We had wheels…………. yay! A very nice man HG works with had gone overseas for a week and lent us his car. Actually no, it was a truck – a very large Ford F150, black, twin cab. Throwing the keys on HG’s desk issuing no tips/tricks/insights on how the truck works Hamish (very nice man) left. Lucky HG is a seasoned Fire Engine driver, and so was in his element driving the beast home in the thick of Friday afternoon commute traffic.
Saturday was a glorious day and with the freedom of a vehicle at our disposal the discussion was where to go? Someone had once suggested the Crystal Lakes near Mt Rainier as at this time of year the wild flowers would be out. Sounding like just the thing, HG programmed destination Crystal Lake into his GPS and after a few attempts at getting the beast out of the car park without knocking into our neighboring cars we set off.
The beauty of living in an apartment and without having a pet is that you can literally just walk out the door locking it behind you! No need to check the dog is tied up, has water, has a bone to chew nor check that all the doors are locked and all the windows are closed – we are on the fourth floor after all!
We came to our first hurdle at our first corner – GPS said go right. GPS sitting next to HG said no, go left. Poor HG knew that if he obeyed GPS with the passionless voice the GPS sitting next to him would soon start shouting – so he turned left. I’m sure she’s just confused I said and so we continued driving until HG piped up quietly weren’t we going the wrong way? It’s very difficult to just pull over and stop on the side of the road in Seattle and so we turned right down a side street and then left into a dead end which we then had to back out of because the beast was too big to turn around. Eventually finding someone’s lawn to park on (it was only 8am, hopefully they were still asleep) we had time to look at where HG had asked his passionless GPS to take us. Crystal Lake Drive about an hour’s drive north of us – easy done as there are several Crystal Lake destinations in USA, but Mt Rainier is Southeast of us so………sigh, let me find it I said.
Finally, on the right track and moving out of Bellevue we had an awesome drive for a few hours in beautiful cedar wooded countryside. We entered Mt Rainier National Park and drove up and up hitting the snow line where it quickly became metres high either side of the road – it was stunning! We turn left when we get to the next corner GPS sitting next to HG says……………. It was at about that point we hit a dead end, road closed, lots of hikers with backpacks and snow gear, but no wildflowers.
Looking at my phone I realize that actually I had sent us to Crystal Lake Trail, on the east side of Mt Rainier, and the wildflowers were on the west side of the mountain. Oh well, we had all day, no dog to go home to so let’s go round the other side! But not before I slid graciously out of my seat to terra firma meters below trying not to leave my skirt behind, for a few photos of this stunning place. Back down the mountain round the bottom of it and heading west we come across Alder Dam – when built in 1945 it was one of the tallest concrete structures in the nation. It was impressive.
We finally make it to the other side of the mountain and still no wildflowers. Our fault entirely – the problem was all three of us had no idea what we were really looking for!! Lesson learnt. Best find out exactly where we are going before we leave and not once you get home and visit the website – a very good website with very easy to read and understand information of everything there is to do at Mt Rainier National Park!
Driving down Main Street back home I noticed a van with Lawrence the Florist written all over it – what a cool name for your business I thought – cute! Funny noticing because there were hundreds of cars about, but then again maybe not given the day we’d had! Once home HG went down to the lobby to retrieve the “parcel” we were told was waiting for us ………the prettiest bunch of flowers, a mother’s day gift from my amazing boys – delivered by LAWRENCE THE FLORIST!