"The mountains are calling
and I must go."
-- John Muir and me
I've had a strong urge this summer to hike on Mt. Rainier during wildflower season -- something I had not done in the 10 years I've lived in the Northwest. So I told my husband we had to do it. NOW!
|Cascade Asters march down the mountain.|
Off we went to join the crowds before the wildflowers faded. It was worth the 2 1/2-hour drive and the sore legs the next day(s).
Mainly we saw purple Cascade Asters, but I also saw some Scarlet Paintbrush, white puffy American Bistort and a handful of other subalpine flowers listed in the brochure.
|We saw a lot of orange and blue butterflies on the flowers.|
We started at the Paradise Inn and took the Deadhorse Creek Trail up until it met the Skyline Trail, then we took the Skyline down.
It's sad to realize how much the glaciers are melting due to climate change. We heard three avalanches while we were there and saw one up in the snow field. At first we thought we were hearing thunder, then an airplane, then we realized it was an avalanche when we saw the cloud of white in the air on the steep face of the glacier.
The views were breathtaking, with fields of wildflowers, white glaciers, blue mountain peaks in the distance and a clear blue summer sky.
That's Mt. Adams on the horizon below.
On the way down, we passed this marmot sunbathing on a rock. Every so often it picked up its head and looked around, then flopped back down.
The stairs down were very steep, but I was glad for them so I didn't have to pick my way down over rocks and boulders. It was sort of a wimpy way of hiking, but it was okay by me.
Afterward, we checked out the Paradise Inn, which was hopping with visitors and activities.
Then we made the long descending drive off the mountain and stopped at the Copper Creek Inn for refreshment -- beer for Dave and wild blackberry pie for me, and trout and salmon. And we were still home in time for me to watch my two episodes of "Murder She Wrote" before falling into bed.
Have a colorful day