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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mt. Rainier !

Today we thought we would get another Jr. Ranger Badge. It has been a very long time since I went to Mt. Rainier.  No, it really has not changed, still amazingly beautiful.
Blurry, but it was the best I could do driving down the freeway. We were on our way to pick up Cousin Drew !! It was going to be an even better day!
The Nisqually entrance. I had not been down this way before.  It was very pretty
We stopped at the Kautz Creek picnic, rest area.
The boys needed a bit of a leg stretch. There was a long detour since part of Highway 7 was washed out.
Worth the stop for this view.
Reading the signs. Learning about the mountain
Even if the bathrooms were not pleasant, it was very much worth the stop
Lunch at Longmire.  We went to the Ranger Station and picked up Lon and Drew's Jr. Ranger badge pamphlets.   We were starting to get hungry about this time.  The Inn looked nice. I was expecting a HUGE price for lunch.  It was SO very reasonable. The kid's menu was 6.50 for lunch and a drink.  WOW.  The food was good too.
We went to the gift shop, but they did not have what we wanted. I wanted to get Drew a National Parks Passport and a Jr. Ranger hat.  We will find them !!
The boys worked on their pamphlets during lunch.  This was one of the easiest Jr Ranger book we have done yet! It was still a good amount of learning
Driving to Paradise.  The lights were flashing, saying the parking lot is FULL. We decided to give it a try anyway.
We did find parking, a long way down the street.  The upside is the boys found a patch of snow to play in.  This was at the Lakes Trail. I tried to walk it, but the snow made it hard for me to walk on. I was concerned that would make it hard for the boys to get their Jr. Ranger badge. Part of the requirement is a hike.
More Mountain
We went into the Visitor's Center. The wonderful Ranger counted our walk up from where we parked the car as our hike.  The boys needed to watch the movie that started in 15 minutes, but they got to skip the Ranger talk since the one starting at 2 was 75 minutes of walking. I could not keep up. sorry boys. The next Ranger talk was at 4pm, so she let us skip that step. THANK YOU
The movie was very informative and the boys both liked it. No squirming or talking. It was great!
Taking the oath of the Jr. Ranger. Drew was so proud of himself for getting his first Jr. Ranger badge!

Newly minted Mt Rainier Jr. Rangers
Tiny flowers. I took some pictures while the boys played in the snow on the way back to the car
I think if I would have let them, they would have played there for the rest of the afternoon!
It was after three and we needed to get going. I told the boys we were not going to stop again til we get back to Tacoma
Then we saw HIM
Of course we stopped.  He was just wondering around, munching on grass. He seemingly did not notice any of us way above him
The boys showing off the bear. He was very far away from us. Still so cool to see.  Someone slowed down, and I could see their windows open so I said, it's a bear down there. They pulled over really fast. They even said Thank you.  It is rare to see a bear !
Bye Bye Mountain. We had a blast.
This time we did not stop till we got to Tacoma. We met up with Aunt Janet at a wonderful place called Social.  Wonderful food, and even better company
It is right next to the Glass Museum.  It was a lovely evening.

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