July 21, 2021
It was a breath-taking drive from the Paradise area of Rainier National Park to the Ohanapecosh Campground. We pulled off at a scenic point, and two women, Sara and Mindy, from Seattle commented on our Yeti. We talked with them for at least 30 minutes and had a lot in common. We exchanged numbers, something that I rarely, if ever, do (especially with people who live on the opposite coast), but I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and connect with people. We continued on our way but then had a scare: the gas light came on and we were sitting idle at a temporary light because of construction on the road. It was a stressful situation, but luckily it was a false alarm; it was just the angle of the gas in the tank because our vehicle was on an incline.
We finally arrived at the Ohanapecosh Campground to discover a tent and chairs at our site that did not belong to us. The two rangers who helped us were professional and apologetic. Fortunately there was another site available, which turned out to be more impressive than our original one. This would be our home for two nights.
July 22, 2021
It was chilly when we awoke, and there was no reason to rush to get out of the covers. We enjoyed a leisurely morning at the campground with John’s parents until the four of us headed over to the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail. We were slightly concerned about parking; luckily we had no issue with getting a spot, but I can see it being a problem later in the day.
Grove of the Patriarchs follows along the Ohanapecosh River with interpretive signs that explain the western hemlock, silver fir and red cedar trees that tower 200′ over us and have lived for over 1,000 years. I’m a big fan of these massive trees. They reminded John of Ents from The Lord of the Rings.
We grew annoyed with the crowds of people, so we left. I decided to return to our campsite via the Silver Falls Trail. When I got there, John was napping in the hammock, so I walked more around the campground. After he awoke – and recovered from his typical post-nap grumpiness – he and I explored the Silver Falls together. We had a deep conversation about our relationship. When you’re on a multiple-week cross-country road trip together, it’s vital to communicate about the little things so that they don’t add up to something bigger than it really needs to be.
Our time in the Ohanapecosh area was relaxing, but John and I were ready for more hiking. It’s time to visit the Sunrise area of Rainier.
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