I have been enjoying my stay in Enumclaw and Saturday was especially great. Steve sent me a text in the morning and invited me to join him on a hike up Pinnacle Peak. It was beautiful and cool, so it was especially nice to be outside walking. Afterwards, Steve dropped me off at our motorhome and I caught up on emails and had lunch. In the afternoon, Nancy and Steve graciously allowed me to use their washer and dryer (without a sewer hookup in our RV park, I cannot use our washer). However, the highlight of the day was the wonderful meal we enjoyed together for dinner! Nancy prepared a great marinade using a recipe provided by a friend in Alaska and Steve cooked salmon on their barbeque grill in the backyard. It was absolutely fantastic! I could not stop eating the salmon. I took notes, but I do not think I will be able to match their salmon cooking expertise.
Although we have enjoyed Mount Rainier from a distance, today I went for a drive to clear my head and see some beautiful scenery. I was not disappointed. The mountain is just as beautiful up close as it is from a distance. It was interesting the watch the wind whip the clouds and snow near the top.
I was surprised that there were bicyclists riding all the way up to the Sunrise Day Lodge. I was also surprised how cool it was on the mountain. Everyone needed to wear a sweat shirt or wind breaker because of the wind. It was especially nice to enjoy a sunny afternoon. It was quite cloudy in the morning, but the sun shone brightly in the afternoon.
The Seattle area has been unusually warm, but I have not used the air conditioning the past two days. I have simply enjoyed the cool breezes.
Ed went to a bike shop in Enumclaw and learned all about the wonderful bike paths in the area. The woman in the bike shop recommended starting in South Prairie and going to Puyallup. A person received a gold star from the mayor if they can correctly pronounce the Puyallup town name. No surprise, but Ed did not qualify to receive the gold star. The entire route of the bike path was paved and wound its way through several small communities. It was a total of about 28 miles round trip and Ed survived – barely. Sore legs and sore rear were noted by the end of the mild climb back to South Prairie.
A Christmas tree farm was a notable feature on the ride. It was quite large and had a series of trees in different sections of different ages. It was fun to see it. A helpful lady jogging with a baby in a carrier agreed to take a photo of Ed.
Another special treat was seeing a local farm. It was exciting because the Rainier cherries are now available! The also had apriums – a cross between an apricot and a plum. This was a brand new type of fruit to someone who has been living in a desert for more than 30 years.
It is wonderful to have the opportunity to meet with extended family, especially people that we have not had the opportunity to be with for many years. Nancy and Steve hosted us at a restaurant in Enumclaw when we first arrived and we absolutely loved the time to be with them! We were then able to share a meal with Tom and Adriana before Charlene went to Amarillo to visit Amy and Neil.
Ed went to Duvall and stayed with Tom and Adriana for 3 days. We talked and talked non-stop the whole time. Bonds built years ago while hiking in Zion or skiing in Utah are very strong. We had breakfast at a fun independent restaurant in Sultan and went on a drive all around the area. The growth of Microsoft has brought quite a few people to a series of neighboring towns. The visit was capped off by going to a pancake breakfast held at the Duvall Fire Department. Pancakes are a special treat and these were especially good.
Ed next headed up to Monroe and had dinner with Miles and Kathy and their family. Ed and Miles have been friends since elementary school and it was great to finally see their home. Miles gave a tour around the farm and showed Ed their RV bus they used for a tour around the US. Miles showed Ed the correct way to measure the temperature when cooking chicken and hamburgers. It was sad to leave to head back to our RV. Maybe we will meet again next summer in Massachusetts?
We were beginning to wonder if we would ever see Mount Rainier again. It has either been cloudy or rainy for several days. However, today is beautiful and sunny and we can again see the mountain. It is simply spectacular to see.
We are celebrating our arrival in Washington and have enjoyed seeing Nancy and Steve along with Mount Rainier. Yesterday was sunny and we could view the entire beautiful mountain. Today, there were clouds surrounding the top.
We have loved seeing Nancy and Steve. We had a great dinner together yesterday and sampled some different wines. Ed and Steve especially enjoyed a meal of blackened salmon.
Today Steve invited Ed to join him on a hike to see some additional views of Mount Rainier. During the hike they saw lenticular clouds over the mountain. They also saw basalt columns from past volcanic activity. One thing we asked Steve and Nancy about was the “Volcanic Eruption Emergency Route” signs along the local roads. Since Mt. Rainer is a volcano that is only dormant and not extinct, there is a need to direct drivers to high ground. This is definitely not something we dealt with in Tucson!
Speaking of Tucson, we noticed the high today was about 100 degrees while here in Enumclaw the high was less than 80 degrees. Nice.