of the trail.
 
We chose to descend. This is Joe’s method to slide down this portion of steep slope.
Nikki’s turn.
Nikki hiking in snow in the middle of August.

Beautiful blue skies behind the clouds, but the large one never left peak of Mount Rainier.
The terrain we climbed. I’m sure glad my orange hiking shoes that are rated for a water event didn’t have any issues in the snow. My ankles really needed the break after hiking all yesterday in my waterproof hiking boots.

Joe and his ladies.
Me & Nikki.
One more try.
The Cascades to the south.
More photo ops.
Beautiful.


Overlook on the drive further east.


This overlook would be a prime location to view Mount Rainier. Too bad this was all we could see. Cloud cover at about 550’ to above the 14040’ peak.
Narada Falls south of Paradise from the overlook.
Views down Stevens Canyon Road.




More cloud cover coming in as we drove up to Sunrise which is at 6050’ elevation.

Sunrise Lake which was completely undercover 20 minutes later.
We couldn’t see a darn thing at Sunrise. We went in the newly renovated Visitor Center and used the restrooms before doing the long drive home. The route from the house to Paradise, to Sunrise and home is a 7 hour plus journey. The Xterra got a lot of mileage this weekend.

We went to have dinner in Seattle at another Diner, Drive-ins and Dives location. We went to Bizzarro Italian CafĂ© in Wallingford.  It was going to be an hour wait, so we went down the street to grab a beer at a bar for Nikki’s 21st birthday.
 
Guy Fieri called it “the best clam linguini ever.” I had this dish with fresh clams from the Puget Sound, handmade pancetta, roasted jalapenos and fresh made linguini. I agree, “Where has this been all my life?” He drank the broth and I probably would have done the same. Joe had the lamb shank, polenta and brussel sprouts. Nikki had the meatballs which they make every Sunday night.  This had to be our best meal we’ve eaten in Seattle. Amazing Italian in a funky neighborhood restaurant not far from Green Lake.
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