Mt. Rainier 2022

The VanLaanens have a Summer camping tradition at Silver Springs. It’s not much in terms of ambitious mountaineering or taking the kids into the backcountry but it’s something of a start hopefully, and we’ve kept it up over most of the years of our marriage and family life. This particular National Forest Campground is located near Crystal Mountain Ski Resort serving as the perfect springboard to explore both the Paradise and Sunrise areas of Mt. Rainier National Park. We love to take our au pairs there as our big annual family camping holiday. They’re more accustomed to family holidays at the coast of Egypt or Croatia or Italy, but we take them to Silver Springs in our “tiny” “Auto” —as Lady Kitty and Lake would say, respectively.

This year, it was super special to introduce our new au pair, Linnéa from Sweden, to our beautiful nature and majestic peak so soon after her arrival in our country and our home, as well as to revisit our camping tradition with our first au pair Jo who was back for a visit with her Dutch-German longtime boyfriend Martin. She could introduce him as well, and we reminisced about our first camping expedition with Jo, Doreen and Baby Lake. It’s a bit of a christening into the VanLaanen family and the Pacific Northwest.

This year we rented a van to drive in addition to our tiny Auto to more comfortably accommodate our growing “family.” We camped two nights in our three tents. We had nearly enough sleeping gear to spread around among everyone. During the day we all piled in and drove to Paradise and back and from Sunrise to sunset. It was a wonderful experience. I think it’s safe to say fun was had by all.

Our happy troupe at Frozen Lake — above Sunrise
The Strong Women of the Skyline Trail— Paradise
These characters — this is what tent camping for two nights does to Michael’s hair!