Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Paradise Inn at Mt Rainier and Astoria, Oregon

No, I am still not home although I have met so many people who claim Atlanta roots that I don't feel far away.  People seem to love having a connection to Atlanta.  Or maybe they just want to have a connection...period.  Yeah, that's it.

We couldn't leave Portland without visiting and eating VooDoo Donuts.  I mean, it's a legend after all.  So in the "weird" but lovable and insanely popular part of town we stood in line 30 minutes and the chowed down on these famous donuts in the pink box.  Why didn't we get "just one"?  Nooo.  We had to get a box full of all kinds...still in the trunk. The one I devoured was a Maple Syrup Bacon something or other...and it was delish.  Just one, though, is enough for this lifetime.

The rest of the day was sensible...a feast on Nature, not on donuts.  We saw, and grieved, Mt. St. Helens and could only imagine that day in the 80s.  I saw it on TV but it was just a news reel.  So much gone.  So much devastation.  And it is still beautiful...and growing back in. This shot really minimized the height of the mountain and the 'gone trees'.  You see the greenery...so yes, once again, good wins.

When the trees burned up, were encased in lava, their roots burned away.  Now there are big holes where they once stood.  

When we first saw Mt. Ranier it was jaw-dropping, heart-stopping gorgeous.  

 Two hundred pictures later, we found our lodging for the evening.   Paradise Inn is a lodge that stares right into Mt Rainier and is surrounded by beauty everywhere you look.  Right outside our window:

We slept with our window open and with fat stomachs from a most scrumptious farm-to-table meal.  Who cares if your room doesn't have a bathroom.  Really, they don't.  We "share" showers and baths down the hall.  Haven't done that before.  How could a room with twin beds and no bath possibly feel luxurious, I can't explain, but it did because it was!  If you ever get a chance to stay here at Paradise Inn, do it.  You can choose to dine luxuriously, grab a sandwich or coffee at the cafe, or you can even bring your own food in to their huge indoor picnic tables.

Leaving Mt. Rainer was hard.  We grieved and said we'd come back but we probably won't.  Our children will though.  Then off to the coast, where these huge rivers meet the Pacific Ocean.  First stop was (I hate this name), Cape Disappointment, but that is what Lewis and Clark named it.  They'd been traveling all week in heavy rain and wind and were hoping for something better but the coast only brought 'all that' and crashing waves that wrecked their boats and soaked their stuff.  Still they made it!  I admire them.  I can't imagine how they did it.  It was the quintessential "Win-Win" as they traveled with interpreters and fostered great relationships with the Indians....most of them anyway. They helped each other.  What a concept.

Lighthouse at Cape Fear

Plus big, big waves!

Next stop was Astoria, Oregon and dinner at The Wet Dog Cafe.  A hot tub afterwards while laundry is going, a good night's sleep, and an early bike ride this morning.  It just goes on and on for awhile longer.  

See you tomorrow!



  1. I am so envioous! I travelled a lot of Oregon literally in a weekend years ago. 1400 miles on a rental from noon Friday to noon Monday. I hope you get to Crater Lake and Haystack Rock and Tillamook (get some cheese, see the blimp hangers from WWII), check out the huge trees, see the wind surfers at Hood River, go to Lake Wahtum in Mt Hood N. Forest and hike up to Mt. Chinidere for the view!!! You can't go wrong out there!!!

  2. How in the world did you do all that in 3 days??? We are here 2 weeks and have done Portland, Columbia River, Mt. Hood, Mt St Helens,Mt Rainier, Astoria and on down the coast to Crescent City. Of course we stop at every turn in the road and my husb has taken a picture of every rock in the Pacific Ocean! And every lighthoue! :) It is one of the greatest trips we've ever taken. Want to come back for me in the future. Thanks for the suggestions. I hope we get to do it all!

  3. We covered way too much of the coast from Tillamook toward the Oregon-California coast in the dark. But we saw most of it in daylight. We had time to hike to the lake at Crater Lake. We even went in to N. Calif. into the redwood forest there. It is just a wonderful place to visit. I'm with you - ready to go back any time.


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