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2017 Washington State Trip Part 1; The Cascades and SeaTac

After returning to California from the Southeast region I was back on a plane headed to Washington State.  My flight was from Fresno Yosemite International Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport which is much better known as SeaTac.






I had a little bit of a rarity in that the weather over Washington was completely clear and I could see the Cascades unobstructed out the window.  I had views of just not just Mount Rainier but also Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens.





The Cascade Range roughly runs from California State Route 36 north through British Columbia and is far more volcanic in nature than the Sierras.  Most of the high peaks of the Cascade Range are volcanic and have a large prominence. 

When I visited Washington in 2015 I did go to Mount Rainier National Park.  Most of the day was extremely foggy and I missed being able to see Mount St. Helens from the park overlooks.  Mount St. Helens is a 8,363 foot high stratovolcano that is mostly known for the 1980 eruption.  Prior to the 1980 eruption Mount St. Helens had height of 9,677 feet above sea level.





To the east of Mount St. Helens is the 12,281 foot tall Mount Adams.  Mount Adams is also a stratovolcano but has not had an eruption in about 1,000 years.  The peaks of Mount Adams are covered in active glaciers.


Mount Rainier is probably the most well known mountain peak in the Cascade Range and is the highest in the range at 14,411 feet above sea level.  Mount Rainier is considered to be highly active which is worrying considering the amount of glaciers located on it.  Mount Rainier has a prominence of 13,210 feet which is the 21st highest in the world.  When I visited Mount Rainier National Park in 2015 I took; WA 706, Paradise Road, WA 123, and WA 410 to circle from the Seattle-Tacoma area.





SeaTac is one of my least favorite airports.  I've always found the facilities at SeaTac to way overwhelmed for the passenger volume it receives.  It doesn't help that SeaTac has an off-site rental facility which is probably my largest pet-peeve about airports aside from delays.  After making my way out of the maze of the rental car parking I pulled out of the airport and made my way to southbound I-5.





I-5 was surprisingly a breeze driving south to Tacoma mid-day.  I passed the junction with I-705 and WA 7 in Tacoma.  Back in 2015 I turned south on WA 7 here towards Mount Rainier after returning from Olympic National Park.





My direction of travel was ultimately across Tacoma Narrows on WA 16, but that is worth a blog post dedicated solely to that topic.

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