After Deception Pass, we headed off to...(drum roll please), Mt. Rainier! That's right--I got to go see a real glacier on top of an active volcano!
Now, here's the thing about Washington. When you step in to one of the forests there, you are instantly transported back in time. I would not have been surprised to see a dinosaur step out of the scenery. There's a reason I tag the forests I've been to under the tag "the deep primordial forests of the Pacific Northwest" and that's because I feel like there is no human impact. This, despite the blacktop under my feet, the camera in my hand, and the sound of whizzing cars behind me. The forest takes you and sucks you in. It is so large and you are so tiny, so insignificant to its majesty that you cannot help but have the air stolen from your lungs.
|Photoshop in a dinosaur and we're good to go|
And yet, despite the regal bearing of the tree, there is nothing that keeps me from flinging my dignity, and self, to hug it.
|And this tree was pretty...diminished!|
...or climbing, posing, and quite a few more things.
Once you get a little bit up the mountain and through the first "layer" (so to speak) of trees, you get quite a breath-taking vista.
Because the National Park Service knows me so well, there are various "look out points" where you can park the car and take pictures like mad. You all know me well enough that I took several camera cards full of pictures, but here are some of my better ones.
|Not even a moving car can stop me from taking pictures! If you have a fast enough shutter speed and enough light, you can get some pretty good ones!|
It was somewhat cloudy, so I have been assured that this isn't the best view of the Reflection Lake, but I was impressed nonetheless!
And then we made it up to the end of the road. It was walking from there. I was so excited when I saw the glacier!
The meltwater from the glacier runs down the mountain, causing these quite picturesque streams and waterfalls.
|Can you tell I'm super excited about the waterfalls?|
The sun was setting as we headed back down, back to Seattle, to the plane, to the cross national flight to my family's new place in Massachusetts.
Thank you, Washington state. You have helped me set the stage for my life and I will be eternally grateful.