After Marty prepared a delicious breakfast for all, the six of us loaded into the van and headed off to Mt. Rainier to experience one of the natural wonders of this part of the country. From quite a distance, you could see all that snow--which almost seemed miraculous since we are well into the month of July. We took a gondola ride to the top and there we were greeted by the face of Mt Rainier. Another "WOW" moment on this ultimate road trip...
An old song by John Denver begins "You fill up my senses..." That's how it feels to be in the presence of these mountains. Powerful, majestic, awe-inspiring, humbling. Like I said earlier--Wow!
Of all of us, Wayne's spirit seemed especially fed by the mountains. A humble physics teacher by day, I believe he moonlights as a crazy mountain man at night.. :) He wanted to see Mount St. Helens next, so we drove about an hour and a half only to be stopped by a road sign stating the road was closed due to snow (did I mention it was JULY!?!). Still Wayne was not deterred in his mission to see this mountain. He discovered an old logging road. What this meant is our version of a "low rider" (a minivan with 6 adults inside) scraped along depressions and rocky paths trying to find a way around the snow. What this also meant was co-pilot Vince had to get out of the van about every hundred yards to talk Wayne through the latest obstacle, the least passable being a pine tree in the road.
Eventually, we became concerned that we would never get off this road, especially with the encroaching darkness of the evening, so we found a turn around spot and left the logging road.
But Wayne, ever the cockeyed optimist, found another logging road and decided to take that one. Sorry, no happy ending here either. We turned around on this one as well. By this time we were pretty hungry and drove about an hour to a local restaurant. And from its parking lot, far in the distance, we were able to see the top of Mount St. Helens.
Day 9: Part A-- Why You Should Go to Church
Sunday morning arrived and I wanted to go to early service. I went to get the key to the van without disturbing the rest of my tired party. Vince, Marty and their son, Tom, all early risers, were outside. I mentioned that I had wanted to go to church and was trying to find the key to the van, when this saint of a man said I could drive his Corvette to church. Sweet white ride with red leather seats and a speedometer that actually goes up to 200mph! Oh my! I had no doubt this was a God-moment...and the church service wasn't bad either! :)
After an emotional good-by to Vince and Marty we were on our way to discover Seattle.
Very Cool City! We started our journey by doing the Seattle Underground Tour.
Our guide Rick was fantastic. Very funny and extremely knowledgeable.
Much of the history of Seattle involved sh** and sawdust. As such we were privileged to see one of the original "Crappers" in the Underground. If you want more information, talk to me or take the tour.