So many firsts were experienced on this adventure. I had never been to Seattle (or Washington State), never on a cruise, and never to Alaska. I had been to Canada previously but not on the West Coast. I have been to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland however, so it wasn't the first time to the West Coast.
Other than my recent trip to Switzerland, it has been a long time since I've been on such an adventure. The personal success of both these trips has given me a renewed confidence in my abilities to adapt to challenging situations.
The first day of the trip was an adventure itself. Since we waited a little too long to decide to go on this cruise, I tried to find the cheapest airfare for Rob and myself. To do this, we opted to fly out of Baltimore instead of Northern Virginia. We're both now thinking that it's worth an extra $100 to fly out of Reagan National or Dulles. To make our 7 AM flight leaving Baltimore, we had to wake up at 3:30 AM. Geez, that is way too early!!
Arriving in Seattle, Rob's friends picked us up at the airport. Hoping that the weather would clear (as it had the day before), we headed to Mt. Rainier National Park. I've never been (obviously) and folks wanted to share the experience with me.
The next stop was at the nature center and Paradise Inn for lunch. But we missed lunch time, ate snacks and traveled further into the park. Our host thought of a trail which was not too difficult at all. I decided to try this one myself, for which I'm really glad I did. I had to stop several times to give my legs a chance to catch-up, but seeing the nature and being part of the group was wonderful.
We walked to the Grove of the Patriarchs where 1000 year old trees reside. Very majestic and beautiful.
Grove of the Patriarchs
Walking into the the Grove of the Patriarchs near the Ohanapecosh section of Mt. Rainier National Park feels like a cathedral. Groves of ancient Douglas-fir, hemlock and Western red cedar trees leave the air musty-sweet and clean, and visitors realize the insignificance of their own size.
To put it in perspective, when Columbus landed in the New World, some of these trees were already 500 years old. Clustered on a small island in the Ohanapecosh River, some of the oldest trees are more than 30 feet in circumference and have survived fires and floods for a thousand years.
A bridge over the river leads to a one mile boardwalk and interpretive trail where you can revere the eminence of this natural place. The trail takes about an hour to complete and the best hiking season is June through October. The trail is kid friendly and stroller accessible.Wow!! I had no idea that the boardwalk area alone was a mile long!! No wonder it felt longer than one mile total which was one persons' estimate. Whoa, go me!!
After the hike, we went back to eat dinner. Coming out of the park, we saw lots of wildlife which was a great way to start our vacation. On the drive past Seattle to our destination near Sammamish Lake, I slept like a log. It had been a really LONG day, but very fun indeed.
We definitely needed to get some sleep that night because we would be getting up in the morning to travel into Seattle to meet some MS bloggers and friends.
Read more on the day in Seattle.
The Rainbow Connection
Beginning of an Adventure
In Seattle for a Day, Kissing the Sidewalk
And They're Off!!
Whales, a Glacier, and Hottubs
On the Rails in Skagway
Blue Ice and Still Waters
Victory in Victoria, British Columbia
Who Knew Washington Could be HOT!!