Next stop on my journey through the gorgeous Washington State was the Mount Rainier National Park. Once I did such a long hike at the Mount St. Helens, I put a rest day between those two hikes, which I spent at a recreation area at a lake, where I went swimming, relaxed and read my book. The night I then spent close to a public park in Ashford. Why do I tell you this? Well, in the morning, I was just about to prepare my breakfast in this park, something happened, that surprised me and made me unbelievably happy. I was just arriving there and wanted to use the public washrooms when I saw, that they were cleaned at the moment by a woman. I was waiting patiently, but the woman just beckoned me over, saying me, that I could use the other toilet she already finished cleaning. So I used this one and prepared my breakfast afterwards. During that, we happened to start a little conversation. The woman, Leslie was her name, told me something about her family and I told here something about my big journey through North America. Then she was asking me where I would spend the Independence Day. In Seattle. Further, she wanted me to wait for a moment, she would be right back. I was confused but waited and after less than ten minutes her car rolled back onto the parking lot. Leslie came over to me and handed me a letter, containing 20$ and a nice little card. I should treat myself something special on Independence Day. I wanted to deny the present, but she didn’t accept any discussion. From our chat, I knew, that Leslie was doing two other jobs besides cleaning the park. She obviously was working very hard for her money and then such a gesture. Her comment about it was just: „I believe in kindness!“. I couldn’t believe it. Unfortunately I forgot to hand her one of my business cards, otherwise, she could’ve read this here.
The day had a wonderful start already and it just went on like that. I drove up the narrow, winding road towards the National Park and at the very top, the sun was shining brightly into my face again. Ideal conditions for my planned hike. I wanted to go the Skyline Trail. Different to the dry conditions at Mount St. Helens, here everything was dominated by snow.
Only some patches were free of snow and those were densely occupied by marmots. So cool!
On the way up I passed some great viewpoints. It was awesome to hike above the clouds.
I could even see Mount St. Helens in the distance.
Once again I reached my goal in less than two hours, but made my way back rather quick this time, as the sun was really burning down and surrounded by all this snow it really felt like being grilled.
Luckily I had already seen everything on this side of the Mountain. So in the afternoon I then drove al around it to the other side, to the Sunrise Visitor Center. Only the road was worth it driving there, even if the gas needle in my car went down really quick with all those curves and ups and downs.
From the Sunrise Visitor Center, I then had a great view of the Emmons Glacier, the largest glacier in the lower 48s. I really developed a great fascination for glaciers during my travels so far, so I didn’t want to miss out on that one, obviously.
Spending a little bit of time up there I then went on, back to Seattle. But there was one more stop on the way. The young guys I met on the hike to the Mount St. Helens recommended me a café, where I could get delicious ice cream. So I stopped at Wapiti Woolies Café in the small village Greenwater and had an amazing Vanilla-Fudge-Peanut ice cream. Delicious! A really good end of a very nice day in the Mount Rainier National Park.