Tam and I are on vacation, which means we’ve gone to Oregon to visit my parents and then spent the rest of the time close to home because we have a lot to do around here. But sometimes getting away for just a day is a nice thing to be able to do.
We packed lunch and headed toward one of my favorite landmarks, Mt. Rainier. Tam was shocked to learn that I have never been to a place called Carbanado, nor do I recall ever going over “the bridge.” It is only an hour’s drive from home to “the bridge” so we decided to check it out.
Photographs do not do it justice. No matter how hard I tried, I could not capture the feeling of being so far above a river. It was beautiful. Scary as hell, but beautiful.
The river is that color because it is fed directly from glacial runoff, so there’s LOTS of silt in the water. It’s REALLY cold, too, in case you were wondering.
After that, we figured, what the hell, let’s go on up to the Carbon River ranger station and take a little bit of a hike or something. We ended up splurging on an annual pass to Mt. Rainier National Park, because a) it supports our national parks and b) OMG you guys! It’s so beautiful. And expensive. That pass paid for itself in one day, since it would have cost us sixty dollars to take our little hikes and the pass only cost us $30.
The things we saw…
The boardwalk was musical (not on purpose, but the cedar they used made lovely notes as we stepped on them) and the accompanying birdsong was perfect. It was so green and quiet that I wanted to stay there forever.
But we did leave, only to head up to a place called Mowich Lake. Up, being the operative word here, because by the time we got there, the elevation was over 4,000 feet. The sky was perfect blue and the deer flies were busy.
Mowich is also glacier fed, so the chill factor was even more intense than it was on the swift-flowing Carbon River. The water is perfectly clear and the shoreline is NOT broken up with private property and keep-out signs, but the trail is well marked and the part we were on was easy walking.
The road to Mowich, however, was less than awesome and there were a few times I nearly killed my poor little car swerving to avoid a pothole the size of a pickup truck. I wasn’t going fast, but it was hard to see the holes until you were nearly on them, plus I was slightly distracted by the scenery.
We’ve decided to make that pass pay for itself over and over again. We’ll be heading back up to the mountain a couple more times this season. We’re also going to super-splurge on an interagency pass, so we can hit ALL the parks in the state. Ok, maybe not ALL of them, but as many as we can fit into our vacation, days off, budget, and mood.