Maximize living, minimize annoyances

Mount Rainier

Moving can be stressful along with hunting for a new place to live.  After the search is over, then there is the waiting game to move-in.  Waiting for ours gave us a good excuse (not that we need any) to go on another road trip and get to know our new neighborhood, the beautiful Pacific Northwest or PNW.  Sometimes referred to as Cascadia, PNW is a geographic region and megaregion in western North America bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east . Though no agreed boundary exists, a common conception includes the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

At the entrance, photo c/o two nice gentlemen on their mormon mission.

At the entrance, photo c/o two nice gentlemen on their LDS/Mormon mission.

Our first stop was Mount Rainier National Park.  The park is known for its crowning jewel Mt. Rainier, the highest mountain of the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, and the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Washington.  If you’ve visited Seattle and it’s not rainy then you have seen this towering beauty.  Established in 1899 this national park encompasses over 236,ooo acres! There are many activities in or out of the park year-round such as biking, fishing, camping, and hiking to name a few.  Park fee is $25 per vehicle which is covered by our annual Inter Agency National Parks pass.

Yup it was winter up in Paradise

Yup it was winter up in Paradise

It was cloudy and cold during our visit so we did not get to see the glaciers up close.  But the weather did not stop us from enjoying the natural beauty of the park.  After a brief stop at the wintery Jackson Visitor Center in Paradise we proceeded to our first hike at the Bench/Snow Lake Trail.  The park ranger recommended this short and beautiful trail after we have expressed our desire to see some sub-alpine wildflowers.

The trail leading to Bench lake

The trail leading to Bench lake, a bit hard to see the tiny white Glacier lillies

The trailhead is located just a few steps from the parking lot right off Stevens Canyon Road.

Bench lake

Bench Lake

Gradual succession of ups and downs leads us to the first lake called “The Bench” so named because of the surrounding flat area. The trails continues to a flat meadow dotted with white bear grass flowers and glacier lilies.

Snow Lake

Snow Lake

We crossed a stream towards a series of twisty & uphill trail and was excited to finally see the clear turquoise green waters of “Snow lake”.

Surrounding mountain

Tatoosh mountain range surrounding Snow lake.

The lake got its name because it is filled by icy melt from the surrounding Tatoosh mountain range.  It’s fun to see snow mid-July!  We continued and enjoyed the very scenic drive along Stevens Canyon Road towards Ohanapecosh to hike an old growth forest trail.

Canyon bridge, can you spot John?

Canyon bridge, can you spot John?

Along the way we stopped to see the box canyon. From the bridge, 180 feet (55 meters) below we saw water rushing through a narrow slot canyon. We remembered the time we swam the deep volcanic fissure of Las Grietas in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos.

We felt tiny

We felt tiny by these two!

Grove of the Patriarchs Trail visits an old growth forest.  It is an easy hike through thousand year old cedar, hemlock and douglas fir trees.

by the root of a fallen tree.

by the root of a fallen tree.

We had fun crossing the suspension bridge, enjoying the multicolored rocks visible in the waters of the Ohanapecosh river and sharing in everyone’s joyous spirit.v We felt tiny as well as blessed to be walking through these giant trees.


Lake Atitlan Adventures


Mount St. Helens


  1. Joe and Mary Allen

    Looks like an interesting trip up to St. Helen’s. We’ve only seen it from a distance. Glad to hear you are established in your new home. Love, Joe and Mary

    • Hi Joe and Mary,
      Great to hear from you! We are really enjoying the area. Although we wish we could be with you at the Carbon County Fair next week to cheer on our favorite 4-Hers!
      Terry and John

  2. Irena Xanthos

    Beautiful, Beautiful – God’s Country. When do you move into your new place?

    • Hi Irena,
      We moved in Friday! Today was busy getting WA driver’s license and tags, even a library card. One of our favorite feature is we have a decent view of the Pacific! It is 1 1/4 miles away, not next door like some people’s view but we love it!

  3. Jesse Soto

    May God bless your new home.

    • Hi Jesse,
      Thank you, we are happy here and hopeful to find nice interesting neighbors. Our best to you and Elizabeth!
      John and Terry

  4. Fond memories of my seven years spent in Seattle and visiting this wonderful park. I’m enjoying your informative blog so much. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

    • Hi Barbara,
      We would love to get some tips from you for the area. We also are having such a great time reading Nettie’s Dream! We love it and will do a thorough review. You are so talented!
      Thank you,
      John and Terry

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