On Sunday, after church, we went back to Mt Rainier.
This time the family came with us.
(My mother and father-in-law, sister-in-law April and her boyfriend-soon-to-be-fiance Ryan, lol)
We had a picnic lunch of grilled chicken, potato salad, cherries, and fudge. After that we hiked down to see Narada Falls again… because it's just so pretty.
Then we hiked back up to the car so we could keep driving further up the mountain.
(The river before it falls :)
We drove up to the highest point but there was no parking anywhere. People were parked along side the road for at least two miles or more as we drove down the other side of the mountain (the little dots along the road in the picture above).
The picture below shows the parking lot and the beginning of the waterfall we were just at.
We made a few scenic stops on the way to a hike my father-in-law wanted to show us.
Our next stop was to the Grove of the Patriarchs. Its all of the way at the other end of the park which was awesome because I had never driven through before.
After a few minutes of walking we made our way to the most gorgeous river.
There was a girl playing a ukulele which totally added to the awesomeness of the experience. The water was straight up glacier run off so it was pretty toe-numbing.
Breckie tried going swimming. She didn't care that it was freezing. She kept busy throwing sand for a while before we kept on walking.
A little ways down the trail we crossed the river on the way to the trees.
It was pretty crazy to see trees that big and old. Ive never been to the redwood forest so these were the biggest ones I've ever seen. Right after the trees these is a little stream of gold and that's where the trail ended.
When we got back to our car we headed back through the park making a few stops.
From hours away from Mt Rainier it looks like just one giant mountain popped up in the middle of nowhere. But when you're in the park it's cool to see all of the other mountains and valleys that you didn't think existed.
On the way back we stopped at Paradise. It's (I assume) the highest point you can drive.
There are several paved hiking trails so we just picked one and started walking. It was about 7:00 pm.
The views and meadows of wildflowers were so beautiful. I kept looking around and taking pictures and saying over and over how beautiful it all way. It almost takes your breath away.
Everett was thrilled because parts of the trail were still covered in snow.
Breckie enjoyed it too… she even found some time to dig for gold :)
We ended up hiking for about two hours. I was amazed at how well the kids were holding up. Breckie obviously had her nose to pick and Everett rode on Grandpa's shoulders for awhile.
By the time we got back to the car the sun was setting.
I had such an enjoyable day and I honestly can't believe we never went all 5 years we lived only an hour away. I promised myself that we would take advantage of the natural beauty around us no matter where we live.
Shoot, we live 4 hours away from one of the 7 wonders of the world and we've never even been.