Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mt. Rainier Hikes

Remember last year's project to paint the house. Well, we're still doing it. I will post pictures soon... but first:

Mt Rainier. Large, forbidding...

We did a lot of hiking last weekend for Mark's Birthday. He enjoyed it immensely, and we got to see all sorts of surprise people: his best friend from High School, Larry, popped out of our tent singing, "Is That All There Is?".

Our first hike was a warm-up hike before any of our friends arrived at the campsite; just a mile loop to see the Nesqualine Glacier.   I took a lot of pictures.  My camera has a great macro lens, so I was able to get close-ups of all the mountain wild flowers.  I think I liked the avalanche lillies the best because they poked up out of the snow banks.  

The second hike was with more friends -- Mark's favorite part was seeing two marmots.  I managed to get two photos of them; in one the animal is giving a "noble marmot" pose.   And we saw a cool looking flower that seemed to come straight out of a Dr. Suess book... maybe that was my favorite flower.  

My third hike was kind of a solo-hike, so I took the Wonderland Trail from Cougar Rock to Narada Falls.  There were several cascades and falls along the trail, which followed the Paradise River.   It was interesting to see the difference between the Nesqualine and Paradise Rivers -- the first is muddy with glacial flour, and the second was clear from snowmelt.  I hiked early Sunday morning for about two hours, and I think I saw about five people total on the trail.  It was very quiet and I got a chance to sit by Carter Falls and just write down my observations about the falls -- which means I have to re-read a recently written short story with a waterfall in it because it would have drowned out what the characters were saying.

Oh well.  Next time -- painting!

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