Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016, Mt Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum and Visiting Mt. Rainier National Park

August 8, 2016, Mt Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum and Visiting Mt. Rainier National Park

Another rainy day in the State of Washington. But we decided to head on up to Mount Rainier anyways and visit. Figuring that it wouldn't be to crowded because it was Monday and it was raining. We are in logging country and the roads are filled with logging trucks. As we drove north we went by two sawmills and logging operations just down the road from our hotel. Driving a back road in the pouring rain with logging trucks going by at 60 miles an hour is not all that much fun. Anyways we drove by a sign for a museum and thought lets go there and get out of the rain for a bit. Well it turned out to be a really cool place. It was the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum located in Elbe, WA. The museum is open Thursday to Sunday. It was closed today but the guy let us walk all around the site.

This is a cool museum especially if you like big powerful machines. How they ever pulled all these logs down the mountains with these machines is just amazing. Much of the logging equipment is from the steam age or from the early 20th century. That they could haul these machines up into the mountain is also amazing. One of the things I have learned from this trip is how big stuff has to be to supply a country with goods. Huge wheat fields, corn fields, giant dams and logging operations with giant machines on the sides of mountains.

Steam powered winch for moving logs around, it is huge

By lifting a log up they could drag it easier with a Caterpillar Tractor

Louise showing how big one of the logs is that was dragged around
Standing with a giant log picking up machines.
We saw rigs like this moving full trucks of logs

Next it up to Mt Rainier National Park in Ashford WA. We are going back tomorrow but today we took a first look. Again mostly in the rain but a beautiful National Park. Huge trees, grand vistas. Because it was rainy and it was a weekday we were able to get up to the visitor lodge at Paradise. This is a hard lodge to get to because the parking lots fill up quickly. We got there late in the day and we had no problem. This lodge is large, cool looking and has food. We had a nice dinner. Afterwards we walked over to the Paradise Inn to check that out. This is one of the magnificent national park buildings. Huge grand dining room and just the coolest lobby. Logs everywhere, giant furniture, someone playing the piano, mist outside, great setting.

Paradise has a lot of trails that head up into the upper meadows which we might try to check out tomorrow. For the next two days we found a nice old bunkhouse inn in Ashford about 5 miles outside of Rainier.

Entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park. People get their pictures at every park

In the mist and rain, but this is a creek bed that must become a
roaring river in the spring

Standing by Christine Falls, really beautiful falls
Paradise Visitor Lodge, Mt. Rainier

At the ranger station

In the lobby of the Paradise Inn at Mt. Rainier, check out those beams