To explore Washington, a friend and I, decided to rent a car and go on a adventure for the weekend. Our idea was to go to Mount Rainier, Olympic National Park and Shi Shi Beach. We left early in the morning on Saturday. We drove to the South side of Mount Rainier. On our way there we suddenly saw an elk, standing in the middle of the road. It was still dark but we could clearly see it. The size of the elk was absolutely enormous! After seeing the elk, we went to watch the sun rise at reflection lake. Harsh conditions and spectaculair views, that is the best description of that sunrise. We had breakfast and drove further towards the parking lot form where our hike would start. We parked the car and started walking towards camp Muir (located at 10.188 ft.) On our way we had spectaculair views of rugged mountains and glaciers. When we looked closer we saw more and more animals. I was able to photograph them from very close in their natural environment, that was such an amazing experience. After hiking for several hours, we decided to go back to the car. We wanted to get some sleep, because we had to get up even earlier the next day if we wanted to make it all the way to the west coast. The next morning we woke up at 4 am, trust me, terrible! We drove off towards Olympic National park. We made a morning hike, watching the sun rise and eating breakfast with a spectaculair view over the valley. Temperatures were rising so to cool off we 'climbed' down all the way to the river below us. We took off our clothes and had a swim in ice cold glacier water. We went back to the car and drove a little bit further to the lake which was known for having lots of salmon during that time of year. We walked into the river and had over a hundred salmon swimming around us. The water was so cold you could feel the pain in your bones, but it didn't matter. The view, the salmon, the whole experience was so amazing. It was already getting late so we decided to head toward Shi Shi beach. We drove through a Indian reserve, super special. After a two mile race agains the sun we arrived at the beach. We were absolutely speechless. It was one of the most rewarding and special sunsets. The only mistake we made was that we didn't think of out way back. It got dark really fast and we still had to hike back those 2 miles trough the woods with bears, snakes and other creepy animals. To make this even better, we only had one flashlight and that was wasn't even working properly. Nevertheless, after hiking for more than an hour we made it back to the car. We drove back home and came home early in the morning. The next day we had class, but we still thought about the amazing weekend we had! I'll never forget this weekend.