Day 7: From Olympia towards Rainier

Map of day seven travel

Got off to a later-than-usual start.  What the heck, I’m on vacation, aren’t I?!

Any way, I decided to try to get in two national parks that day since both were near the Seattle area (greedy state–four national parks?!?).  Really, the plan was to see one and complete the drive to the other so I could have all of the next day there.

I made it to the outskirts of Olympic National Park and after chatting with the ranger at the visitor center, I realized there was no way I could do more than a cursory visit of the beach area on the park’s outer edge and still make the drive to Rainier that day.  So, RB and I drove to Ocean City and a couple of other beaches.

We had journeyed 2451 miles to see the Pacific Ocean.  I didn’t get out, though.  The air that afternoon was quite chilly, and my flu/bronchitis was too fresh a memory to chance its return.

There were a few people walking the beaches, but no one braved what had to be some damned cold water.  I’m not much of a beach person, but if I go, I want temps to be in the 80s, or at least warm enough to go swimming.

One person–I’m guessing a guy–wanted into the water so badly he drove his truck down the beach shallows.  I assured RB I am not so stupid as to risk flooding her engines nor exposing her to more salt than she already gets during Iowa winter driving.

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Driving towards Mt. Rainier actually took us back towards Tacoma at first.  We made it to the outskirts of the park before I called it a night.

loudmusicMusic for the Trip

My playlist reached the P’s, and boy, was there a plethora of prominent performers to entertain me along the road.  Prince, Parliament, Paul McCartney, Peter Paul and Mary, Patti LaBelle, Paul Simon, Patrice Rushen, Percy Sledge, Pointer Sisters, Peaches and Herb,…

Then we hit the Q’s and got Queen Latifah and Queen.

The R’s were just starting when we pulled over for the evening.



Day 6: Take Me Out to the Ballgame

After a late arrival in Seattle Wednesday night and with nothing specific planned until the Thursday evening game between the Mariners and the  LA Angels, I’d decided to turn it into a rest day.  Good idea, but I was too hyper to just sit in the room.

My solution was simple: select activities that didn’t require a lot of activity.  I did a search and found a movie theater close by the motel where I was staying that had an early afternoon showing of “Belle,” which I’d been unable to see at home.  After the movie, I’d get something to eat and then drive to the game, which had a schedule 7 p.m. start.

It turned out to be a pretty good plan.  The movie was excellent (when you can get me to cry, you’ve accomplished quite a bit), and I found a restaurant that served pseudo-Cajun cuisine–tasted fine, it just wasn’t Cajun.

Got to the stadium with nearly two hours to spare. Since the stadium was downtown, I wanted to avoid the worst of the rush-hour traffic and have plenty of time to find parking.  Attendance was light (the Mariners are currently in 4th place in their division), and the warmer, daytime weather was taking a decided chill at night.  With this in mind, I’d worn the warmest clothing I’d packed, but I wasn’t surprised it wasn’t enough for the cool evening.

The crowd that was there was enthusiastic and supportive of their team.  I wasn’t playing favorites (my family is a National League family, and I’m an Atlanta Braves fan), but I found myself pulling for the Mariners because they were so clearly the underdog.  When the cold finally forced me to leave the stadium at the seventh inning stretch, the Angels were ahead 6-3.

Got back to the motel and learned that the Mariners had a rally in the 9th but still lost 7-5. I wish them luck, unless they play the Braves.

We’re scheduled to leave Seattle in the morning, but specific plans are still in the air.

Music for the Trip

Since all of my driving was around town, my playlist stayed in the O’s, finishing out Otis Redding’s greatest hits.