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Published: August 22nd 2018
The Myrtle Waterfall
The Myrtle waterfall with Mount Rainier in the background.
For breakfast we went to a Russian pastry shop, which we had spotted yesterday. They had a massive variety of savoury and sweet pastries, which did not disappoint. Whilst I was extremely tempted by the sweet pastries, we felt obliged to go for savoury given that it was breakfast.
It was our plan to head to Mount Rainier today and despite the weather being even more overcast and smoggy than it had been previously, we decided to stick with our plan. My wife was driving and, after my nightmare yesterday, I had warned her about the circuitous route required to get out of Seattle. We turned a couple of corners and took a slip road on to the Alaskan Way viaduct and headed south. It was easy. I was annoyed.
Well we thought we were heading south. I think we made a wrong turn somewhere and the next thing we knew, we could see the Boeing factory again, which is about 30 miles north of Seattle. Annoying for two reasons! One, why didn’t the satnav take us that way yesterday? Two, how on earth did we end up 30 miles in completely the wrong direction?
Even without the
Again, with Mount Rainier in the background.
diversion it would have been a lot further to Mount Rainier than we had expected. Even once we got to the park itself, it was a long drive to the Visitors’ Centre. There was a nice short walk to the Myrtle Waterfall and back near the Visitors’ Centre, with some stunning views of the snow-topped Mount Rainier. We were not sure whether it was something to do with the height or the thin air, but the smog had cleared.
It was a further drive to the start of the walk that we had planned - the Bench and Snow Lakes walk. We had picked it as it was one of the less strenuous walks and hence likely to get the least rebellion from the kids. We were expecting a nice easy stroll around a couple of lakes, but, whilst it was probably easy going for the hikers scaling the heights of the mountain, it was by no means a gentle afternoon stroll. We had a rebellion on our hands.
The lakes were worth it though. The scenery was fantastic. Not only that, but you could also swim in the lakes if you wanted to. We didn’t want to, but, after the walk, a paddle would be nice.
We arrived arrived at the Snow Lake at the same time as a couple of American families. A family who were already there, clearly thought that they were entitled to have the lake all to themselves. They said something about “we’re leaving before we get trampled” and stomped off.
Most of the top end of the lake was shallow enough to paddle in and, at first, was nice and warm. As we walked further however it suddenly became literally ice cold. I’m no expert, but above the lake is a lot of scree and rocks so it looked like there had been a glacier reaching all the way to this lake at some point in the past. Clearly the water in the lake is still coming from a glacier or something equally cold.
Whilst the air was not full of smoke based smog, as it had been in Seattle, there was an active fire. We saw a helicopter flying around with a large bucket underneath, like we have seen on the news. Then, whilst we were on the walk, we saw a large amount of smoke coming from behind a nearby hill. We hope they managed to get that under control. It’s such a beautiful park and it would be a disaster if it was damaged by fire.
We had a couple of stop-offs on the way back to Seattle. The first was at a Walmarts, which is a common novelty on our holidays to America. Stocking up on various ‘groceries’ (usually oriented around chocolate or Oreo cookies) always helps to pacify the kids. And it’s always a novelty to see guns for sale in a supermarket. A variety of Oreo cookies should also go down well in the office back home. Even Walmart seems expensive when converted back into our crappy currency.
The second stop-off was for something to eat. We found a place called the Black Bear Diner. Nice food and it was a lot cheaper than our meals back in Seattle. Mind you, I felt brave and decided to go off script and have a chicken waffle with fresh fruit, which I am not entirely convinced was a compatible mix.
It was late in the evening when we got back to Seattle. It’s not often that a walk in the country involves a 12 hour round trip.
We watched the news for a while back in the hotel to find out what was going on in the world. No chance, it was just Donald Trump, Donald Trump and more Donald Trump. CNN are absolutely obsessed with him. It seems that there is an ever increasing momentum for impeachment for one reason or another. The mid-terms should be something to look forward to. A word of advice for Donald Trump - free chocolate and Oreo cookies will go a long way for pacifying your critics!!
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