July 30, 2012

7/13/12 - Mt. Rainier NP

When my family first moved to Washington, my daughter was 8.  We lived in Renton where there's a great view of the mountain when it's out.  Laura said she had learned in school that Mt. Rainier was a volcano.  She then said (all in one breath), "My-teacher-says-it's-due-to-erupt-anytime-in-the-next-10,000-years-we-have-to-move."

The gateway at the Nisqually entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park was built in 1926.  That's older than everyone I'm related to!
We walked the Trail of Shadows to see where the Longmire medical springs were.  (Ain't no way you could get me to drink out of that thing!)

We stopped at Christine Falls and Narada Falls.  Lots of water falling down.
Sometimes we could barely see the mountain through the clouds.
Through the window of the visitor center at Paradise, we saw most of the totally snow-covered mountain (for a few minutes.)   Then it got a really funky-looking cloud over it.

Reflection Lakes weren't reflecting much anyway (too much ice!)

Usually by mid-summer, you can walk up some of the trails without snowshoes.  Usually by mid-summer, the base of the mountain is covered with wildflowers.  This was definitely not a usual summer!   The ranger told us we could find avalanche lilies along the trail to Bench Lake without freezing our you-know-what's off. 
In spite of the earlier concern, it was Mount St. Helens, not Mt. Rainier, that most recently erupted.  Give it another 10,000 years, I guess. 

More pictures of Mt. Rainier are here:  Rainier NP 

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