Yesterday the three of us (me, P, and B) went to the most beautiful place. It's called Ohanapecosh National Park, up at Mt. Rainier. We did a short (half mile) hike through the Grove of the Patriachs, which consists of groomed trails and constructed boardwalk, through an ancient old growth forest of Douglas Fir trees, many of which are as gigantic as the huge sequioa's you see in northern California. For example:
That's B (as if you didn't know!). Here's a shot of some of the boardwalk that meanders throughout this beautiful place:
We had a great time, though the mountain road one must take to get to this spectacular place almost gave me a heart attack. No guard rails, a drop-off of at least 1,000 feet, with perhaps a 5' buffer, though to me it seemed like only 6 inches. I seriously had to close my eyes and beg P to go very slowly. I woke up at 3:00 a.m. this morning terrified, telling P we were never taking that road again! Of course, we will, but I will have to be sedated.
B went bonkers out in the forest. If we were concerned about what her reaction would be to hiking, getting grimy, seeing bugs and critters, we needn't have worried. She LOVED every second of it, and cried when we had to leave. It was hard keeping up with her at times (being old and stuff), since she practically ran the entire trail, stopping only to examine trees, rocks, piles of dirt, and plants, which she happily announced to everyone who could hear, "Look at this! Look what I found!"
It was a really really nice way to spend a gorgeous almost-Fall day. The only bummer was for B, who, on the way home, discovered she'd brought a stow-away with her in the form of a HUGE ugly black beetle, which she mistook for a spider. Apparently, the beetle had gotten into her clothes or something, and chose the steepest, scariest part of the mountain road to make an appearance by crawling down her arm and across her hand. Scared her to death, and she immediately started screaming that a spider was getting her. She was holding her hand, as if she'd been bitten, and screaming that it went down into her car seat beside her. I've never seen her so terrified, and I felt helpless to do anything until P could find a turnout. There was no way I was going to unfasten her seatbelt until we could stop safely somewhere! So we found a pullout and jumped out of the car. I unhooked B from her carseat, and P reached over from the other side to pull her out, then jumped back quickly and almost hit his head on the roof, which scared ME. P grabbed B out of her seat, while simultanously swiping at the huge bug sitting there, which promptly flew into the front seat and rested on the floor.
I was most relieved to see that it was only a great big ugly beetle, and not a poisonous spider!
So that was our Saturday. We might do it again today!