Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller
Date: July 3, 4, 2022
This 369 square mile national park’s centerpiece is 14,410-foot glacier capped Mount Rainier. We camped at a private campground 28 miles away in Eatonville. We entered the park’s southwest Nisqually Entrance and took photos at the famous overhead wood entrance sign. For most of the day we enjoyed several fantastic scenic hikes and saw many beautiful waterfalls. Ninety-seven percent of the park is wilderness, and we can see why. With the sun finally peeking out from the fog and clouds we ascended the mountain and crossed the Glacier Bridge to view Nisqually Valley and the Nisqually River. Climbing a few more turns we had a clear view of the 6,370 foot Plummer Peak and 6,562 foot Pinnacle Peak. We eventually made it up the mountain to 5,400 feet and toured the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise, the highest point in the park reachable by car. In the center, Rosie had in her hand a free park poster that cost $46. She can tell you this funny story sometime. Once back outside, the temporary blue sky ended, and the temperature dropped to 43 degrees. It fogged up so we could not see Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams nor the other volcanoes. Driving back down the mountain I spotted a marmot by the side of the road. We got out, listened it make its whistling noise, and took photos.
Returning to the small town of Eatonville, we ordered a veggie pizza to take back to our campground. At the city park, the people in the small town had turned out for the July 4th fireworks display. We stopped by briefly and I met the Police Chief and Fire Chief who gave me challenge coins that I eventually gave to my son who is a police sergeant. After we checked out of the campground two days later and drove east, the sky cleared, and we were able to get one photo of Mt. Rainier (the last picture).