We spent our second day at Mt. Rainier National Park hiking and having family fun. After a quick breakfast at the Paradise Inn deli, we went on the Nisqually Vista Trail, an easy 1.2 mile loop. We passed a stream, flower meadows and ended at an overlook for a viewing of the glaciers on the mountain.
After that, we went through the Paradise Visitor Center, seeing the movie and looking at the exhibits. We had a mediocre lunch at the cafe there (avoid the cardboard pizzas). Outside, we were able to look through a sun telescope to view sunspots on the surface of the sun. My son declared it was so cool and he wanted to be an astronaut so he could go in a rocket ship.
We tested back at the room for a bit and then drove down the mountain to Longmire in the afternoon. We picked up Junior Ranger booklets for the kids at the museum there and found a quiet place to work on them. The kids were really into completing them, especially with the promise of badges at the end. Since we had already gone on several hikes, the books were easily done. We took them back to the ranger, who asked them about what they did, administered an oath, and have the kids certificates and badges. The kids loved them and proudly wore them the rest of the day.
We did the 0.7 mile Trail of the Shadows loop in Longmire next. Highlights included seeing a deer close up, a large meadow with a view of the mountain and bubbling sulphur springs.
We ate dinner at the National Park Inn, which was good. We tried the halibut and the spinach salad and both were yummy. We drove back up the mountain and got soft serve ice cream at our hotel for dessert. The kids were stoked to get their own (most of the time, they split a cone). We have an early morning tomorrow for our drive to Seattle. I think everyone is ready to get back to the city.