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Published: September 23rd 2013
Today we thought we saw the sun trying to peek out, so we headed for Mt. Rainier, about 50 miles away. Even before we entered the park, we drove for miles through old growth forests of Douglas Fir, western red cedar, and western hemlock. The trees were huge, over 100 feet tall. As we entered the park, the road cut a narrow tunnel through the trees as we ascended the mountain. With overcast skies and mist rising from below, it was very eerie.
There were no breathtaking panoramic views to be had today, but the park was, nevertheless, breathtaking. At our first stop, I couldn’t believe the huge rocks and fallen trees in the riverbed of the Nisqually River. This is a glacial river fed by Mt. Rainier’s glaciers as well as by snowmelt and heavy spring rains. The roar of this huge river in June must be deafening. Even now there is plenty of water rushing down, as Lindsay can attest.
We traveled on up to Paradise Lodge where Lindsay last visited on July 4, 1964. He has a nice picture of himself on a sunny day with snow up to the roof of the tourist bus. These
old National Park Lodges never fail to impress with their huge beams and rustic architecture. Paradise Lodge was constructed with local cedar. Our outside lodge pictures lack just one thing – the glacier covered Mt. Rainier looming over the lodge. The mountain was completely socked in, and the mist/fog/drizzle was like icy pellets on our skin. It’s ironic that I’ve seen Mt. Rainier from Seattle, but today it was nowhere to be seen. The guidebook says that if you visit on a cloudy day, you are experiencing the mountain in its most frequent guise, cloaked in moisture and hooded by snow. At Paradise, the average yearly snowfall is 126 inches.
A “high point” in our trip was going through Morton, WA where we, of course, took pictures - - and Lindsay scored a hat with Morton, Washington on it. All in all, not a bad day!
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