Paradise looked a lot better today

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Oct 14, 2010

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Where I stayed
Madigan Hotel

Flag of United States  , Washington
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I woke up to a clear, sunny day.  What a difference from yesterday!  I drove into Mt. Rainier National Park and drove around looking for places with nice views of Mt. Rainier.  I had no idea where they might be since it was never clear enough to see the mountain yesterday.

I drove to Paradise again, stopping and taking pictures on the way there.  One of the places I thought I'd get a great picture was Reflection Lake.  Unfortunately, I hadn't considered the weather; the lake is still frozen.  So much for a picture of the mountain reflected in the lake. 

In the afternoon I went back to the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail.  The trail goes to an area of large Red Cedars, Douglas firs and Western hemlocks.  It's a nice patch of old-growth forest unlike anything we have on the east coast.  I suppose most of the park is considered old-growth forest but many of the areas have been subjected to more recent forest fires.  They estimate the last fire in the Grove of the Patriarchs area was 1,000 years ago and that the larger trees are approximately that age.

When I finished the hike it was time to start heading for Olympia.  Since I was on the east side of the park I decided to go up the road that borders the eastern edge of the park.  Most of the road is far enough inside the edge of  the park that you don't get any views of the surrounding areas.  Then at the northern end of the park the road runs right along the park border.  It's really a shocking sight.  You have wonderful, old-growth forest to your left (in the park) and desolate, clear-cut areas to your right (outside the park).  What a contrast.  Eventually the road gets to the northern border of the park.  Then there are clear-cut patches visible on the hills around you on both sides.

I stopped somewhere on my way to Olympia and checked my GPS for hotels both near where I was and hotels in Olympia.  I called a few and found something reasonable near where I was, which turned out to be Tacoma.  I'll be going to the State Capitol in Olympia tomorrow and then heading for Olympic National Park.
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