Cheryl’s 1st Road Trip to Mount Rainier National Park

4th of July was the US Independence Day holiday so Eric decided to take the whole week off so that we could go somewhere further from home. At first, we thought of taking a road trip for 5 days in a stretch so that we can cover a further distance. But after much thought, we decided not to be too adventurous andbreak it up into 2 trips with a day of rest back at home so that it would not be so strenuous for Cheryl. Our 1st portion of the holiday was spent visiting Mount Rainier and I will write on the 2nd portion in another post.

Mount Rainier NP may not be as highly visited as some of the other well-known national parks like Yellowstone NP or Grand Canyon NP but it most certainly has one of the most breathtaking scenery I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. We’ve been to Grand Canyon back in 2006 and the view was majestic; but it couldn’t match up to the beauty of Mt Rainier. Of course, that is my personal opinion. Perhaps there may be others who prefer red rocks and canyons to snowy mountains.

Mt Rainier is located in the state of Washington and is about 3 hours away from Portland, OR. This mountain wonderland is famous for its dense forests, dazzling wilflower meadows, tremendous snowfields and rugged glaciers.  The 14,411-foot (4,392 m) mountain is also an active volcano and is often shrouded in clouds that dump enormous amounts of rain and snow on the peak every year.

On our journey up the mountain, we stopped by Mineral Lake and Elbe, a small town known for its scenic railroad at the foothills of Mt Rainier.

Mineral Lake, a popular fishing place

Stopped at Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad & Elbe Depot.

The Elbe Evangelical Lutheran Church built by German immigrants in 1906.

First stop in Mt Rainier – Longmire.

The coach that transported visitors to Mt Rainier from 1937-1962

Christine Falls

During our trip, we even managed to catch a glimpse of some wildlife there. As we were travelling along the road, we suddenly came to a stop. A mother deer and  her 2 fawns were generous enough to graze along the main road so that road travellers like us could stop and take pictures. We were thankful this time that our experience with the deer wasn’t the same like the one back in 2006 (back then, the mother deer just ran out suddenly as we were travelling on the road and had a head-on collision with our car).

Eric was hoping to see a wild bear during our trip and we were fortunate enough to spot one wandering at the side of the road.

We arrived to play with snow at Paradise. It was quite a challenge to walk here as the snow was very slippery

Cheryl getting her first feel of snow

Cheryl wanting daddy to carry most of the time as she’s still not used to walking on snow

We found a snowman which was about the same size as Cheryl and just had to take her picture with it

Cheryl looked a little puzzled at the sight of the weird-looking white monster

Mount Rainier in full view after the clouds have lifted.

Summer and still a lot of snow. This is not the ordinary July at Mt. Rainier.

A close up look of Mt. Rainier’s peak

At Reflection Lakes but the lake is currently frozen and covered mostly with snow.

Waterfall near Stevens Creek

Beautiful scenery while on our way to Sunrise Point the following day.

At 6400ft above sea level, Sunrise is the highest point in the park that you can reach by vehicle.

With Mt. Rainier at the backdrop.

Sunrise Point was just opened to the public few days ago due to heavy snow on the road.

Wonderland Trail covered entirely by snow.

Cheryl’s 2nd attempt to walk on snow. She’s slowly getting the hang of it

Daddy and daughter taking a long walk together

Cheryl fell asleep during the long walk

Gift Shop & Cafe at Sunrise Point

On our way back, we stopped by a place called ‘Grove of the Patriachs’ to see the Douglas Fir trees in the forest.

Cheryl walking below the Twin Douglas Fir trees which are 1000 years old

On the last night of our trip, we went to watch the 4th of July fireworks at a small town called Randle. The event was held at an elementary school field and the fireworks was to begin after dark. No time was mentioned. Not knowing exactly what time it would get dark enough for the fireworks to be lit, we headed to the school early so that we can get a good spot to park and to wait for the fireworks. As you can see from the picture below, the sky was still bright at 8pm when we arrived and people have started to gather at the field early to get a good spot. One thing we’ve noticed is that Americans usually go all the way to make themselves comfortable for outdoor events….so foldable chairs and ground sheets or beach blankets are one of those essential things that are always kept handy for times such as these. We didn’t come prepared to watch fireworks; in fact, we just stumbled upon this event on the notice board of a grocery store.  So, we were practically the only people with no chair or ground sheet. And strangely, we were also the only ones with a tripod and SLR camera set up for photo taking.

Though Cheryl broke Daddy’s glasses during the trip, it was all in all a good and fruitful one – Cheryl took the whole journey well, we had a good time enjoying the beauty of God’s creation together and ended our trip with fireworks. What more can we ask for? 

Surprisingly, Cheryl fell asleep after 9pm and slept thru the whole fireworks event

The only grocery store in Packwood town where we stayed at. There are not many amenities and stores in this town and the whole town is just along one stretch of road which becomes pitch dark at night

Related Posts:

  1. A Breezy Day at Rowena Crest
  2. Saturday at Cannon Beach
  3. A Colourful Sight to Remember

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4 Responses to Cheryl’s 1st Road Trip to Mount Rainier National Park

  1. Koko July 13, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    thank you for sharing your life in US with us. it’s breath taking and you guys look great !! Cheryl is so cute!!

    • sharon July 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

      Thanks bro. Heard you’ll be coming to US in Nov? Will u be in OR?

  2. Terry July 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    i missed this kind of travelling and snapping photo trips…gosh…

    • sharon July 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

      well….for u, the travelling part may have to be put on hold for the time being but u will definitely be busy snapping photos of your cute little daughter 🙂
      Anyway, when Elizabeth is bigger, u and Pauline can go travelling again. But your whole travelling experience will be so much different compared to before 😉

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