We finished off our second day exploring a bit more of Elbe (the other side of the street haha), and driving up the mountain to Paradise- stopping a million times to take pictures.
They had the prettiest dumpsters I've ever seen!
Our first stop on our drive up from the campground was at the Nisqually River. Standing on this bridge made you feel incredible and tiny and sort of off balance all at once. The river basin is so massive. I would love to see this river in early summer when the snow is still melting.
Can you see Paradise Lodge tucked back in there? This area was quite developed, considering the rest of the park. We spent a good few minutes picking up other people's trash (UGH), but were rewarded for our efforts when this little man came sneaking out of the bushes right after we got back into the car!
We finished off our second day with a short hike to a waterfall, more salmon, Carlo Rossi + Pepsi (pure class!), and an extra noisy cricket bombarding the campground (yes, just one).
Sunday morning Becca dragged me out of our tent and up the mountain on a morning run. Yes! I started following this 5k training program about four weeks ago now and am doing an awesome job of sticking with it. Becca kicked my ass, and we honestly couldn't have asked for a better view. Take that, downtown Ballard. After our run we ate an awesome breakfast (eggs! muffins!), broke down the campsite, and headed down the mountain to Carter Falls trailhead.
Carter Falls is a fairly short and easy hike, with some great views and lots of neat things to check out along the way if you know what to look for. It's also a great location to kick back and enjoy a fresh, cold Rainier tall-boy. Oh yeah, we did.
Brittany the Naturalist discovered a bush of red huckleberries that had most likely been avoided by other hikers, not knowing what they were. Score for us!
I love glacial dumps! The woods near my dad's house growing up was full of these crazy huge boulders that had been dumped by the Mendenhall Glacier years before. Mt. Rainier is full of these, and I really can't get enough. They're so fascinating.
Things quickly deteriorated once we reached the falls...
We got some silly looks and some looks of envy from ladies who got it, and then headed back down to hit to road back home.
I suckered Amy into making a pit-stop with me at Copper Creek Inn to pick up pie. Yes, pie. Of all of the things to research before this trip- the one thing I figured out was that there was pie. Good pie. I actually just bought a frozen pie to bring home and bake, so that Matao might still love me a little.
All in all- a great weekend!
*Photo credits for the sly fox, and ladies w/ Rainier go to Brittany! Thanks love!