Category Archives: Parks

First Mt. Rainier Trip As A Family.

We visited Mt. Rainier for the first time as a family this weekend.

The Family, At Sunrise View Point

The family together at Sunrise View Point
July 20, 2013

Kai has been saying he’s wanted to go and so have I (I’ve always loved going to the mountain), so after Kai went to bed on Friday, Joe suggested we go. We decided to go to Sunrise, which is the highest point on the mountain you can drive to. It’s also a place I’ve only been to once or twice, so it was new for me, too.

On the way, we stopped in to the Kasey Kahne store in Enumclaw. The guys are big NASCAR fans so it was a nice opportunity and Kai got a couple of new cars for his collection – which was GREAT because the stores near us have not had any of the 2013 cars.

At the Kasey Kahne store in Enumclaw

After leaving Enumclaw, we were on our way. We drove for quite a while. Kai spent the time until we got there reading a Garfield book and playing Animal Crossing on the 3DS.  Once we were in the park, though, we had him watch where we were going.

We made our way through the park and stopped at a viewpoint.

Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

When we were about to take this picture, Kai said, “Daddy, don’t let me fall!”


Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

We read about how mountains are formed from volcanoes.
Discussed tectonic plates.

Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

Kai pointed out this neat looking beetle.

Then, we got back in the car and drove for another five or ten minutes, up to the top of the sunrise area. We had a surprise lesson in air pressure: on the way up the mountain, we kept hearing a crinkling noise. We finally figured out it was our bag of chips. By the time we’d gotten to the viewpoint, the bag was puffed out pretty far. When we reached the top, it had stopped making noise.

This is why.

Chips That Opened Themselves

Popped Open Due To Air Pressure

We were able to talk to Kai about what caused it to open while waiting in the extremely long line of cars to get into the main sunrise area. After having lunch, we went to the visitor’s center.

Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

At the Sunrise Visitor Center

Originally, we’d planned to drive there, have a picnic lunch, and then head home. We ended up going on the Sunrise Nature Trail. We only made it about halfway before turning back. Kai was tired but I was having problems with my asthma and feeling like I was going to throw up. We’ll have to plan hiking better next time! Still, it was beautiful, even if we turned back early.

Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

Joe and Kai, coming up the trail.

Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

Kai, on the trail.

Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

Stopping to read the signs.

Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

On the way back down.

Mount Rainier, Sunrise Area

Kai and Joe, right before we left.

We all had a good time. We’re planning to go back again sometime soon, preparing for hiking ahead of time. I can’t wait!

We’ve Been Doing More Parks

We’ve been trying to do more parks this month. Kai has had a sudden burst of running around and jumping in the apartment and we’re trying to get his excess energy out. It also gives him a chance to play with other kids. Plus, he LOVES parks. We’re a little more than halfway through the month and we’ve been to four so far:

Discovery Park:

Discovery Park

Discovery Park

David Rogers Park (this one was Joe’s idea – we did this on a weekend with him):

It is a troll bridge. He's the troll.

David Rogers Park

Big Howe:

Big Howe (Park)

Big Howe (Park)

Golden Gardens:

Golden Gardens

Golden Gardens

Seattle’s got some BEAUTIFUL parks. It can be a challenge for us to get to them during winter, though, because Kai hates getting wet and, for some reason, most of the parks here seem to not have any rain protection.

Do you have any favorite parks? Kai seemed to love Golden Gardens and asked to go back. The play area there is fairly new – the last time I was there, a few years ago, the play area wasn’t like this. Come to think of it, I don’t know if they even had one!

I got a small sunburn at Golden Gardens! Really ridiculous – it’s MARCH and we were only there for an hour. Maybe an hour and a half. The dangers of being a redhead, I swear. Anyway, I need to get better with putting on sunblock on myself.

How often do you get out to a park? I wonder if it’s a resource more used in the city, since a lot of us don’t have backyards.