Mt. Rainier to Coquille

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What is rare becomes so precious! Thus, it was a delightful surprise when I discovered this niche of nature hidden away in a forgotten corner of the industrial transportation hub that is Fife, Washington, where we stayed for three days. Blanca and I went for lovely little walks on this dirt road at the bottom of a levee along the Puyallup River.

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At least once a day, every dog needs to let loose!

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The magnificent Fort Steilacoom Park in South Tacoma is a favorite of ours and covers an incredible 340 acres!

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This park was once a military base and then a self-sustaining farm attached to a state mental hospital.

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One can spend an entire day exploring this park.

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Waughop Lake. We saw ducks and Canada geese. There is a paved trail around the lake.

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A bit of mountain climbing!

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Summer skies with a pleasant breeze! These poplar trees (also known as cottonwood) I associate very much with Washington.

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Kayakers in the Puget Sound as seen from Solo Point.

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A ferry travels from Steilacoom (right) to Anderson Island (left) with the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the background, also seen from Solo Point.

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On my third day in the area (and not until then!), Mt. Rainier finally arose from his cloudy bed and took command of the horizon in all his glory. Seen from Fife. To the right of the mountain, there is a person paragliding.

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If you’re not by the ocean, the very next best thing is a walk by the river!

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Standing on North Levee Road East. These types of bridges are everywhere in Washington. This one crosses the Puyallup River. Yes, Mt. Rainier truly is that fantastic! A sleeping giant of a volcano.

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Standing on the bridge. You have to imagine the birds singing in the trees.

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Mt. Rainier is considered to be among the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

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I drove for almost an hour south to Graham to try to get closer. As big as it is, it’s surprisingly difficult to find a good vantage point to shoot from. It’s almost more difficult than photographing a skittish wild animal.

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Back in Fife, I caught the last ray of sunlight caressing the mountain. The people of the Puget Sound area go to sleep once more, but one day the mountain will blow.

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Back at the motel, I photographed this truck for my sister, the beekeeper! GloryBee is a company I had never heard of, but their website is very bee-loving and full of goodies.

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Another day, another park. Fivemile Lake in Auburn, Washington.

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A public park provides access to the lake.

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Squirrel! Staring contest between a squirrel in a tree and Blanca! She loves squirrels but unfortunately we don’t see many in Gold Beach.

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Harriet, a friend’s cat. She was a rescue and has adapted nicely to her new life. Her markings are so pretty.

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Honeybear, senior cat in the household and master snuggler!

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Suki, a sweet senior who needed a home and found one with my friend to complete this charming trio.

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Our motel in Kalama, Washington, on our way home.

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This was one of my favorite motels, especially the room itself. Unfortunately, it is a little too close to the freeway. The red truck you can see through the window is driving by on Interstate 5. At around 3:30 a.m., there was suddenly a surge of big trucks rumbling past. It woke me up. I later deduced that they were heading for Portland, trying to get through that notorious traffic quagmire before the city woke up. I won’t be staying here again.

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The tiny town of Kalama lends itself to a comfortable stroll right from the motel.

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After 10 adventurous days of traveling, our last stop before home was in Coquille, Oregon, at Johnson Mill Pond County Park. Apparently, there used to be a large sawmill located here and this was a log pond.

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Blanca surprised me by trotting out to the end of this dock on her own. It was a fantastic trip and provided so many new impressions to process. But it is so good to come home! I hope you enjoyed my travelogue.

 

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