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Exploring the mellow side of Rainier: Grove of the Patriarchs
posted by John : June 22, 2014


moosefish photo

Posing with the twins


I'm absolutely guilty of focusing on the Mountain in Mt. Rainier National Park. After all, the park is named for the peak. Of all the trips we've made in the park only one took us to where we couldn't see Rainier.

But since we were camping in the park after a delightful afternoon at Sunrise we weren't bound by the need to spend every waking moment staring at the Mountain. Instead, we decided to stare at really big trees.

On our home trail we have the "Big Tree," a Douglas Fir along the route to the Falls and it is indeed pretty big. However, the size and number of the trees in the Grove of the Patriarchs make it an amazing visit.

The trail drops to the Ohanapecosh River and crosses on a cool suspension bridge. Along the way we saw a few big trees. Ok, neat.

Across the river, though, whoa. HUGE trees of different kinds. Some are 1,000 years old and have survived because they're on an island protected from fire by the river.

The kids were suitably impressed by the trees, but still have a ways to go to show the proper respect for the ancient trees. I walked mostly in silence while they ran around the trees and made too much noise. Nobody else seemed to mind, but I hushed them until we were back across the bridge.

It may be a little early for the kids to really get into the more subtle trips in the Park. They prefer the big views where we're active. I guess I can't really expect more of them. It took me 40 years to get to this point.

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