Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mt. Rainier National Park

I've lived in Seattle for over a dozen years now. On a clear day, part of the stunning scenery is a view of the majestic Mt Rainier. It seems like it's a part of the city, but it's actually about two hours away by car.
Today, Zeke, River and I got in the car and drove those two hours to get a closer look at the mountain and its environs.
It was a cloudy day in Seattle, but as we approached the mountain, we could see that some sunshine was hugging it.  The mountain is such a huge force of nature, that it actually has an effect on the weather surrounding it. It can bring its own clouds to a sunny day and it's own sun to a cloudy day. Because of this, it also affects the weather in the towns around it, often dumping record-breaking snowfall on a town called Paradise.

 The northwest forest is a special, peaceful place. There is green all around.
 Except some of the creeks. All of the rocks are the same place white color, and the water, itself, has also taken on a milky hue. I suspect it has something to do with lava silt, but I never saw any signs explaining the phenomenon.
 Grey water

 We were in the park for about an hour before we acquired enough altitude to be above the clouds and actually see the mountain.
 This was an unusual sight. The mountains were not only covered in large pine trees, but also the ground was covered in a thick green grassy ground-cover. I'd not seen such green grassy rolling mountains in the USA. It reminded me of Switzerland or Ireland.
 Our first views of the mountain were cloudy.
 Reflections lake.  After we shot this photo, River saw a big German Shepheard that really set him off. He hadn't been this excited in well over a year. I knew exactly how to stay calm and diffuse the situation, but it was too bad that I had to. River had been so good for so long. I'm glad that this is no longer a regular occurence, though, and more of an unusual event.
The whole incident took probably two minutes from initiation to final relaxation.
 I was fascinated by the three dead trees surrounded by so many live ones. I wanted to know the story here.
 Mt. Rainier
River getting very excited to be so near such a big waterfall. We're at the top of the falls. To see these falls from the bottom, we'd have had to take a long trail, and dogs are not allowed on trails, so we had to enjoy it from above. It's spectacular enough from any perspective.
 River and I checking out another, more distant waterfall.
 River loves to hop on rocks and get a higher perspective on things.
Another beautiful National Park to cross off my bucket list.
River seemed to be enjoying himself.  Here is what he thought of the day:

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