I got woken up last night by people leaving at stupid hours of the morning. The first one I didn’t mind so much because she was at least trying to be considerate. But the two later on opened and closed the door a number of times, and turned one of the reading lights in my direction. Fortunately, I did have to be up early for my Mt Rainier tour today. Breakfast is provided in this hostel, but you get to make your own waffles, which was good fun.

Around 7.30am, I walked a few blocks to go for the Mt Rainier tour. And it’s pronounced Rain-eer by the way, not Rain-ee-er. I was disappointed I couldn’t find a tour that climbed Mt Rainier, and this sightseeing tour was the best day trip I could find. However, I then find out that it is in fact a two-day hike, involving crossing glaciers and ice axes and stuff, and then I was thankful that this was what I signed up for!

We stopped at Ashford, two hours from Seattle, which serves as the basecamp for those brave or stupid enough to do the whole climb. We had some food there, and saw a slide show of the national park.

Then we carried on into the national park, stopping at various lookouts and waterfalls, en route to the visitors centre at Paradise. We saw some quicksand and the driver told us a scary story about him almost losing his son in there. We saw a valley which used to have a glacier in, but was now just full of rocks and boulders.

We got an hour and a half at the visitors centre, which gave me enough time to go on a short hike. It was very pretty: lots of wildflowers and grass and fir trees. Kinda steep though! I’m going to be controversial and say that Mt Rainier park is nicer than Yosemite!

We left Paradise at 3pm, and I slept virtually the whole way back to Seattle. I bought myself a cheap pair of shoes and came back to the hostel. I went out for a coffee, then came back, showered, went on the computer, and did some puzzles.

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