Eight years. 8 years since the last time we visited Mount Rainier National Park in WA State. Ahhh, we were younger, we were prettier, and we were kid-less back then. But the kids have grown; grown enough to endure the 3 hours drive (non-stop) it takes to get to the park + the additional hours of driving inside the park in order to see lots of cool “stuff”. It’s a huge, huge park with lakes, waterfalls, snow, wild life, snow-capped mountains, and The Mountain, that is Mt. Rainier (an active volcano).
The kids were great on our trip to Lake Chelan (besides the usual arguing, whining, and such), so we thought they are ready for a trip to Mt. Rainier.
I’ve got one warning for you: in this post you get to see only trees. You’ll see The Mountain in the next post, OK?
I have a feeling you won’t mind 😉
To get them kiddies in the mood for some nature adventure, I offered a little bribe. “Whoever sees a deer first, gets ice cream! Who ever sees a bear first, gets a laptop!!!”
“REALLY? A laptop?”, Junior got excited. (I knew this will get his attention. I tell ya’, the 7 years-old of our days are not the seven year-old kids of the old days when I was seven years old) “And it will be just mine?”
“Yes” I answered surely.
“But won’t we be dead if we see a bear?”
“Are you sure? A laptop? Will you give him a laptop?”, his father whispered to me.
“Sure I’m sure. If we see a bear, we’ll be dead and eaten by the bear anyway, so I won’t have to buy Junior his own laptop”, I volunteered more details.
“Well, you’ll have to see the bear from up close” said his dad to clear things up.
“And you need to pat his fur” I added and demonstrated.
“Yes!” his loving and caring father approved. “If you only see the bear from far away, you will get to see a laptop from far away. You’ll need to get up close.”
And that pretty much sealed the deal.
And then we stopped at our first destination. An easy, short hike, perfect for families with lil’ kids, The Trail of the Shadows. (Sounds spooky, no?) As fate had it, I was the first one to see a bear! It was on this trail,
“Bear!”, I yelled.
But a little old lady held the bear in her arms. It was cute and fluffy and had a pink ribbon and I was too embarrassed to ask her if I could take a photo of her and the bear. Or the bear alone. However, a few steps from there, I did get to see this:
One ice cream for me!
Dear Bambi stood very close to us, minding his own biz, chewing lunch.
“Trees receive a most beautiful burial.”
It reminded me of how I explained my father’s death to my son.
And now, some family photos, overly exposed, courtesy of my loving husband… Don’t I look radiant?!
For now… Next, The Mountain!