Well, a very happy new year to all my readers here. When I look back to 2018, it is amazing to see so many blog posts and travel posts because I never dreamt of doing so many with my little one. She has been a gem throughout. I am glad that she too has a mini travel bug in her.
A small getaway was all that I had asked for this Christmas and my Santa granted me one! Ho Ho Ho! as cliched as it sounds, this getaway was even more a cliched spot for a winter wonderland. Just like how one would imagine a snow clad mountain would be or a foothills of a snow clad mountain would be. It was all white and serene. I always keep a tab for the places which I wish to visit someday. During the christmas holidays, I wanted to visit “Leavenworth” the Bavarian town near Washington. But it seemed to be a pretty long distance travel for now with a baby and during winter. Which is the next best place to visit?
We kept thinking and all of a sudden; my husband suggested “Mount Rainier”, Washington. We had never been to the Mt.Rainier National Forest. I opened up the weather app and apprehensively scrolled to the tab for Ashford (Mount Rainier National Forest) and was overjoyed to see sunny weather. When the perfect weather window opened up, we started searching for cabins, lodges, hotels etc. As I have mentioned in my instagram profile, we always choose hotel rooms with a kitchenette. It is easier for me to cook food for Avi that way. We always prefer that be it be a hotel, cabin, lodge or whatever it may be.
Luckily, there were few cabins vacant at the “The lodges near Mt.Rainier”. The time was perfect to drive up to the mountains and stay in a calm atmosphere. Moving to Oregon has always been a bliss. If we hit the road and go to the east; there are mountains, drive upto the west to reach the beaches and. central Oregon has plains, canyon and whatnot. It is a perfect outdoorsy location. We are truly grateful for being here. It has been 2 years since we moved to Oregon & I think we can claim ourselves to be an “Oregonian” 🙂 (duhhh!)
Let me not drift from the topic. So, coming back to Mt. Rainier experience. We hit the road in the morning with all the supplies possible for this getaway. We knew that breakfast, lunch and dinner will all be at one place – the cabin itself. Not many restaurants are close by and so we did a Costco haul the previous night. Stocked up some rotisserie chicken, frozen fried rice, croissants, butter, bananas, noodles, simmer sauces etc. Loaded up the car with every damn thing needed for a road trip and off we went.
We arrived at the Mt.Rainier National Forest entrance and was super excited to enter. This visit was during the partial shutdown of the Government announced by President Trump. There were less services and one good thing was that there was no fee to enter the park that day which ultimately saved us from paying $30. We drove inside to view the most beautiful spots tucked against the snow clad mountains. There were snow everywhere, the trees, the branches, sides and all we could do was to drive upto Longmire which is about 6 miles inside. You know what, the 6 miles road really felt like a long long drive. We have to be super careful while driving in such extreme conditions right? We carried an auto soc as a back up just in case the tire gets stuck in the snow (thankfully nothing of that sort happened).
The Mt. Rainier National Forest Inn is located at Longmire. It was freezing outside and we halted for a while near the inn. Avi was bundled up like a burrito and taken out of the car just to experience the snow shower. It was like a black and white movie. All I could see was people making snowman and playing on a huge pile of snow. It was an amazing sight.
Fun Fact: majority of the rivers in the Mt. Rainier national park is fed by the glaciers. One such is the Nisqually River.
We drove back to our lodge and checked in around 4pm. The location of this lodge is also a point to mention. It is hardly 0.2 miles away from the Nisqually Entrance of the Mt.rainier National Forest. The snow starts accumulating right from the this lodge which just added a lot more beauty. There were deer walking by and they were very friendly ones. The cabin was great too. It was very close to the deer station. If you are looking for reservations; check this link.
Exploring Mt. Rainier was never an option for us. All we could do was to drive up till Longmire, play in the snow for while, freeze up and drive back to the lodge. But on a sunny weather or during summers, space yourself a lot of time to explore this huge national park. There are lots of hiking spots, lakes and you can even drive upto the mountains. Fill the gas in advance before you embark on this expedition. The closest town near the Nisqually entrance is Ashford. Even food options are available in Ashford town. You cant get gas anywhere in the park, and I think even if you get food, it would be pricey.
The beauty of this place can be felt during all weathers. I experienced it during the winter. And to me it was a perfect paradise on earth. I loved it. The stay was amazing with the perfect amount of snow for you to cozy up and enjoy. The intermittent visits made by the deer adds up the beauty.
My little one just enjoyed her getaway. And if you are looking for details on how I manage to take Avi out during cold weather, you must check this blog.
Hope you have great getaways this year and lots of memories to make.