Snow and Ancient Trees

With having bought a house, sold our old house and mostly unpacked at the new one and FINALLY having an open weekend….Kirk took me and the two youngest for a Sunday drive. Sarah style. Which means we did a lot of driving, sight seeing, and even some hiking. No real goals. Nothing more expected than to enjoy the day.

The trip took us up Highway 410 towards Mount Rainier National Park. Walker enjoying the view of “Big Snowy Mountain” as he calls her….maybe too many episodes of old Dora The Explorer. Since we are experts at mocking Map 😉 “First we go to Enumclaw, then White River, and then Big Snowy Mountain!”

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Alistaire and Walker, sitting above lower Tipsoo Lake, with Rainier in the background.

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Rainier above lower Tipsoo Lake:

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Part of our day was letting Walker have fun. The boy loooves snow and was beyond happy that we drove him up there to enjoy it 😉 Even if it was dirty on top.

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Alistaire, on the other hand…he doesn’t like snow. It hurts his eyes and he has to be fully covered so he doesn’t burn. Walker tans like me, Alistaire is like Kirk – and has Daddy’s pale red-head skin that burns so easily. He lasted maybe 5 minutes out there before he was running off of it. This may well mean that he isn’t meant to be my hiking partner at altitude. Ah well! Walker though…he loves it.

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We drove down from Chinook Pass to Cayuse Pass, and there is a large parking area that holds snow. Walker had even more fun here. No cars, and so much snow to dig!

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Eventually, I talked him back into the van and we drove down Highway 123 to Ohanpecosh, and to see Grove of Patriarchs. Walker and I did the trail together.

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Moss, a tiny forest if you will.

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The highlight of the trail is the suspension bridge which Walker loved. Last time he had been out here, he was a baby, in a front carrier. He had so much fun!

Selfie time on the boardwalk loop through the grove of trees.

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Showing Walker the ancient grove of trees, some well over 1,000 years old. If you gently touch the bark, it is smooth. Not rough like a younger tree.

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And it hosts so much life, even at its age.

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The dead trees are fantastic along the walk –

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And in it all, wild strawberries –

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A short hike, but never a boring one –

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We took the boys up to Paradise…which left me feeling blah. It was packed with people and full of filthy snow. Like really dirty, thick encrusted layer of gravel blown all over. And a bajillion people in flip flops and reeking pots of curry. Not exactly inspiring. So instead, we drove back down Stevens Canyon Road and enjoyed the more lush sights to be had, such as Stevens Creek:

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The views here I loved. Green, water, butterflies. And no crowds. The Wonderland Trail passes not far away, and was a favorite part of it for me, when I did it.

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And a small patch of Trilliums by the creek – Trilliums always bring a smile to me. Summer is not far off when you see them!

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Then it was a long drive back down Stevens, up Hwy 123 and down Hwy 410, back home with a pair of very tired boys!

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