Mt. Rainier, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

August 18, 2019


When last I wrote, I had visited Mt. Rainier in Washington state. 

The next morning I returned early and drove up to one of the highest points to get even more views of that magnificent mountain. The road wound up and up and up through the thick pine forest until it opened up above the tree line into alpine meadows. Grassy and green with scattered patches of wildflowers, Mount Rainier loomed over the scene. Covered in snow and glacier, the wintry white capped mountain contrasted itself against the spring like meadows. 

Though I could have gone on a mountain trial hike, as many others were doing, I had not come prepared to do so. Simply enjoying the views were quite sufficient.

Returning back down the steep switchbacks still in mid morning, I drove through incredibly dense pine bough canopies that created dark tunnels nearly blocking out all sunlight. Headlights turned on automatically as vehicles traveled through that darkness. This was in direct contrast to where I had just been in the bright morning sunlit meadows.

Driving leisurely along, there was no hurry to reach Seattle, my next destination. It was calming travel in such a place, where, surprisingly, traffic was minimal. 

Realizing I would till reach Seattle much earlier than the 3 p.m. hotel check-in time, I squandered some time in Kent, Washington just south of the big city. Squandered I use loosely, as traffic became denser and more chaotic, which led me to miss several turns despite GPS directions. In other words, I got lost (sort of) and turned around so that the extra driving time was soon gone. 

With traffic becoming even crazier in Seattle. combined with angular and one way streets, hills and GPS guidance that seemed to have me backtracking while running in circles, reaching the hotel in the city center was challenging. 

With some help from two helpful people, I eventually was able to park the 4Runner, where it stayed in place for the next two days.

Settling in at the KIng’s Inn Downtown, I was not about to risk life and limb trying to drive in that big city. 

It was noteworthy to me that Seattle has grown tremendously since I was last there in 1989. Modern skyscrapers, many of them apartments, are prolific throughout. And pedestrian traffic is just as prolific. It seemed people were out and about night and day. Additionally, it appeared that most people out and about in that city were young, averaging around 38 years old. We learned that several large companies such as Google and Amazon are headquartered in the downtown area, which helps account for the youthful presence. So long as one does not need to rely on a car, I suppose urban living would have a particular appeal to Millennials.

Mark N was flying up from Dallas and would meet me later that evening, being drivin to the hotel by taxi, sparing me the anxiety of immersing myself into all that confusion - at night. 

The next day we both would set out exploring the touristy sites that two days would allow - and a bit more with friends.



u © Donald E. Kline 2012