Although we had visited Mount Rainier a couple of years ago, it had not been an official part of our tour (no passport stamp, nor blog entry). So we made our way back up to the slopes of one of the world’s most massive volcanoes, which stands nearly 3 miles high. With 25 major glaciers, it has the largest collection of permanent ice on a single US peak south of Alaska. The mountain itself is no stranger to us as on any clear day you can see it from all over the greater Puget Sound area. Lisa has always been quite fond of ‘her mountain’ as she grew up near its base in Tacoma.
We picked a particularly beautiful day to visit the aptly named Paradise, a popular area halfway up the summit inside of the park. Upon entering the park you are surrounded by a forest of Douglas fir, red cedar, and western hemlock. At every turn of the road the mountain peeks out, often confusing you with its location, seeming as though it must be on wheels. Just before reaching our destination, we visited the nearby Reflection Lake, where if the wind and light cooperate you’re given a full reflection of the mountain.
We then continued our way up to the new lodge at Paradise. Here, the mountain seems so close you feel like you can touch it. The smell and sights of the wildflowers combined with the beauty and presence of the mountain was truly breathtaking. We feel so fortunate to have this natural treasure right in our backyard.