Grandparenting on Mt. Rainier

Camping with Ben at Cougar Rock Campground

Ben at three, usually smiling, always thinking

Rob reserved our spots months ago. We were across the campground road from each other, they on the downhill and us on the upslope. This is the highest we’ve had to crank the leveler.  Works great.

Our picnic table was up a couple of steps, which was fine. Our fire ring was wedged into the pointy part of the site, which was workable but not ideal. It felt a little like being displayed on the prow of a ship, and you could only sit on one (pretty crowded) side

Strider bikes and nature talks

A joyful, curious, very busy three-year makes camping a delight. Ben on his strider bike zipped around the campground loop a lot faster than Lynsey and I. I was impressed with his control on downhill curves and the quick way he left the middle of the road when we hollered about cars.

Ben and his strider bike raced to the naturalist talk and we tagged along behind. I didn’t catch the young ranger’s name, but he was marvelous with the kids in the audience. He’s from Mexico which was especially nice for the kids who spoke Spanish.

We learned about the mushrooms that grow in the park and their life cycles. Ben was the smallest in the group and Rob the tallest. They acted out a mushroom’s life from spore to mycelium to fruiting body (I missed a couple stages). I especially liked the spores all crouched down with their arms wrapped around their knees.

Rob with Ben on his lap learning about mushrooms

Smores with Gramma Mary

Smores are interactive fun! We got a little ghost-scummed and had fir needles stuck all over, but we had FUN!

Sleeping venues

Rob typically hammock camps, both with a group of adults and a boyscout troop. I always bring my $15 camp hammock. It’s a great napping and reading couch. Rob’s is different. A high tech roomy, long hammock with a rainfly. I flop into mine from the middle. You enter Rob’s from the end.

Grandpa Bill and I had Brave Horatio, of course. His Pendelton blanket and down comforter and pillows keep us happy.

Lynsey and Ben opted for a tent. In and out the zipper was fun, as was THROWING each item inside. When actual bedtime came, though, the tent was disconcertingly strange…

…but Ben had his puppy and pillow and eventually snuggled into his sleeping bag.

Ben and his pillow. Puppy is probably in there somewhere

Lynsey took most of the pictures on this trip. Thanks Lyns!

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