Yesterday was hot here, what folks would call a scorcher. It was hot on Saturday too and we had already gone to a movie (Wall-E) and a swim then, so Sunday was a day without air-conditioning on the horizon. Our house, mid-century wonder that it is, gets hot and stays hot, so the family concocted a plan for keeping cool. We’d spend the day doing stuff somewhere else.
Now, that might sound like a basic plan, but when pressed to find places to go to stay cool, it isn’t as easy as you’d think. Who wants to spend all day in a shopping mall? The library was an option but not a good one for a seven year old – too many Shhhhs. We decided to take a jaunt to the local Natural History Museum in Seattle to check out dinosaur bones. NR’s been really grooving on them lately and I was fairly sure that the museum would be a cool place we could hang out and get into Triceratops. I was partially right. The museum had Triceratops and other interesting specimens (NR loved the mastadon skeleton) but it lacked AC. It was just slightly warmer in the building than the 90 degrees outside, so we wandered the marble halls and were mindful not to slip in our sweat.
An hour or so later and we were back outside, in the shank of the heat. What to do now, we wondered. We could go to Ikea, I suggested, half-heartedly. Nope, let’s go to Mount Rainier, Hubby said. Sure, why not, said I.
Off we went, slurping Slurpees (all road trips require Slurpees) and rocking out to The Eagles, Don McClean, S&G (Simon and Garfunkel, to the uninitiated). We figured we dash on into the park and head up to the summit area called Paradise. Well, the dashing lasted as long as the highway to the US National Park entrance. Funny how both Hubby and I had forgotten that the road up to the summit winds through the forest. Gorgeous forest, with snow melt waterfalls, gushing rivers, pinky-purple flowers on the rocks, but curves nonetheless. Let’s just say it took some time to get to the top. But once there, we left the heat and entered snow – melting snow with plenty of dirt streaks, but snow that folks were playing in and tossing about in their shorts and sandals. Once at the top it was well passed four o’clock so we had just enough time to stretch our legs, walk in the snow, toss some snowballs, hit the bathrooms in the lodge, and head on back down the mountain. Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn and started to go the very long way back, around the rear of Rainier, which would have added another hour or more to our drive home. Luckily, only twenty minutes into that faux pas we discovered our error and hurried back.
The curves at dusk, behind pokey cars, give plenty of time to examine the old growth trees and the green that is everywhere. It really is a gorgeous place, one that local folks should check out again if they haven’t been in awhile. Once back out on the highway, we made the long trek home, listening to NR belt the chorus to Slow Ride (by Foghat, courtesy of Guitar Hero) for twenty minutes or so. [Click on my Podcast button on the right to hear a sample.]
We arrived home just in time for his bedtime and a nice 85 degrees inside. Such heat requires three things – a dish of ice cream, a circulating fan pointing inches away from you and back to back viewings of the West Wing. Yep, Paradise. Rainier View from Paradise