Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mount Rainer - Lake Tipsoo - Grove Of The Patriarchs - Sunrise

On Saturday morning we got up and got the kids ready to go. I've been wanting to go up to Mount Rainier and explore. It's been almost 2 years since we've been up there so we were long overdue for a trip.

Since we were staying at Ga-Ga & Pa's house the boys both picked special toys to take with them for the day. Owen picked his Leak Less car from the movie Cars.

Jack wanted both Mickey & Minnie!

Our first stop was Lake Tipsoo on the east side of the National Park. The drive wasn't bad at all it took a little less than 2 hours and Ella slept pretty much the whole way.

It was really fun to go see Lake Tipsoo because there is a picture of the mountain and Lake Tipsoo hanging over Ga-Ga & Pa's fireplace. Of course the picture was taken on a much prettier day.

The lake is really small and you can walk around the whole thing. It was perfect for Jack since he gets tired out easily.

This was about the only time we really got to see the mountain well since the weather was pretty cloudy.

After walking around the lake once we sat down to have lunch. Then Daddy took the boys around for a second time while Ella and I stay in the van.

Ella and Jack fell asleep on the way to our next stop...The Grove Of The Patriarchs. We decided to sit in the car for a little while and let them catch some Z's.

I love how cute and puffy his cheeks get when he sleeps!

Once nap time was over we headed out on the trail. The sign said it was a fairly level trail so we decided to put Jack in the umbrella stroller. We'll we learned our lesson that fairly level in fact is not level enough for a stroller. If we had only remembered to bring the backpack that he can ride in....oh well!

While Jack, Ella and I stayed up on the trail, Michael and Owen climbed down to the river to...what else...throw rocks!

One of the cool things about the trail was we had to cross the river on a suspension bridge. It was fun and freaky at the same time.

Ella getting to take in the view!

The Grove Of The Patriarchs trail leads to this ancient grove of huge trees. They are beautiful! This was a tree that had fallen over. The boys were able to climb about 10 feet back inside it.

Pictures don't do them justice!

One of the things we thought were cool were seeing all these newer trees growing out of the older fallen down ones.

This is the HUGE cedar tree at the end of the trail. It would take at least 10 men holding hands to go all the way around it!

Jack of course had to take Mickey with him, but he kept dropping him along the way so I improvised and stuffed Mickey in his coat.
After we got back from walking the trail we sat down and had another bite to eat. Ella has had bananas a few times so she got to eat a little too.

We had to pay to get into the park so on the way home we decided we might as well drive to Sunrise to see if we could get a better view of the mountain.

Owen finally fell asleep on the way there!

We went all the way to Sunrise, but it's really not that good of a place to get a good shot of the mountain unless you hike up a little bit. We were all too tired for that so we drove back to Sunrise Point and I got out to snap a few shots. This is facing north away from the mountain...not sure what the name of this lake is, but it's was pretty.

By this time the mountain was almost completely surrounded by clouds. Thankfully it never rained on us. After this we started heading back to Ga-Ga & Pa's. We were gone for about 9 hours. It was a fun, full day!