Wednesday, July 16th
Again an early start to the day.
The day began with an early morning walk to continue to bask in the God’s Glory surrounding Paradise Inn & Mount Rainier. My bags were packed and I left the room to circle the grounds.
On my way I met two staffers. First, I met JT who was a cook at the nearby Longmire Inn. Later, I met Sydney, a recent high school graduate. Both were seasonal workers. Sydney decides what she wants to do [like skiing] and applies for a job at a national park. Its a free-spirited lifestyle that I admire.
Today, as was the custom yesterday, I was greeted and welcomed by a deer along my walk.
I made it back to the hotel and slowly walked through the hotel hallways to take it all in. I felt like the clock had wound back about a hundred years as the venue was so rich in history. I made my way upstairs to the lofts; there I got a close up view of the hand painted vellum lamp shades — stunning! Finally, it was breakfast time and for the final time I beheld the beauty of the dining room. Breakfast was slower paced and quieter than dinner, but the service was excellent. I had oatmeal and “bring your own blueberries” along with some fruit.
After Breakfast, it was time to board the bus and descend down the mountain. About three-fourths down the mountain, I was able to get phone service, which I had not had in about 18 hours. Down the mountain, I was able to call my husband. Lesson Learned: always carry a phone card while travelling.
Returning to City Life
Descending the mountain we encountered the creamy colored Nisqually River. Apparently when rock falls from fourteen thousand feet, it pulverizes along the way and becomes a powdery flour; therefore the river turns a creamy color. The roads were winding and the trees were quite tall. I estimated the trees to be about 10 stories high. I also noticed that the higher the elevation, the smaller the tree circumference. The lower the elevation the larger the tree girth.
We travelled through several small and midsized cities on the way to Tacoma. Upon arrival in Tacoma our first stop was the Museum of Glass featuring work by renown artist Dave Chihuly. We dined at the museum’s cafe and walked across Bridge of Glass. We made our way to Union Station, where more art was on display. We had a few minutes of free time so I trekked over to University of Washington Tacoma, a bustling campus surrounded by beauty.
Back on the bus, we headed north toward Seattle. After several missed turns, the bus unloaded at the Roosevelt Hotel. It was well appointed yet quaint. Most importantly it was close to everything. I phoned my friend, Holly, and we made dinner plans. In the interim I walked with the group to Pike’s Market at the wharf. Yes! I did see the place where they throw fish! At this point I was quite exhausted and grumpy so I broke away from the group and walked back to the hotel.
Holly and I had a great reunion. We decided on Cutter’s Crabhouse on the waterfront. She had salmon bisque; I had crabcakes. It was a terrific dinner and delightful conversation. We got an intense workout on an inclined walk back to the hotel.