Mount Rainier

By Leslie Parks - Monday, July 15, 2013

We have lived here now for over 12 years and we haven't made it to Mt Rainier until now.  I guess I didn't realize how close we actually are to the mountain.  For the last two years, John has been talking about backpacking in Mount Rainier National Park but you have to apply for a back country permit and we seem to him and haw about the timing and don't turn in our paper work.  This year was the same until we decided to rent a cabin near the park and just do some hikes instead.  It worked out perfectly this way.  John set the parameters such as money amount and dates and I got to work figuring out how it would work.  We found a cabin just outside of Packwood and sent in our reservation request and money.  Then the week before going, I perused our Hiking Mount Rainier guide book by Falcon press.  We had two options, One long hike each day for three days or two shorter hikes a day for three days.  We choose option two.  This way we could see more of the park in the same amount of time and break up our hikes with rests.  Another thing we were able to do was visit John's Dad.  We drove down to John's Dad's house and had lunch with them.  John fooled around on his computer trying to get it updated so that he could use the iPod we gave him.  No go unfortunately. Then we headed to Packwood via Highway 7 to Elbe and then onto Morton where we hooked onto Highway 12.  I really love the scenic routes verses taking the interstate.  It is just a more interesting drive, albeit slower route but that's part of the charm.  We passed a lake and decided to pull over and play around.  Note, next time bring our own towels.  I didn't really think about being around water, I only thought of hiking but you never know when you'll come across a wonderful little lake to play in.  We also travel with a soccer ball and Frisbee.  They're great activities when stopping for lunch.  The kids can burn off a little extra energy.
The cabin was fully stocked with dishes and it made mealtimes easy.  We had french toast, sausage egg muffins and breakfast burritos on our hiking days.  We ate sandwiches for lunch and all sorts of snacks.  Job ate two bags of baby carrots in two days.  By day three he was done with carrots for a while.  We had chili in the crock pot, grilled chicken salad, and frozen pizza for dinner. We only ate out once and that was a saloon/restaurant place.  They were nice and turned the Sounder's game on for us.  I think we were the only once interested in it.  I had really wanted to eat at the "Best Handcrafted Hamburger Place" but we were too late by 20 minutes.  Maybe another time.  I want to go again to Mount Rainier, it just too close to not go.

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