The Wednesday we arrived in Seattle (Lake Stevens, actually) was a really l.o.n.g. day. We pretty much packed and ate breakfast within 45-ish minutes of waking up and headed out onto the road. We drove up through Idaho, into Oregon (cutting off the corner) before crossing into Washington.
We did stop at near Walla Walla, WA to visit Whitman Mission, mostly for a Passport book stamp and a quick out-of-the-car break before continuing on the road. Whitman Mission commemorates the lives of the Whitmans who (in 1836) traveled from upstate New York to the area to Christian-ize the Cayuse Native Americans who lived there. From the little I got to read about the National Historic Site, the Whitmans lived among the Cayuse people for over ten years before being massacred (1847) by the very people they came to save (in terms of spreading Christianity) and essentially aided in the termination of the Cayuse as an independent people. You can read more about the Whitmans here.
We decided to hit Seattle from the south so that we could drive through Mt. Rainier National Park and hopefully see either Mt. Rainier or Mt. St. Helen or both. We did see Mt. Rainier from the road, but unfortunately do not have a picture because all of the viewpoint turnoffs were on the opposite side of the road and we didn’t feel safe crossing traffic on the winding roads. One thing that we loved while driving through lower Washington: the trees. They are m.a.s.s.i.v.e. Some are probably taller than buildings. They just towered over the car.
W also made a quick stop at Treveri Cellars, a winery in the southern part of Washington. I did a speedy (free!) wine tasting of 6 sparkling wines and we picked up a bottle to bring with us. We didn’t end up sharing it with the couple we went to visit so it is currently sitting in the fridge patiently waiting for the right meal to drink it with. The one I got is a mix between Riesling and Madeline. I’ve never had a Madeline before, but I like Riesling so I hope I still feel the same way when I drink it!
It would be better to drive North to South through Mt. Rainier National Park. All of the photography turnouts are on that side of the road. Also, take as many pictures as you can if you can see the mountain (same goes for Mt. St. Helens). Washington is famous for its cloudy skies and rainy days and you might not get another chance (take my word for it)!
Give yourself more than 15 minutes to explore Whitman Mission (or any National Park/Landmark for that matter). The rangers/volunteers work really hard on the displays and upkeep of the trails and it is a great way to break up the monotony of long car rides.