To be honest, Tacoma...ugh...cars and trucks, stop lights, strip malls.....and then you get to Enumclaw.....As I head out of town, I exit the mayhem of city bustle and I am on the verge of beautiful mountain roads, large trees, lakes, and the smell of childhood van trips in the PNW. Immediately past the gate to Mount Rainier National Park, the cars are few, the road winds lazily through the forest, and you get your first glimpse of the mountain. Rivers of ice and snow remind you that the severity of winters here is real. Despite the 80 degree day, there are still patches of snow along the road and the cooling effect is welcome. Twistier and prettier is the theme to the top of the road. The most difficult part is not stopping at every turn-out.