Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2012 & Grove of the Patriarchs

It started out with a Friday off for Hubby. We worked on the deck Friday and half of Saturday.

Saturday afternoon, we did yard maintenance.
Sunday we planted trees and set mole traps. Went to see a movie.

Observed owl babies on the west side of the property that evening.

I need to add better pictures and video from Mark.

Monday we went to check out the Packwood Flea Market. Supposedly the biggest in the State. Not impressed. It was like an overpriced garage sale. There were a few folks that had specialty items but not many. It was one of those things like the SeaFair - you go just to check it out and then never go again.
We dined at a place called Cliff Droppers. They serve burgers and shakes, fries and beer. It was nothing super special. Good burgers, ore-ida  tasting fries - which are good but, I prefer homemade-style if I am out to eat. Shakes were YUM! Service was fantastic! Decor is ski-tastic. I would give it a 4 out of 5 and would recommend it.

We tried our luck to see if we could go back home via Mt Rainier National Park. Most passes are still closed till June. We got conflicting messages as the Park website stated all except Chinook were open, the roadsigns said most were closed and chains were still needed. Well, only Chinook was closed and chains were not needed on the Stevens Canyon/Longmire roads were clear.  Looks like the park website is the best info. So, that is the way we went.

We visited the Grove of the Patriarchs this time. 

lichen @ the Grove of Patriarchs
Salmon-berry bud @ Grove of Patriarchs

Grove of the Patriarchs

This trail is moderately easy. It is not handicap accessible. It is about 1.5 miles long. There are some stairs, inclines and a suspension footbridge. The cedar loop trail on the island is a raised boardwalk with seating. There are informational signs along the way.
This is a nice light hike for those who are able of all ages.

my kid on boardwalk in front of Big cedar @ Grove of Patriarchs

Suspension foot bridge to the cedar Loop Trail

The Grove of the Patriarchs is a beautiful, ethereal place to visit. 

On the way out We took the South road through Paradise and Longmire.

The roads were still lined with waterfalls but, this time there were more and they were on full force. We passed a cliff of mud and rock and our stomachs flipped when we heard a strange rock-slide noise.

There were huge slabs of rock that had come loose that had not been there last year.

Through the higher elevations we encountered massive snow packs. With the rain and mass, we were both quite nervous through Paradise area.

Paintbrushes @ Stevens Canyon

Reflection Lake May 2012

We drove past Reflection Lake. Click here to see Reflection Lake in Late August of 2011. Here it is late May 2012. Just got the road because the snowbank is about 7 feet high. Rainier would be to the left out the passengers window.

On the south side of the mountain

Waterfall near Longmire

 It was a beautiful and peaceful drive as any campers that were there for the weekend were mostly packed away and headed home.

skunk cabbage near Longmire

 Some of these photos and others not seen here will be made available in my shop. Click links on page to go directly to my Etsy or Zazzle shops.

This Memorial Day we remember and honor all the people who died in service to defending the United States of America. Without their sacrifice and dedication to keeping our nation free and defended, these beautiful parks may not have been preserved for generations from all over the Earth to experience. The beauty and preservation of these National Parks stand as an honor to the lives past. present and future, that were sacrificed to make our lives free and safe.

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