Back to the Mountain!

This past week, my husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary by checking off a bucket list item: spending the night on Mount Rainier. Paradise Inn is a venerable old lodge where the rooms are tiny and half of them share bathrooms with the floor. But you know what? That drives folks to a wonderful lobby. I spent quite a bit of time sunk deep into a chair or couch here, reading. We played cribbage, chatted with people and soaked up the ambiance.P1100494

Quick facts: Mount Rainier is 14,410 feet above sea level. Paradise is at the 5,400 foot level. It’s considered a volcano, with its last eruption somewhere in the 1800’s. Each year, a little over 10,000 people attempt to summit the mountain. Only half make it to the top. And each year, a few lives are lost in the attempt. Sigh.

Back to fun stuff. You know, this is probably petty, but the parking lot is always packed to overflowing here at Paradise on Mount Rainier. The park gets 1.2-2 million visitors PER year. We came here on a weekend earlier this year and had to turn around because there was no parking. So getting to relax, have a glass of wine, and watch the lot empty out of all but the folks staying at the lodge was rather nice. πŸ™‚ As well, we got some excellent star-gazing in. It’s not often we catch glimpses of the Milky Way anymore.

For both Mark and I, this is a second marriage. We have been uber-blessed because all five of our children have been happy we got together. In fact, they surprised us will a certificate for dinner in the exquisite dining room. It was excellent!P1100500

We also took in a short hike, to Myrtle Falls. Really, this mountain has something beautiful for everyone to see, no matter your physical capacity. Myrtle Falls is only three tenths of a mile from the lodge. Of course, it’s uphill (and subsequently, downhill) but we even saw a wheelchair on this paved path.

So I highly recommend anyone in the area make the trip to see this massive reminder of how wonderful our Earth is. Just do it on a weekday, so you can find a place to park.

And hubby? It’s been a great 25 years, and I’m looking forward to the next chapters in our life together!


14 responses to “Back to the Mountain!

  1. A belated Happy Anniversary to you and Mark, Laurie, and congratulations on your 25th! Sounds like you had a really fab time in an amazing location. Really lovely that your children treated you to a special meal there, too. How romantic being able to star-gaze, perfect for an anniversary celebration. Love the photos. You look so happy! Wishing you many more wonderful years together.

  2. A wonderful way to celebrate 25 years. I grew up with the mountain and sometimes forget to really ‘see’ it and realize how fortunate we are to have such beauty in view much of the time.

    • I’m always looking for it. Not today, since it just started to rain. I guess we’re losing our summer, eh? Fall starts at 7:29pm. It’s been one of the best summers, though, hasn’t it?

  3. Sounds so nice , although we live close we seldom make the trip to the mountain. Thanks for the reminder!!

    • It’s completely different to be on the mountain at nightfall. We felt like we were in some sort of exclusive club. Of course, neither of us plan to go higher. Camp Muir, the staging camp for summiting, is at 10,000 feet. We could see it through the binoculars.

  4. So glad you both enjoyed your anniversary πŸ™‚ We all love you both so much!

  5. Valerie J. Patterson

    Sounds like a wonderful anniversary celebration, Laurie! The pictures were great. What a nice looking couple you make…like you belong together!! πŸ˜›

    Happy Anniversary to you both!!

  6. Great way to spend an anniversary and belated Good Wishes. Love the pictures. πŸ™‚

  7. BLISS! What a wonderful way to spend time on an anniversary. Congrats to you both. Love that lobby. Magnificent. Great photos!

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