Mt. Rainier National Park – August 2016

With the wedding approaching fast, we realized we could only squeeze in one more camping trip before the big day. We wanted to continue our impromptu 2016 National Park tour, so we headed to Mt. Rainier. It was too late find reservations for a camping spot in the park, but we found a nice place about an hour south of the mountain next to Riffe Lake in Taidnapam Park. Saturday morning, we drove up to Sunrise Visitor Center and did the Burroughs Mountain Hike, visiting the highest point in the park that you can reach on a maintained trail. The views of the mountain’s glaciers and the White River Valley were unbelievable. (The pictures don’t do justice to just how huge the mountain is. We hiked to around 7460 feet and the summit was still about 7000 feet over our heads.)
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Olympic National Park – July 2016

Continuing our (unplanned) centennial tour of the national parks, we visited Olympic National Park over the holiday weekend. We didn’t have time to do a lot of long hikes, but we got to see several of the highlights. I think our favorite drive was to Hurricane Ridge, and hiking to the top of Hurricane Hill was even better, with an awesome 360 degree view of the park and surroundings. We even got to get pretty close to a couple of mountain goats and their kids. We also spent some time around Lake Crescent, the Hoh Rain Forest and the beaches on the Pacific coast. All in all, a great way to spend the weekend and another trouble-free trip in RC!

Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons – June 2016

For our summer trip (and our first big trip in RC), we went to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. We planned the trip last year, when we decided to challenge ourselves with running the Caldera Triple Challenge, which involved running the Grand Teton Half Marathon, the Yellowstone 5K and the Yellowstone Half Marathon, all in just 8 days. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but as it got closer we realized it really was going to be a pretty big challenge. Luckily, we survived all of that running and had a great time exploring the parks in-between races.
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