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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,472

    Default RTA Rendezvous in Your backwoods

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    Boy, this is a big change in plans!
    Judy -- That is a pretty amazing post! With all you know, we should certainly consider siting one of the next rendezvous in your backyard...

    Mark

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default

    wow! Judy. Thanks.
    No problem. I just hope you have a good time while you're up here.

    Its just plans we make. We might end up not seeing all of them, though.
    If you say so much abt St.Helens, guess will spend more time there.
    Mt. Rainier is awesome. What makes it stand out from most other mountains is not its height but its mass. It has a huge circumference and remains relatively think all the way to the summit. It also has more glaciers than most any other mountain in the world. In fact, I'm pretty sure it has about the same amount of glaciers as glacier national park. All this plus the beauty of the surrounding forests make Mt. Rainier a worthy visit for anyone who loves the outdoors. (PS - if you want to sound like a local, call it "the mountain". On a clear day, no local says "Oh, I can see Mt. Rainier", they say "The mountain is out.")

    That said, barring an eruption at Rainier, it will be here in the next year, the next decade, whenever you can return to the PNW. However, Mt. St. Helens changes all the time. I have been going there every 2-3 years since I was a kid. Prior to the eruption, it was simply a beautiful place to camp/hike. Since then, it's been amazing to watch the regrowth. Nature works pretty fast. It has been impressive to see. Don't get me wrong, in the core blast site the devestation and virtual "moonscape" landscape is still the norm. However, more and more spots of greenery are showing up even there. Spirit Lake is cleansing itself and is no longer simply a large mudpuddle full of debris and logs. Each year you don't visit, is another year for it to return to normalcy. I doubt it will be completely renewed and back to a "normal" forest setting within our lifetimes but, each year, the destruction becomes a tad less evident. This is particular true in the forest areas that were devestated that surround the national monument, protected areas as logging companies replant, etc.

    So, that's why I think if time constraints mean you have to make a choice about where to spend your time the most, that you should spend more time at Mt. St. Helens than Mt. Rainier this trip.

    If I had told you my plans earlier, I need not have got a triptek from aaa :)
    Very very helpful. thanks a lot.
    Oh, those Triptiks will still come in handy. Heck, I often get them myself.

    Are there any good hikes in North Cascades?
    I have to admit that I've only driven through with short stops. I've not had the pleasure of extended visits/hiking in that area. But it is an area that wilderness hikers go crazy over. It is a true wilderness area. Far more remote, and far denser forests, than you'll find in the Rainier/Mt. St. Helens areas. If I understand it right, the North Cascades is also a steeper area than the areas farther south. Between the steepness and the density of the forests, helicopter rescues are much less likely.

    It is also the only area of Washington with Grizzly sightings so, if you hike there, keep bear precaution measures in mind. Especially concerning food storage. Black bear are relatively common and can be dangerous as well. Also, weather conditions here can change dramatically. Planning for this is essential. One of the following websites details the "10 Essentials". Any hike, even a short dayhike, should include these items...especially in the North Cascades area. These websites will give you more info on hikes there: http://www.nps.gov/noca/hiking.htm and http://www.north.cascades.national-park.com/hike.htm

    Is there a shorter way to Spokane?
    Seattle to Spokane via I-90 is only about 280 miles, about 4-5 hours. However, the scenery is not near as spectacular as what you'll see going via the North Cascades Hwy. Still pretty, and you'll see lots of coulees on the eastern WA portion, but everything along the North Cascades route plus the route through the Grand Coulee Dam area is more grand. And the dam itself is so dang impressive. If you have the energy and are up to it, I strongly suggest doing the northern route. If energy is waning, the I-90 route is still nice but not in the same league as the other route.

    From your comments, looks like we will end up doing a lot of driving on days that I thought we wont drive much. Obviously, you know better.
    Well, MS Streets & Trips knows the miles. :-) Much of what you want to do is on 2-lane highways with lots of twists and turns. If you get behind slow-moving vehicles, especially if they don't honor pull-outs, you can really get slowed down. If you plan for this, it won't be quite as frustrating when it happens.

    We generally start the days early around 6am and crash only by bedtime., say 9pm or so. Guess we have to sqeeze all by then.
    That makes us dead tired by the end of the last day of our trip, but the thought that we are doing a trip of a lifetime, keeps us going.
    Hey, I've done trips like that. I think all of us here have. As long as you know that you'll return home dog-tired but with lots of exciting memories, it's cool. You might try to schedule most of one day at home before returning to work to unpack and recuperate a bit.

    I think you're gonna have a great trip. I can't wait to hear you report back on what you did.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Editor
    Judy -- That is a pretty amazing post! With all you know, we should certainly consider siting one of the next rendezvous in your backyard...

    Mark
    I'd love to play hostess to you all. :-)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    234

    Default

    I am working my memories on my UT & CO trip for all of you from my memorial day vacation. Guess I'd put that up earlier than expected.

    Sure, would get back to u guys.
    thanks for the immense help.
    If I may ask you Judy, do you stay in WA or OR? Or do you work for aaa? :))
    You seem to know a hell lot abt these places.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default

    You're funny. LOL

    I live in Washington. Since it's hard to find the time and money to get away near as much as I'd like, I do a lot of exploring close to home.

    I look forward to reading about your CO-UT trip. Two of my favorite states!

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