Eatonville, WA–Mt. Rainier National Park

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Eatonville is a bit southeast of Seattle in the vicinity of Mt. Rainier National Park which was the major purpose for our visit.  We parked at Rainbow RV Resort which is located on picturesque Lake Tanwax.  On a clear day, which we were fortunate to experience, you can see the peak of Mt. Rainier from the RV park.

Mt. Rainier

At 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range and the most glaciated peak in the continental United States with 26 named glaciers.  We entered the park at the Nisqually entrance which is in the southwest corner of the park.  Near the Longmire area we stopped for a hike that took us up to a spot with a nice view of Mt. Rainier.  We continued on the main road stopping to check out waterfalls and other viewpoints.  We went as far as the Paradise area which is the most popular spot in the park.  It takes you to about 5,400 feet in elevation.  The National Park Service says that “Paradise is the snowiest place on Earth where snowfall is measured regularly.”  It has an average of 671 inches of snowfall per year with 1,122 inches recorded during the winter of 1971/72.  Mt. Rainier NP is a little off the beaten path but well worth a more extensive visit.

Next stop:  Portland, OR

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Hope, British Columbia

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From Anacortes, we headed north and crossed the Canadian border at Sumas, WA.  Once across, we turned east to the town of Hope.  This small town is on the Frasier River at the southern end of the Frasier Valley.  This is a place of spectacular natural beauty.  Near vertical granite mountains rise up in all directions.  The Trans Canada Highway runs through the valley.

In 1848, Fort Hope was established by Hudson’s Bay Company at the trailhead for what is now known as HBC Heritage Trail.  This trail was originally developed as a way to reach inland bypassing Frasier Valley since the valley walls were too steep to navigate.  In the years following, the fur trade and the 1858 Frasier River Gold Rush supported Hope and its residents.

Hope and Frasier River Continue reading

Desert Hot Springs, CA

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Located near Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs is indeed home to quite a few natural mineral hot springs.  We stayed at Caliente Springs Resort which has a large pool, several spas and showers all of which are fed from the mineral springs.  The water from the Desert Hot Springs Aquifer continues to be heated by ancient geothermal forces thousands of feet below the earth’s surface.  Naturally heated to temperatures as high as 180 degrees, the waters are thought to have curative properties.

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