Mount Rainier

Dart was in Mount Rainier National Park.

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A view to the east in Mount Rainier National Park
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A view to the west in Mount Rainier National Park

Yesterday, we planned to visit Mount Rainier National Park.  When we woke up, it was cloudy and drizzly.  I was certain the mountain would be covered with clouds but we went anyway.  Good decision!  The clouds went away and we saw awesome views of Mount Adams on the way and Mount Rainier when we got to the park.

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Mount Rainier National Park

For those of you following us last year, you may remember we went to Mount Rainier National Park but wound up hiking outside the park in the National Forest because we had Dart with us.  We had entered the park from the west but the road going through the park was closed.  We went part way, never saw any views, and went to the National Forest.  Yesterday, we entered from the east.  What a difference!  We had spectacular views.  We stopped a few times at overlooks and just sat and stared at the mountain.  We ate lunch within view of the peak.  The road was open and we drove all the way through the park.  We highly recommend it to travelers in this area.

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Life is tenacious and will find a foothold anywhere it can.

The Park paper has interesting information on how to react with close encounters by bears and mountain lions.  The place where we ate lunch had signs on all the picnic tables regarding bears.  But, the thing that got us the most was the following guidance:

“If you are near a river and notice a rapid rise in water level, feel a prolonged shaking of the ground, and/or hear a roaring sound coming from upvalley – often described as the sound of a fast-moving freight train – move quickly to higher ground – 200 feet above river level should be safe.”  We are reminded that this is an active “hot spot” and earthquakes happen regularly and the mountain is NOT dormant.

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Eating lunch with Mount Rainier in the background.

From this picnic area, we were able to see a lot of people walking across the snow on Mount Rainier.  Here are three views with different lenses to give you an idea.  Look for the spots that look like pepper in the second picture.  It is people.

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People hiking up Mount Rainier.
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The little “pepper” spots are people hiking up Mount Rainier.
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Mount Rainier. On the right side of the picture, there are people hiking up the mountain.

I have been reading a lot about the geology of the west.  Maybe I shouldn’t with all these volcanos surrounding us.  It’s time to try out the local brews and forget about it!