Two-Day Road Trip to Leavenworth, Chapter Twelve

Hop in the car with us and check out Rimrock Lake as we drive by, listening to mele from home.

There were even wildflowers blooming alongside the road!
“White Pass Forest Fire Activity” sign. Fortunately, none were in the area. White Pass – 9 miles, Packwood – 30 miles
White Pass. Isn’t this a lovely view? I got out of the car so that I could include the wildflowers in the view.

It was a beautiful day even though it was pretty warm outside. But it felt good to be outside and to stretch.

I wish I knew what kind of flowers these are. I should’ve asked Google Lens. Sheesh. I bet I could still do it.

Just checked. It might be Knapweed, and if so, invasive. Ack! Well, still pretty. If anybody knows for sure what it is, please lemme know, k?
We left that spot and continued our drive. Check out the retaining walls made out of rock.
We stopped for another stretch stop here, along Rimrock Lake.

Rimrock Lake must’ve been pretty low, because that’s grass sticking up out of the water.

Rimrock Lake

And here we are at White Pass!

The views here were beautiful; definitely worth a stop.

There was still snow at the highest peaks…in August!

We got back on the road again and were really enjoying this part of the drive in the forest.

Slide area for 2 miles

I saw a sign for a viewpoint ahead, so naturally I wanted to stop. But we had absolutely no idea what we’d be seeing. And oh my gosh, look what we saw!! It took our breaths away.

It’s Tahoma (Mt Rainier)!!!!

I had no idea that we’d be able to see it from the highway, didn’t even know we’d see it at all. It was a complete surprise!!

Tahoma. Named that by the indigenous people who lived here first.
There were wonderful informational signs right at the lookout point.

For instance, I learned that falling snow has created glaciers that feed five major rivers. And that Tahoma rises nearly three miles into the atmosphere. I love learning stuff like this!

Right hand half of the above sign.
I love it when states make it possible to come to places like this and enrich our knowledge. I would’ve loved to have seen mountain goats!
See what I mean? I never knew this stuff before!
I walked along the guard rail a ways to get the purple flowers into the frame of the photo. I’m happy with the way it turned out!

There were a few other people there, marveling at the view. I asked a really nice man if he’d be willing to take a photo of Nolemana and me, and told him that I’d be happy to take his camera and take a photo of him and his daughter, to which he readily agreed. Now, ordinarily, I don’t like posting photos of myself, but I made an exception for this occasion because… well, because I thought the photo turned out pretty well.

Us two guys.

You know, there’s an awful lot of anger and rage going on in our world right now. There are terrible things happening everywhere. And I guess I also wanted to post this photo because nowhere in our trip did we see any of that. People everywhere were friendly and helpful, and this man and his daughter, who were from Toronto, I think, were no exception. There we were, all four of us marveling in that amazing view on a beautiful day, helping each other to save memories. I don’t know their names, and know I’ll probably never see them again…yet in those few minutes, we were friends. This stop was one of the best on our whole trip.

Another thing I’d like to add here: my beloved friend, Carol, loved Tahoma. Every year, she and her husband would drive up this way in the Fall to see all the lovely colors. And there’s a story about that, too:

I bought a Mt. Rainier knitted hat kit for her from Nancy Bates, who designs hats depicting all the national parks. Carol was so excited to knit the hat, and she asked me to start it for her because she was having chemo and was having trouble with getting the hat started. I finished the ribbing for her, but by that time, just a month or so later, she was in hospice care and didn’t live long enough to finish or even wear the hat.  So I finished it and will wear it in memory of my beloved friend.

After that wonderful stop, we were back on the road again.

The downgrade was pretty steep, and pretty soon we saw this up ahead:

Runaway truck ramp
I didn’t know this before, but if a truck has to use the runaway ramp, the company the driver works for has to pay a fine to get the ramp back in shape again.

So, lest this post runaway with me, I’ll quit here for now. We get to Packwood in the next chapter. And food!

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4 Responses to Two-Day Road Trip to Leavenworth, Chapter Twelve

  1. AFK says:

    Moki-chan, your sentiments are as beautiful as your photos. May Carol’s memory be a blessing.

    I think that photo of you and Nolemana is holiday-card worthy. What a wonderful surprise to see Tahoma on such a beautiful day. Thanks for sharing what you learned and saw.

    • Mokihana says:

      Mahalo nui, my friend. I hadn’t thought of holiday cards for the photo… now I have my thinking cap on. I was so happy the sun was shining and Tahoma was bright and clear when we were there.

  2. Michelle says:

    Beautiful NW mountains; I love them all! It is fun to see the people behind the words, even though I’m as guilty as anyone about avoiding the camera, let alone posting photos of myself. But I glad YOU did. And I didn’t know that about the runaway truck ramps, either! Whenever I pass those, I feel a shiver of terror, imagining what it must be like to be behind the wheel of a big rig with failed brakes.

    • Mokihana says:

      Thanks so much, Michelle. I have no idea when I’ll post another photo of myself, but I’m glad you and AFK were so positive about the one I did. I know what you mean about imagining that scary ride for big rigs.

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