Today we planned to visit the North Side of Mount Helen the Hwy to Windy Ridge was closed due to maintenance and snow so we took a day trip in the area.
We stopped at Mineral a small old time mining community and today a good fishing place on the lake, RVers gather there as a tradition from April till the end of the season , the town also has the smallest Post Office in the U.S.A , but unfortunately it is not taken care off.
Elbe was our next stop , a small town on the crossroads of Hwy 7 and Hwy 706 that leads towards the East Entrance of Mount Rainer.
It is mostly a stop to get food, take a train ride with an old engine to Mineral or even take a "room" in one of the old train carts.
I liked the General Old Store that looked more as a museum where you can find ,tools,nails,fishing staff and chat with the friendly owner.
We had Lunch on the Train Restaurant (the one that is NOT moving) which we did not like , we made our way to Ashford, the last town before Mount Rainer and an exciting point for climbing mount Rainer groups. a very nice place with good coffee shops and great Icecream.
Here groups get trained by professionals that will escort them before climbing the Mountain.
On the way back we stopped at the Recycled Spirits of the Iron Sculpture Park created by Dan Klennert, it is a MUST stop, it is not only what Dan created but from what Dan created it.
unfortunately we did not have a chance to speak to Dan, maybe next time..
Here are examples of his fantastic work.
In case you want to visit here is the location:
State Route 706 on the way to Mt.Rainer N.P 3 miles East of Elbe WA.
As we made our way back "home" to Randle It was the best time of the day, the sun was settling down and the shadows were getting longer, I love these 2 hours or so before it gets dark, so we made a unplanned turn towards Lake Riffle at the sigh saying " boat lunch" , it cant be bad I thought and drove a mile down the road before hitting a closed gate and another sign saying "closed due to low level of water"...so we parked the truck at the gate and hiked another mile to the lake and what a good decision it was.
No a soul around, great views, gliders, and fantastic reflections, even an open clean pit toilet....
I love it when it works….