August 10, 2016
Olympic, WA to Seattle, WA to Mt. Rainier National Park and Mt. St. Helens to Vancouver, WA
Began the day with a ferry ride back to Seattle, for the first stop of the day at the Klondike Gold Rush National Park visitor center. This park building interprets the history of the area during the gold rush years. Seattle was a port city which capitalized on supplying goods for the prospectors heading north in search of gold. Shopkeepers piled their stock 10 feet deep on storefront boardwalks. The Chamber of Commerce advertised that Seattle was the “only place” to outfit for the gold fields. Sales soared – to $25 million by early 1898 with tens of thousands stampeders in a buying frenzy to get their required “ton of goods” to take with them to the gold fields farther north. It would take 20-40 trips and 3 months to carry their goods over the mountain passes.
For lunch met up with George and Pam who were leading an RV Caravan trip through Washington. George has ridden bicycle and led trips with BAC, and Pam is a quilter. She travels with two machines in her RV!
The next stop was Mt. Rainier National Park, the country’s 5th National Park. Mt. Rainier has an elevation of over 14000 feet and is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range. It is also the most glaciated peak in the continental US. Some of the glaciers are 750 feet deep and yet steam still escapes from the summit, a reminder that the volcano is still active.
The trees are very tall pines, such a difference from the pines in Alaska and Canada, which had been stunted by the freezing ground and harsh winters & short growing seasons.
This sign makes you feel safe.......
Final stop was Mount St. Helens (volcano erupted in 1980). It’s so hard to believe that it was 36 years ago! I understand from talking with folks that the mountain used to have a point on top. After eruption, it is now a “flat-top” mountain, having lost about a third of is height during the eruption. Spent the night in Vancouver, WA, ready to start again tomorrow.