Happy Highway Trails

This past weekend I had an absolutely wonderful time visiting one of Washington state’s most treasured places… Mt. Rainier.

I started my journey to the mountain by attending a free Cross Country Skiing class at the Issaquah REI last Thursday evening.  The class showcased everything from all the boots, bindings, accessories, trails and of course types of cross-country skiing that is offered.  I had a good head start but needed to rent my ski’s at the REI Seattle flagship store and while there I spoke to the Ranger.

Seattle REI Ranger station

Did you know the REI Seattle flagship store had a Park Ranger station at it?  Neither did I, but boy am I glad I found out!  Ed, the Park Ranger, was gracious enough to tell me all about HWY 410 that normally is a road you can drive right to the Paradise area of Mt. Rainier but in the winter the last couple of miles of the road are closed and that means it’s accessible to skiers, snowshoers, snowmobiles and the occasional family looking to make some great snowmen.

I traveled down to the basement to pick up my rental cross-country skis, boots and poles and when I got there realized that the Seattle REI flagship store’s basement is a “bargain basement” of various parts, accessories, clothing and equipment.  These items are only available to REI members, but membership does have its benefits!

REI bargain basement

When you get down to the rentals desk they will measure your arm distance, ask your weight (for the type of ski’s you will need) and try on boots to check for sizing…

REI ski pole measuring sticks

So with my ski’s and plans in hand I ventured out…

Beautiful Existence cross country skis at REI

For those that have not ever been to Mt. Rainier, Hwy 410 runs along the White River which is appropriately named in the winter months because it is covered in white snow and absolutely beautiful and peaceful to ski next to for most of this Hwy trail.

Beautiful Existence Mt. Rainier

While out on the trail I enjoyed a peaceful lunch right along side the sound of the water rushing down the White River.  Of course in such a beautifully natural setting I enjoyed a lovely natural beverage, my favorite from last year’s challenge, Evolution Fresh!

Evolution Fresh and REI during Cross Country Skiing

For more about the Mt. Rainier Hwy 410 adventures watch my video footage, and for those thinking about cross-country skiing for the first time definitely take an REI class, speak with the knowledgeable staff and of course you can either rent or buy your equipment.

No matter how you get prepared, I would now always recommend checking out the ranger station at the Seattle REI flagship store.  Ed or David will take care of you, let you know all the wonderful hidden treasures that Washington state has to offer and if your lucky… they might even recommend a great local place to kick your feet up and enjoy a lively dinner after your adventures!

Ed, that recommendation of the Naches Tavern was spot on, thanks.  You’ll be seeing me again for your fabulous advice on my next adventure!

Naches Tavern one dollar bill wallpaper

No matter where your next adventures might take you, from REI to Park Rangers to dollar-bill-lined-happiness; I wish…

Happy (Hwy) trails to everyone!

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