Mt. Rainier again, then on to Spokane

Trip Start Jun 19, 2009
Trip End Jul 26, 2009

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Where I stayed
Riverside State Park

Flag of United States  , Washington
Monday, July 20, 2009

I set my alarm to wake up before 5am. I packed quickly and drove on the eastern side of Mt. Rainier National Park to the Sunrise area.  Along the way, I had just one chance to get a picture of the mountain with a pink sunrise tint.  In the Sunrise area, I took a fantastic 2-1/2 mile  hike to Frozen Lake.  The wildflowers were awesome, and it's not even peak season yet!   I shot dozens of pictures.  I may have been one of the first hikers on parts of this trail this morning. I spotted a marmot within a few yards of the trail. He didn't seem to be particularly bothered by my presence, but scampered away when another (noisier) group came along the trail.  

I finished up the hike, spent a few minutes at a visitor center, and then left Mt. Rainier about 9:45am. As I drove east through Washington state, the landscape changed to a much drier and almost barren terrain.  And I encountered more dreaded construction.  Several major delays increased my driving time by almost one hour.  Yuck...among other words!

Riverside State Park is in the city of Spokane, but is almost like an oasis within the city.  There is a large swinging bridge that is almost a replica of a bridge built in the 1930's.  The river by the campground and picnic area has some massive boulders.  The formation looks a bit like a bowl and pitcher, which is the nickname for this part of the park.  This campground is more open than any other I've been in on this trip -- no privacy between sites at all.  Before turning in for the night, I had a nice conversation with a couple from the Vancouver area.
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