Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mount Rainier National Park

It was a beautifully spectacular day to visit Mt Rainier National Park.  The road up the mountain is winding and beautiful, and from the moment you spot Rainier, it takes your breath away.  It is preposterous to me that people actually climb this bad boy.  I was told that they start out as soon as the sun comes up, hike to the summit, and get down before sunset.  That climb would take me 300 years and I am pretty sure I would die after 20 yards.

In fact, I took a hike (and use the time "hike" lightly) here, and had to stop and catch my breath every few feet (flat, paved ground)!  Between the high altitude and being a tad out of shape, it was brutal.  I just can't imagine people climbing it.

But, whatever, it was a gorgeous day to be out in this national park and enjoying this intense beauty.  I loved every second of it.  I especially loved seeing a family of black bears in the valley near the visitor center.  I photographed them, of course, at a safe distance.

Daddy Bear

Mama bear (left) and the kids!

Mt. Rainier might become my favorite National Park!

From the second you enter, you view this!!!

This is a gorgeous spot called Christina Falls.


The drive is long through the park - but, you are surrounded by such beauty!

So, I took this hike that has beautiful spring flowers all over.  It was a nice pathway (paved) with very little incline.  That didn't stop me from huffing and puffing.  As I was looking at the tiny specs on the top of this mountain (people that actually climb to the TOP), I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I could hardly walk from my car to the paved, flat area - much less even consider climbing this thing!

I LOVE these little flowers!  They were all over the meadow!

Flowers, flowers, more flowers.  I love them.

This gray rock spot was once a glacier - that has rapidly melted.  Call it global warming, call it the natural progression of the Earth.  Whatever it is, these glaciers are melting at an alarming rate.

The only reason I'm not sweating like a pig is because it's always cold here!

This is Mt Rainier ....

... and, these are 3 crazy people CLIMBING Mt Rainier!!
(I have put a red box around the human climbers)

I call them crazy, but in a good way.  I admire anybody who has this
much determination.  I would imagine that you feel SO accomplished
when you reach the summit of this mountain!

We saw these helicopters the day we were here.  I think they might be used when people need to be rescued off the mountain, but I'm not sure of that.