As many states that I have seen until date in US, each one has had its own charm. There has been something different about each place that I would differ to rank them. Iowa is famous for its cornfields and rolling plains, while the vibe at New York is amazing. Our last trip to Seattle was awesome too. We took the city pass and covered five different spaces around the city. The glasswork at Chihuly garden was spectacular, with the collection café, which is inside the compound; we discovered the marine life at Seattle Aquarium, which was amusing while the Mo Pop would fascinate the Marvel fans. We went on the top of Space needle and the view of the city was glowing from up above. The pass also included a cruise wherein, we were introduced to many interesting facts about Seattle. The Pike place market had its own attraction, the gum wall surely being one of them. We spent an entire day at the city followed by fireworks at Lake Union in the night for Independence Day celebration.
The next day we head to Mount Rainier. On our way, we crossed a small town, named Elbe. It is a cute little place and one defintely needs to check the souvenir shop. I believe this is the only store in the area and is famous for the huckleberry ice cream (which surely is the best that I have eaten until date). There is a tiny little church which is the smallest functional church and the setting of the rail track restaurant is pretty cool. This is the best place to buy the Rainier cherries too.
As we drove from Elbe, we did a small stop at Narada falls. It is a must visit and one of the popular destinations. A five-minute trail leads to the most spectacular waterfall that I had ever seen. The rainbow in front of the fall makes it look prettier. We enjoyed the sprinkles of water and after clicking some pictures head to Mount Rainier. We wanted to cover two sides at Mt Rainier, one was the Paradise and the other one was Sunrise.
As we drove, the green tall trees were on a line on each side, and it seemed that they were opening for us. The roads created so well in the mountain area that we were so close to the mountain. Each scene was beautiful and was magical. Little did we know that this was just the start?
We parked our car and chose our trail. The walk towards the visitor center was splendid; the narrow roads made one way did make the parking a bit tricky. As we reached the base of Paradise, we saw many tourists, people of different ages, some were starting the trail, while some had just finished, and some kept admiring the beauty.
We traveled on a weekday; still there was a huge footfall. July, being the best time to visit Mt. Rainier had attracted many. The mountain, also called a shy mountain, as most part of the year, covered with clouds, we were lucky and blessed to see the top of the mountain clearly, which is 14411’.
There were many trails, and depending on the time, one could chose them or take information from the visitor center. As we chose our trail, we saw kids of 4-5 years of age, walking along us. We saw different types of trees, the Pacific silver fir, western hemlock, mountain hemlock, Douglas fir, Alaska yellow cedar, and western white pine, there were patches of snow that we walked across. There was one view that we can never forget, and captured through the eyes. The mountain standing tall, the meadows with wild flowers and the waterfall, was a bliss. The active volcano had so much to offer, and it was so nice to see Asian elderly people experience the same feeling. The fact that roads were accessible and the trails made properly got many to reach. The trails were nicely marked and the place having so many visitors yet, felt empty because of the huge space. We looked at the mountain, which was crystal white and the area being a dreamland, we could hear the mountain. We played with snow and walked down from a different route. As we drove from Paradise, we stopped at another spot wherein the reflection of the mountain seen in the river. The drive was as pretty as the walk and we reached the nearby area Packwood. We spent the night at one of the lodge, and walked towards the street with restaurant. A mile walk made us witness the sunset on the mountain, and the purple color of the sky was so vibrant that we can never forget. The area had limited restaurants that were open in the night; we were done with a quick dinner. The next day, after the breakfast, we went to the Grove of patriarchs. It is a loop around Occapeloch River. We saw different types of trees some 1000 years old, some 200 ft. tall. It was interesting to see kids draw and learn 100 types of leaves while they hiked. The different color of the river was interesting with pebbles beneath and at the same time very cold. There were interesting facts written around each block, which made it an hour walk. There were some dead trees, which still gave nutrients to the other trees.
After exploring that area, we went to the Sunrise point, which again was so scenic. There were couple of trails but sadly, we could not do any, as it was time for us to leave. The two-day trip to Mount Rainier was just not enough; and it stands to be one of the beautiful places that we have ever been to. To more of travels and exploring!