With temperatures in the 50s and low 60s and little rain predicted, it was a good day to visit one of my “backyard favorites”, Mt. Rainier.
Day’s distance: 220 miles
A day earlier, once I decided on my destination, I reached out to Jason, someone that I’ve ridden with in the past. He’s a former co-worker who is taking time off and I thought he might enjoy the trip. He said yes and agreed to meet me the next morning.
We left the house about 10am. My first goal was to consume the first egg nog latte of the season. From past experience, I knew that my favorite Enumclaw coffee stand, Paras Stop, has egg nog lattes before almost anyone else. Our timing was perfect as they just received their first egg nog this week!
I realized that it is a bit unusual to look forward to the holiday season, not because of Christmas, but to be able to drink egg nog lattes. I put on at least a few pounds each year because of this habit. What can I say but ‘more, please’ 🙂
Anyway, Sunrise Road is only open until the end of October, and the lodge, gift shop and cafeteria are already closed. There were few visitors this day.
Prior visits include this last June, when I rode up on a group ride, and late in 2014. Here’s the entry from that October 6th ride in 2014 …
The trip there and back was 220 miles. With a quick fuel stop and my first egg nog latte of the season in Enumclaw on the way to the mountain, and a quick lunch stop on the way home, the trip took six hours. The weather was warm (low 70’s at the summit) and the air was clear.
All the services at the 6400 foot peak are closed and boarded up for the winter, which made the lodge and the visitor’s center look a bit abandoned. I understand why they are closed but when they put plywood over the windows, it is a little disheartening, so I avoided taking pictures of them. I guess I only wanted sun, sky, mountains, and of course my motorcycle in the photos today 🙂
It was a pleasant ride, overall. We planned to eat lunch at Naches Tavern, in Greenwater, but they weren’t open for lunch. Instead we had a quick sandwich at the deli across the street from the tavern.
A quick note for new visitors to Mount Rainier – there is an entrance fee to ride or drive up Sunrise Road. If you have a National Park Annual Pass, or one of a few other types of National Park passes, the fee is waived.
Glad to see a picture of the peak — on our trip through Washington we didn’t get close enough to see it. Do you do many winter rides?
I generally don’t do longer rides in the winter – day rides mostly. I try to get out at least twice a month.