Mt. Rainier and Olympic National Parks

Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
Trip End Oct 11, 2009

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Where I stayed
Potlatch Campground

Flag of United States  , Washington
Monday, September 14, 2009

Left Columbia Valley, waving good-bye to the orchards and vineyards, even a few fields planted with hops which reminded us of El Bolsón. Stopped at the public library in Yakima to check email, drove along Naches River and into Mt. Rainier National Park. What a beautiful drive! Up and up to the pass, the river bubbling clear and sparkling under the immense pines, the road dotted here and there with aged cabins, corrals holding livestock, glimpsing deer among the trees until we are swallowed up by the clouds. Luckily we saw the impressive peak a couple of days ago on the road to Ellensburg, because today we are denied a view of its snow-capped visage. The misty cloud is thick and spooky, even so we get an impression of the beauty of our surroundings. As we pass over to the western slopes the air clears, the view opens up and we head towards Tacoma, trying to go around the city and avoid the rush-hour traffic. Our destination: Olympic National Park and the Pacific coastline. We finally set up camp in Potlatch, under huge pines and across the road from the water, which Victor must taste to verify that it's salty as it is so calm and flat it could be a lake. It is the southeastern tip of the Strait, and a curious seal pokes its head out of the water to welcome us. There are oyster shells scattered on the rocky beach, but alas - the shellfish season has just closed so there will be no digging for clams for us. It is damp and smells familiar, we haven't been this close to the ocean in ages!
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