Mt. Rainier Natl. Park/ Olympic Natl. Park

COVID-19 Response from the Natl. Parks System: Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities, we are increasing access and services in a phased approach across all units of the National Parks System. Before visiting a park, please check the parks website to determine its operating status. Updates about the overall NPS response to COVID-19, including safety information, are posted on http://www.nps.gov/coronavirus

With that said, to help ensure a healthy visit for yourself and others during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, please plan ahead, expect limited services and RECREATE RESPONSIBLE. STAY HEALTHY.IMG_6285

 

Mt. Rainier National Park, located in Washington State, is a beautiful park filled with lush forests and waterfalls. The rivers are colored by glacial flour, making the water appear cloudy. IMG_6281 Mt Rainier, towering over the Puyallup River valley at 14,114, is actually a large stratovolcano.IMG_6298

Mt. Rainier National Park has forests with age spans as young as 100 years old to areas of old growth that are over 1000 years old.

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We drove completely around the mountain, giving us a 360`view. With few interior roads, most were closed.

 

Olympic National Park is nearly 1 million acres of protected wilderness. The size is incredible. There are few roads to the interior, with none going through the park. We managed to hike a few of the many trails in the park. All of them being spectacular.IMG_7865

Located right on the northern edge of the park, Madison Falls is reached by a short hike.IMG_6367

A quick drive to Lake Crescent gave us amazing views.IMG_6408

On our way to Quinault Rain Forest, located at the southern end of the park, we stopped at Ruby Beach. It was one of the 4 beaches open on the west coast of the park. Much of the coastline that falls within the Indian Reservation Lands to the northwest is closed, out of respect for the elders in regards to COVID-19.IMG_7970

Quinault Rain Forest is a short loop hike through some amazing forest.IMG_6461

This temperate rainforest gets an average of 10-15 feet of rain a year!IMG_7977

This area is home to Roosevelt Elk herds. IMG_8027

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Quinault Rain Forest is truly a magical place.

During our drive, we came across a little tree!IMG_6538

Sol Duc Falls trail runs through incredible old growth forest that ends at a beautiful cascading falls.IMG_6741

Olyimpic National Park is internationally recognized as a Biosphere and World Heritage Site. IMG_6761

Waterfalls

There are lots of different types of waterfalls. I’ve taken a few photos of some, and thought I’d share!

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This is an example of a ribbon waterfall

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A ribbon waterfall descends over a long narrow strip

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A fan waterfall spreads horizontally as it descends while remaining in contact with bedrock

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A plunge waterfall

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This might be considered a chute waterfall

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An example of a ledge waterfall, one that descends from a relatively wide stream or river.

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A multi-step waterfall, one after another of roughly the same size

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Disclaimer: I’m by no means an expert on waterfalls. Read at your own risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith

When going through tough times, having faith and remembering that things will get better is very important. Whatever we’re going through right now, be it job loss, panic, uncertainty, try and stay focused on the things you have control over. It will get better. Stay strong. Also, a HUGE THANK YOU to all the people who are continuing to work the front lines of this pandemic. STAY SAFE!IMG_2832

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Flowers

With all the craziness that’s going on in the world, I thought a little burst of color might help cheer us up. Here are some flower photographs I took during our travels. Hope you enjoy. Stay safe and healthy my friends!IMG_2804

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Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ.

IMG_6933A U.S. Monument and UNESCO biosphere reserve, Organ Pipe Cactus N.M. is the only place in the US where organ pipe cactus grow wild.

IMG_6935Located in extreme southern Arizona, 95% of this beautiful park is declared a wilderness making it a great place to camp and hike.

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The cactus that grow wild here in the park are huge.

We love to hike, and this place does not disappoint. The Sonoran Desert is alive with flora and many different types of cacti.IMG_7057

There are several mines located throughout the park, so we hiked to a couple of them.

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A hike to Quitobaquito Spring offers sightings of waterfowl in the desert.

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Our first night a cold front blew in and the temperature dipped to a chilly 28 degrees. We bundled up in our sleeping bags that evening and waited for the morning sun to rise and heat us and the desert. The weather was perfect for the rest of our time there. We camped for three nights, four days.

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The sunsets were incredible every night.

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Desert golden poppy

 

 

Las Vegas, NV.

After leaving the ranch in Montana, we flew back to Chicago so we could see our new granddaughter.

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Sienna Primrose Petro

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What a beautiful addition to the family!

While there, we got to carve pumpkins and spend time with family.

 

When we returned from Chicago, we jumped back in the motorhome and headed for Las Vegas.

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Friends from Michigan, Mark and Angie, joined us.

We enjoyed dinners and drinks on The Strip, Tape Face Show, zip-line down Freemont Street, Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire State Park.

!!!!!!!!Thanks Mark and Angie for sharing Vegas with us! We had a blast.!!!!!!!!

Friends we met in Canada, Duane and Ruth from Colorado, stayed at the same RV resort as us. That gave us a chance to re-connect and hang out for awhile. We danced to some great bands on Freemont Street, rode bikes on a Historic Railroad Trail, walked around Nevada’s largest cactus garden at Ethel M Chocolates decorated for Christmas, and lounged around the pool.