Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We're finally headed to Seattle!

Had another cold night camping in the park. Lots of people there..some in trailers, some in tents. Would not want to be in a tent in this cold windy weather!
Jim and I had some breakfast and coffee and headed out to the spit. We walked along the bluff path to the trailhead for the spit. There is work going on to improve the trailhead. Walked down a very steep path to the beach. Beautiful driftwood and rocks on the beach. Walked a good way down the beach and Jim spotted a bird on a pole...turned out to be a bald eagle! Managed to get close enough to take some pics with my little camera. Didn't make it all the way to the lighthouse...to far for us in the cold and wind. We turned back and headed to the motorhome to pack up and get back on the road to Seattle.
We took 101 all the way until we met up with I-5. Beautiful scenery and lots of water. Wish we could stop and really take it all in but that's hard to do in a large motorhome. Jim and I talked about needing to be in something smaller. Maybe next rv will be a little one.
Anyway, enjoyed the ride...nice roads and not much traffic. Then the inevitable happened...we hit civilization! Made it to the I-5 at Olympia, WA. Where are all these people going in such a hurry. Don't they know there is a beautiful world nearby! Anyway, it wasn't long before we got caught in traffic...slow, slow, slow. We tried to guess what the problem was...construction, big event, ?? Turned out to be an accident on the OTHER SIDE of the road...lots of rubberneckers! Boy do I already miss the quiet park areas.
Found our campground with no problem. We're staying at Seattle-Tacoma KOA in Kent, WA. This seemed like a convenient place. We plan to go to Mt. Rainier in the morning and then have dinner with Christina, Ellie and Rachel that night.
Set up camp and just relaxed and planned tomorrow. We decided to do a tour of Seattle on Tuesday afternoon. They will pick us up at the campground. It should last about 4 hours. Hope we have good weather.

Woke up (actually also went to bed) with rain. Very cloudy but we're determined to see the mountain! Head out early for Mt. Rainier. Are we crazy? No other options...we've only got today. Nice drive to the gate at Mt. Rainier NP. Went through some very cute towns. One had something called Hobo Inn...all the rooms were in train caboose's. So cute...would love to stay there.
Anyway, the ranger at the gate wished us good luck seeing the mountain peak. She was very nice and apologized for the weather. We wanted to go all around the park but the road past Paradise was closed because of mudslide. At least we were not driving on the road when it happened.
We had a beautiful drive up to Paradise. Stopped along the way and took some pics of waterfalls. Still raining, windy and bitter cold. It's JUNE!
Arrived in Paradise and it's beautiful...covered with feet and feet of snow. Stopped into Paradise Lodge to get some hot coffee. Lots of people walking around in snow boots. I thought they were skiing but they are mountain climbers! We spoke to one who said he was climbing today...in the rain and wind! There were several groups climbing today. They are crazy. I actually talked to three of the guys outside...they were guides! I wished them luck.
After leaving the Lodge we stopped at the Visitor's Center and looked through the exhibits and watched a film about the mountain. Very good production.
Since the rest of the roads are closed we have to leave. The mountain is still fogged in so no peak siting today. Weather is supposed to clear later in the day but we're meeting people for dinner in Seattle.
Got back to the rig and took care of some business before heading back out to Seattle for dinner. We met Ellie, Christina and Rachel at the Steelhead Diner on Pine Street. As we drove looking for a place to park we headed down Pine and saw the huge Public Market sign just like in Sleepless in Seattle. I told Jim I recognized this area as the place Tom Hanks had his office in the movie. :)
We did find a good parking place along the market road just a short distance from the restaurant. I took some pics (of course) and we went straight there. Ellie was already there and Christina and Rachel came in right after us. It was great meeting Ellie. She is Jim's cousin. He hadn't seen her for several years. It was good to see Christina again and to meet her friend, Rachel. Christina has lived in Seattle for five years! Cannot believe that. She loves it and has a great job. We loved the food and had a super visit catching up on lost time. When we left the restaurant we gave Ellie a ride home then went to Christina's to pick up a package which we had mailed to her house. We had no problems finding our way back to the campground thanks to the TomTom.

Had some work to do on the rig this morning but have a tour planned for this afternoon. Part ordered for rig was the wrong one...we've ordered another which should be delivered to campground tomorrow.
We were picked up at the campground about 2:30 pm for our Seattle tour. Jim and I are the only ones on the tour! Tour guide was full of information and offered to show us whatever we wanted. Since we did not know he took us all through the town. We got out to walk at Pioneer Park and he told us all about the buildings around. Lots of homeless people there. Beautiful flowers and art all around. He also took us to see a beautiful little patio garden, The Waterfall Garden,with huge stone waterfall...right by Pioneer Park.
Went to the Public Market and parked right by the front. Saw the men at the fish shop tossing huge fish. Tried to get a photo but it turned out blurry. So many people there trying to get pics too. We walked through the entire street level stopping to talk to vendors. Our guide knew everyone. We also drove to see the floating houses...saw the one used in Sleepless in Seattle. Very cool. Since we were near the Aurora Bridge we visited the The Fremont Troll under the bridge. There is a real volkswagen in the troll's hand.
He also took us to the locks to see boats going through and to also see the salmon ladders. Saw two salmon...too early yet. To get to the locks we had to go through a beautiful garden. Seven acres of beautiful grounds with all kinds of trees, plants and flowers.
We drove all around the town and also drove through Queen Anne area. Beautiful homes and gardens. Ended up at Kerry Park to see the most perfect view of Seattle. If it was clear we could have seen Mt. Rainier in the background. I guess we'll have to come back and see that some other time.
One the way home he took a route which went over the floating bridge over Lake Washington. Bridge is right on the water. Saw lots of sailboats and rowing teams. Very nice.
Finally got back to the campground at around 7:30 PM. Since we were the only people on the tour he gave us special treatment. Great experience. Again we've only seen a sample of what's here. Not exactly ready to leave but we must push on.

No comments:

Post a Comment