Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weekly Hikes #12, #13 and #14: On the Cloudy Mountain

I'm still a bit behind in telling you about my recent hikes, so this is post is going to be mostly photos. Last month, from August 26th through the 29th we were on Mount Rainier, staying at the Paradise Inn, and hiking every day except the last one, when there was a downpour that started overnight and was still going strong when we headed home.

We had a great time, but there was one thing that was very disappointing: we never saw the top of Mount Rainier, because it was cloud-covered the whole time we were there. Here is what it looked like:

Just because it was cloudy didn't mean that we couldn't hike, however. I'd like to take you on a photo tour of the three hikes that Mr. D and I did while at Paradise.

Day One: We arrived around noon, and after eating our picnic lunch, we set out on the Lakes Trail, then the High Lakes Trail, looping back to the Lakes Trail, which brought us back to the Paradise Inn. We saw wonderful alpine meadows, filled with wildflowers, and a serene little pond that reflected the sky.

Day Two: We drove a few miles below Paradise and parked at Christine Falls, then walked a quarter of a mile down the road to the Comet Falls trailhead. The trail started out relatively flat, and we passed some of the cascades of beautiful Christine Falls before the trail began to get steep and rocky. It was a real slog getting to the falls, but once we did, the view was worth it.

Day Three: Whenever we are at Paradise we hike up to Panorama Point and have our lunch looking out over the Paradise valley and the Tatoosh Range. This time, the view wasn't the highlight of the hike, although we enjoyed it. We were more enthralled by the wildlife. Very early in the hike we saw a doe calmly nibbling greenery near the trail and totally ignoring the hikers going by. Later in the hike we had several close encounters with the marmots that live in the high alpine meadows.

Being at Paradise isn't all hiking. Mr. D and I went on some pleasant walks on the paved trails near the Visitor Center, and we hung out and enjoyed being in the inn. So, to finish this post, here are some photos from our walk and our time at the inn.

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