Every time Mt. Rainier sticks her head out from the clouds I am powerfully reminded of how badly I've been wanting to go there. Today was that day! We chose a cloudy, rainy day, but if we were to wait for the next non-rainy day on a weekend that day may never come. So we packed up and headed to Mt. Rainier National Park.
Mt. Rainier never fully came out from behind her clouds, but the drive was still pretty spectacular. There were a couple of pull outs along the way, including this one looking west towards home that a stranger was kind enough to offer to take our photo (Catherine decided to stay in the car for this stop, one of many).
You can just see the bridge that we drove over on the way up to the photo spot (taken from about the same place as the above photo). The snow at the top there is the very bottom of the Nisqually glacier, and the river bed the bridge crosses is the very beginning of the river that I cross to and from work every day.
We eventually made it to Paradise. Paradise, once again, received a bunch more snow than normal this year. The snow the kids are standing on is well over 10 feet deep. This should be a wildflower-paradise (kind of how it got its name) at this time of year. I heard that last year there was so much snow that the wildflower bloom hit about the same time that the trees/shrubs were turning color. If true, the same will probably happen again this year. I will be back...
I felt like a walk when we got back, so I took the kids to the playground. They have been avoiding the mini-climbing wall for some time, so I encouraged them to give it a try. They were both pretty scared, but they both did it. I was so proud that they pushed on. They both had such a good time that they were willing to pause in mid-climb for a photo.
Ian was definitely more comfortable of the two, but Leah did great too.
It'll be late July/early August when I'm able to get back to Rainier (Cub Scouts, two backpacking trips to the Olympics and one to Mt. St. Helens planned for July), but I'll definitely be headed back!
Have a great day everybody.