Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cougar Rock-Mount Rainier National Park

You know the old cliche-No news is good news ?  Well that was our feeling when Poulsbo RV told us they had to send pictures to Roadtrek to see if the out of order holding tank is covered under warranty.  So fingers still crossed tightly that it will be covered under warranty-otherwise money out of our pockets.  And if that is the case,sorry sweetie Vegas will have to be cancelled .  When we heard the news, we decided we had 2 choices-stay home and brood about something that is out of our control for now-or hit the road.  We chose to hit the road.  Since it was a last minute decision and we had  no campground reservations and gorgeous weather we decided to head to the mountains. The beaches are still jammed with everyone taking advantage of our summer weather in October !

We hadn't taken Ruby to Mount Rainier yet and figured this would be a good time to introduce her to one of our favorite places.  When Jim and I first moved to Seattle, I was still working for American Express as a full time employee.  Well, I didn't want to be left behind in Salt Lake City , so I resigned and they hired me on as a contract worker.  What that meant is that every Sunday night I would leave Seattle and fly to Salt Lake,stay the week, do my work and fly back to Seattle on Friday night.  That lasted for 6 months-some of the loneliest 6 months of my life.  The best part of that experience was on the plane coming into Seattle, I always made sure I had a view of Mount Rainier-flying over her was such a welcome relief.  As soon as I saw her, I could breathe again and I knew I was home.

We have never camped at Mount Rainier and I knew the camping season there was coming to an end. We had originally planned on going to Ohanapecosh Campground, but when we arrived it was late in the afternoon and we didn't want to drive another hour around the park to get to Ohanapecosh so we decided to stay at Cougar Rock.  It's a beautiful campground that sits in the shadow of Mount Rainier,down the road from Paradise.  It seems to be a layover or stopping point for hikers more than it is a campground to sit around and enjoy for a couple of days. But since I still have my right knee problems with the inflammation from Lyme Disease-my hiking is severely curtailed so we opted for sitting around the camp and just relaxing.

Uh,I think you left out Volcanic eruptions !

Campsite A-2,can't beat $12 a night and you can see the reflection of Mount Rainier in our rear window.  We fell asleep with that view and millions of stars in the sky.

The should put up a warning about the birds not the bears.  These two were the wildest animals we saw while camping.


Jim thought I was silly when I bought two of these Eagle Nest Outfitters Hammocks but he's definitely changed his opinion !

Sunset on Mount Rainier our first night at the campground.

The beautiful ride to Paradise

Christine Falls along the road on the way to Paradise.

Fall has arrived.

The views from the visitor's lot at Paradise are breathtaking.

On the way back down the mountain we stopped at Narada Falls.  I challenged myself and my crazy knee and walked down the trail to the base of the falls-painful but woot- woot I accomplished it.  The hike up was much easier-slow going but no downhill pressure on the knee.

We had a great fire going for lunch and kept it going into the evening for dinner.  Just sitting around reading,talking,and drinking one of our favorite beers,Fat Tire.

Our favorite equipment in the morning-it's a 14 cup percolator,we drink a few and then fill the thermos for our road trip-it's so nice to have fresh brewed coffee on the road.

Good bye Mount Rainier !  Turns out we were very lucky with our decision to head here this past weekend-it was the last weekend for camping-the campground closed down on Monday, October 8.  Next year we want to make it to Ohanapecosh and definitely to the White River campground.


  1. Absolutely gorgeous country and marvelous photos. Haven't been to Rainier in way too many years. Glad you got to go before the winter closure.

  2. Thanks Gaelyn, we were very lucky with the beautiful weather. With the rain in Seattle it looks like we will be spending some time doing our Winter Rainy Day camping !