Monday, August 27, 2012

Mt. Rainier and the Gondola Ride

It's quite the big deal around these parts of the Pacific Northwest when the sky around Mount Rainier (14,411') is clear and she makes her grand debut.  Last week I told the future Mr. that if it were pretty on Saturday we should drive down to Crystal Mountain Resort and ride the gondola to the top to see the mountain even closer.  My dear friend Abi is visiting from the Charleston area and I thought it would be a fun day trip.  It turned out even  better than I could have imagined.  If you're ever in this area and the day is crystal clear, I suggest this for an outing.

Getting ready to board the gondola for the ride up.

 As you step off the gondola, this is the view you are greeted with.  They have chairs, but the gentleman in the lower right corner brought his own.  He sat there the whole time we were there.  Breathtaking views for an afternoon sit.

The view looking back down at Crystal Mountain Resort.  The gondola path is on the right.

 While there, you can dine at Summit House Restaurant.  We were lucky enough to score a table on the patio and this was our view.  This is the highest restaurant in Washington State.  The food was very good.  Abi got a homemade ginger-ale and it was amazing!

 After lunch we hiked to the top of Grubstake Point (6877') and I got this shot of Mt. Rainier peaking out between the trees.  P.S. and by hiked, I mean it was about a 30' hike up to this point, but is was a higher elevation than the Summit House (6872').

And if you're on top of a mountain looking over at another pretty mountain, you might as well have some fun with the 'rock' you wear every day.  :-)

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