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Labor Day at Mt. Rainier (Washington State)


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I drove the family to visit Mount Rainier today. My wife and I have been there maybe one time before today and that was before we got married. My parents also came with us.

It's a 2 1/2 hr drive from where we live to get to Mt. Rainier. We stopped on the way for lunch and arrived around 3pm. I bought America the Beautiful pass for national parks two months ago during my family road trip to Texas. Today was the third time I used it, so now I've gotten my money's worth, and it's bonus time from now until next July.

The most popular spot at the park that gives you a close-up view of the mountain is Paradise Jackson Visitor Center. That's was our destination today, and there were a lot of people there. My wife and I are indoor-sy and don't visit parks on a regular basis. We didn't realize how popular Mt. Rainier was. We were, however, fortunate to find a good parking spot (the lot was full according to the sign).

My parents have difficulty walking more than 10-20 ft without having to rest. There were several benches next to the passenger load/unload area, and my mom said she wasn't going any farther. There goes the idea about a brief hike for a better photo op. I guess it didn't really matter too much since the top of the mountain was shrouded in clouds, and only the base of the mountain was visible from Paradise. I set up the tripod and took some photos and we were done. After a restroom break, we got back in the car and headed down the mountain. A few minutes down, we did stop at a vantage point which gave us a good view of Mt. Rainier including the peak, so all was not lost. I joked in the car that the reason we we drove up to Mt. Rainier today was to use the restroom. That's was about the extent of our visit. At least the lunch and snacks were good, and when we arrived home at 6pm, we had Korean BBQ for dinner.

My wife and I intend to get an RV in about 8-10 years, and today, we added another destination for us to visit and explore when our RV life begins. Since it's relatively close, Mount Rainier National Park might be a good place to practice living in an RV.

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