#ERT_2015 Day 11 – Mount Rainier National Park – 08.06.15

This morning we had the option to either go on a hike that ran straight through our campground (which was awesome), or sleep in a bit. I chose the option to sleep in a bit (of course), and once everyone was packed up and ready to go we headed to the Grove of the Patriarchs. It was definitely cooler than I had expected it to be- there were some HUGE trees, which were able to grow so large because they were on an island in the middle of the river, which protected them from wildfires. It was pretty cool.

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There’s Joey’s cute old beater truck. Even in the short time we were guiding together, I formed many memories of that sweet old thang. It was Joey’s home while he guided.

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The river right by our campground.
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“Jen and Joey Look Up at Stuff, Version 2.0” (As a canyoneering guide, you spend a LOT of time looking up at stuff above you. Safety first.)
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The little bridge said “One person at a time.” (And rightly so, it was verrrrrry wobbly.) I said, “eff it” and forded the river myself. Once again, #ChacoNation for the win.
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Brady and Joe were much more obedient (and patient).

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Huge trees, with random stranger for scale.

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After that little nature walk, we headed up to Tipsoo Lake, which was SUPPOSED to be one of the best hikes to view Mt Rainier from on that side. (I personally don’t think it was, but it was still a nice hike regardless.) We hiked and explored for several hours, got our Rainier sign photo, and had lunch, before heading down off the mountain to get to the coast.

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Rule breakers.

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Standard lunch on the road trip – various stages of cooking, eating… or napping.

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Saying goodbye to Joey. 😦

Once we got to our campground (and managed to break up the party that had decided to use our campsites for their own purposes… that was cool…) we headed to the beach to visit the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale. (No one died, but the ship ran aground in a bad storm, and by the time the weather and the tide were cooperative enough to allow them to try and get the ship back out to sea, it had listed too heavily to port and was scrapped, but they had to leave the skeleton of the ship, which is still on the beach.) There is also a fort at Fort Stevens State Park (duh), but we didn’t end up having time to visit it.

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My epic Chaco tan. The best part of my summer every year.

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