Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mt Rainier - Black Diamond, WA

Monday, 8/3/09 Another big travel day for us....25 miles, we are leaving Tall Chief RV Park, Fall City, WA and moving to Black Diamond, WA. We have just had one week of NO sewer hook ups so we are hopping that Lake Sawyer RV Park will be full hook ups....please oh please. We arrive early that morning and get checked in only to find that Coast to Coast rigs do NOT have full hook up.....NO sewer again for 7 days. I'm trying to tell myself this is all part of the adventure but using their public facilities is not exactly to OUR liking. What the hell - we have 2 bathrooms in this thing & can't use them......but the heck with it...what is it I say, I'm not working & tied to a desk & I'm out seeing the country, so this is really a small price to pay.

We find our site, which I might add are VERY close together, so close we can't put our awning out over the front door...that's tight. However, the neighbors are very friendly and this park is located on a beautiful lake....Lake Sawyer, duh!! Of course we don't have lake front view but even the people with full hook ups, don't have that. But you can go down to the club house located on the lake & sit & watch the boats, water skiers and jet skis. I have checked out the area & it has great walking roads for me, lots of beautiful homes to look at. So this day is just one of resting (after that long drive) and settling more time and tomorrow we head for Mt. Rainier, the reason we have picked this park.

Tuesday, 8/4/09 Gosh, today it seems to be getting back to real Washington weather, no sun & cool but we are heading for Mt. Rainier which is approximately 1 1/2 hours from our RV park. Unfortunately, we don't have very good maps about Mt Rainier visitors sites or where to go so we will just head out & see what we find. Will is of course dressed for winter and I only take warm clothes, I'm going in shorts as I can't bear the thought of putting on Levis...what if it's hot, can't take the chance. We fix our picnic lunch, get the "other girlfriend/GPS" and head out for this beautiful mountain that is visible from every where on a clear day.

Our first mistake of the day (there were many) was not putting gas in the car of course we didn't realize this until we were already up there. Our second mistake was driving by the first visitors center as they did NOT have it marked, at least that's our story...I guess (you think??) we could have missed it. However, we finally arrive at Ohanapecos Visitors Center and the very nice lady gives us a national park map that has all of the areas listed. First, she says we have to go PASS the park into Packwood, WA to get gas, this is the only place, and because it's getting late the main part of the park, Paradise has probably filled up the parking lots & you won't be able to stop with no parking. She recommends we head back to Sunrise Visitors Center which is 6,400 ft elevation and has a spectacular view of Mt Rainier and is blanketed with wildflowers. We are so grateful for the information and at last now we have a plan.

So off we go to Packwood, which is about 15 miles from where we are now, to get gas. It's a very small town with 2 gas stations, restaurant & a few gift stores. What we spot is however most amazing....they are having an old car show, but not the hot rods or cars of the 50's. These cars are Rolls Royce's, Packard's, Lincolns, Duestenberg and old European roadsters. Each car there was displaying the emblem on their door that they had been shown in Pebble Beach, CA car show....the very fancy one. We just couldn't believe it, this little town in the middle of no where with millions of dollars of cars. Of course we stopped, after getting gas so we could look at the cars. They were absolutely amazing not like anything we had ever seen. At one point, a gentlemen came over to HIS car and I immediately started asking question (shocking, I know) He told us that several of the cars were worth 10 million (that's dollars folks) his was only 3 million. His car is registered in Hawaii, that's where he & the little woman live, but is stored in Modesto, CA. However, for the next Pebble Beach car show he is having a Rolls Royce Phantom restored by someone in you think this guy has any money???? However, he was so nice and loved talking (I would to if that was MY story) but then his wife came out of the building looking for him so he had to leave. I guess, one more time, I learn - there are no wrong turns in life, if we hadn't needed gas we would never have been in Packwood, WA to see this.

Ok, now we are ready to see Mt Rainier so we head up to White River entrance, where we get to show our best value card ever - Golden Age Passport - for $10 we get in "free" for the rest of our lives to any national park...the best senior deal yet. She tells us straight ahead on this road for 14 miles & we will be at Sunrise Visitors Center...finally! Well folks I can't describe what a beautiful sight this mountain is as you draw closer and wildflowers on both sides of the road & in the meadows. Because this road is so high up this visitors center is only open from July to late September. Also because of the height there are not as many trees and lots of open space for meadows and trails. You can't believe the amount of people on all the different trail loops around the visitors center and actually 9,000 people a year climb Mt Rainier....the actual mountain. The sun is out, it's warm and beautiful. We buy our postcards, walk thru the visitors center, eat our picnic lunch in the parking lot while looking straight at the mountain. The mountain is covered with snow, all except the top crown/rim and that is because it's still a live volcano and warm or I guess I should say hot! It has been a great day even if we have driven an extra 100 miles or so....but who's counting. Now it's time to head home to Lake Sawyer as Tuesday at the RV park is Taco Tuesday and we don't want to miss that and Will's says, "he's buying."

We arrive back just around 5:00 pm after another full "work day for us." Unload the car and head down for 2 tacos & soda - $3.00 for Will and a taco salad (hold the meat) and diet coke - $4.00 for me. We sit in the club house facing Lake Sawyer & visiting with our neighbors. After dinner we visited with our next door neighbors in their Winnebago RV, Mary Ann & Lester from Whidbey Island, WA. Very friendly folks and big square dancing people, they even call their Lemoore, CA connection to get Fresno square dancing information for us. Go figure, it's at the Clovis Senior Center with new lessons starting in January 2010. We are dead tired & head for home & time to go to bed, it's been a long day, very frustrating at times, but a great day and just one more piece of the adventure. Signing off with much love to family and friends.


setzergirl said...

It all sounds like fun even though there was a bit of frustration on the latest leg of the trip. I am glad that you got some "alone" time...we Willis girls need our time eh?


Carole and Will said...

Boy do we!!!!!!!! xoxo mom