Last night we had a delicious dinner in the dining room and fell into bed tired yet exhilarated from a day of hiking and fresh air, my favorite combination.
We awake to a beautiful clear blue sky today and a better look at the Man on the Mountain that our friend had pointed out to us.
After breakfast we said our goodbyes to Paradise and drive the Stevens Canyon Road around to the Sunrise side, stopping along the way at many of the pullouts. It is a beautiful drive with many photo ops so while it is only a 23 mile drive it can take a few hours especially if you stop to hike any of the trails along the way and we are in no hurry.
Our first stop is Reflection Lake. A little bit of wind ruffles the surface of the water but on a still day this is a beautiful photo op. Nearby by is little Louise Lake and we wander down the trail to the shore to take a look. It’s a quiet little lake, not much going on other than a trail lined with wildflowers – gorgeous!
Next stop is Box Canyon where we run into our friends again as we leapfrog our way east stopping anywhere there is a view and there are many. We walk along a short loop and then are on our way, saying goodbye to our friends who are heading to Crystal Mountain for the night and we continue on to Ohanepecosh Campground where we will camp the night.
In camp we quickly set up the van before hiking to Silver Falls. It was very hot and this easy hike became a bit of an endurance test for me but the falls was beautiful, as always, and we made it back to camp out of water but without incident.
On entering the campground we saw a European, like ours and just had to stop and saw howdy. It was a lovely couple from Santa Rosa who had rented the van to see if they really wanted to make the investment in one of their own. We talked for quite a bit about the joys of van ownership and the freedom of the road then left them in peace to fix dinner. Next morning they stopped by to check out our van before heading to Sunrise and we packed up to head home after a visit with friends who live along the way.
Another quick but glorious get away to my happy place, Mt. Rainier, she never disappoints.