Thursday, July 18, 2013

Glacier National Park Road Trip - Day 19

Breakfast was “on the fly”. John had a ham sandwich and Linda had Raw Bits Twang Twang. They said “So long” to The Willows in Wilbur at 7:10am and headed for Mt. Rainier National Park the southwest of Wilbur. It was mostly scenic country back roads except for a little jaunt on I-90 and I-82. The Buzzards crossed the Columbia River on I-90 West between Vantage and I-82. There was a scenic viewpoint of Puget Sound Energy's Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility on the Columbia River. Their motto is “Producing clean energy for a brighter future”. It was completed in 2009 and can produce enough energy for around 70,000 households. They have 149 wind turbines and 2,723 solar panels. There were very high winds at the viewpoint. Linda was in danger of losing her hat until she deployed its tie string under her chin.

Stevens Canyon entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park

The buzzards entered Mount Rainier National park at the Stevens Canyon Entrance on the south side, took a winding road and saw lots of glaciers, water, forests and scenic views of Mount Rainier. They also saw way too much of the color orange because of all the road delays caused by construction. In fact, after about the sixth time of being in a long line of paused vehicles, they decided that Mount ROADWORK National Park would be a more fitting appellation. Mount Rainier is the highest point in Washington state at 14,411 feet. The area was declared a  National Park in 1899. There are 25 glaciers that cap Mount Rainier and they each have their own name. Mount Rainier is still an active volcano and is a reminder of the beauty and power of nature. It formed about 500,000 years ago and has the potential to erupt again. Volcanologists expect the mountain to give ample warnings before entering an eruptive period but the threat of unexpected mudflows exists today. The buzzards exited at the Nisqually Entrance in the south west corner and headed towards where they hoped to find lodging in Randle, Washington. John called as soon as he had phone service and scored a room outside of Randle at the Woodland Motel. He told the owner he needed a room for two seniors and a small dog. What a charmer. When the buzzards walked in, the owner accused them of lying about being seniors but let them have the room anyway. Linda asked him if he was the sheriff of Randle (see, still looking for a law enforcement officer eating) because of the EMS Rescue truck parked outside. He said that he has that because it has rope equipment in it for when he helps with search and rescues by rappelling over mountains. Soon he stepped out from behind the counter to show us our room and he had a artificial limb below his left knee and a brace on his right foot. It was so tempting to ask how he can manage to rappel over a mountain with those limits. He then told us all about where he was when Mount St. Helens exploded and how thick the ash was (“thicker than any snowstorm I have ever been in”) as he was going towards it to help.

Dinner was at the Mt. Adams in Randle. Linda had chef's salad with salsa. John had a salad, a hamburger burger steak with grilled onions and fries.

Today's photo gallery has 32 photos in it and you can view them by clicking here.

The SONG O' THE DAY is “Ac-Cent-Tschu-Ate the Positive” by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen (1944) on page 14 in Linda's new book (an anniversary present from John). It is “The Daily Ukelele Leap Year Edition – 366 More Good Songs for Better Living” compiled by Liz and Jim Beloff. The song goes something like this: “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mr. In-between. Spread joy up to the maximum, bring gloom down to the minimum; have faith or pandemonium's li'ble to walk upon the scene. To illustrate my last remark, Jonah and the whale, Noah in the ark. What did they do, just when everything looked so dark? Man, they said, we better accentuate the positive (etc).”

Tomorrow we're off to visit Mt. St. Helens of 1980 fame. Then over to The Dalles Oregon for the night.

Happy trails!

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