Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.
http://www.eatonville.com/ Eatonville, Washington http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eatonville,_Washington has been home for our sister and brother Jan & Phil Richards for over 25 years. They live in a beautiful valley on 7 acres with a gorgeous view of Mt. Rainier just a few miles from town. Rapjohn Lake http://www.washingtonlakes.com/FeaturedLake.aspx?id=60 sits at the edge of the property, a short walk through the woods. Jan and Phil have created one of the most beautiful landscapes anywhere during this time. The property reminds me of a secret, hidden arboretum designed just for a few to see. Phil spends most days when home feeding his soul and passion for gardening by providing loving care for the many varieties of flora and fauna on the property. Phil’s grand tour for those with the right interest and enthusiasm is a big treat. He describes all the flora and fauna with great enthusiasm and dramatic detail. The tour each time we visit is a must and feeds my soul too… Eatonville’s annual 4th of July parade was a great way to start the holiday on the way to visiting Mt. Rainier National Park. Time stands still in Eatonville, and the town fathers keep it that way. It is one of the few communities that remind me of the rich history of America in small town USA. Consistent with my own passion for technology, especially the telephone business, Mashell Telephone Company, now Rainier Connect http://www.rainierconnect.com/ is one of the few remaining independent telephone companies, still family owned, that has not been sold to the big players like CenturyLink. Eatonville, small town USA indeed… We spent the rest of the day exploring Mt. Rainier National Park, stopping along the way, taking photos of the breathtaking view of the highest mountain in the Cascades on this gorgeous sunny day. They say, “when the mountain is out, there is no other view and experience in the world quite like it.” We capped off the day with dinner at the old lodge in Paradise http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/paradise.htm. The lodge was completely renovated not too long ago by meticulously preserving the old building while lifting the building to construct a new foundation. The new Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_M._Jackson_Visitor_Center is equally impressive. It is easy to lose yourself in Mt. Rainier National Park now preserved for the public to enjoy forever. Enjoy the following selected photos from our own visit on this 4th of July 2012 holiday with Jan & Phil Richards… And on this day we honor American veterans everywhere on the globe who protect our freedom and independence.
Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.