Today I want to share some photos from our annual hike at Paradise on Mount Rainier. It was very different from our day there last year, even though it was only three days later than last year. First of all, due to a very hot and dry August and September, the wildflowers had already bloomed, and were mostly gone. Secondly, there was this:
That haze you see draping the Tatoosh Range is smoke. Severe wildfires in eastern Washington caused heavy smoke to drift over the Cascades and envelop Mount Rainier. The air quality improved as the day went on, but we were always able to see (and smell) the smoke.
The smoke didn't stop us, and we still were able to hike up as far as Panorama Point, elevation 6,800 feet, to our usual picnic spot. Here are some images from the hike up:
At Panorama Point, the view wasn't as spectacular as in other years, but I did see something there that I have never seen before: a cairn! (You know how I love cairns...)
We also saw a rather daunting sign next to the route across the snowfields:
Even though the air was smoky and the wildflower season was almost over, we found beauty to enjoy. It is still Paradise, after all.