Tahoma was an old friend.
We had a wonderful view of the major volcanic peaks in the Cascades, esp. this big guy, on our flight Phoenix – Seattle (hint: ride the right side of the plane). Most spectacular was the view of Mt. St. Helens from the air. The amount of devastation, the amount of the mountain that was blown away is mind boggling!
We had started Tuesday morning in our little village of Northport, on the big island off the East coast, and later that day we were walking into Mt. Rainier NP on the far NorthWest coast. This still amazes me. Poor Lewis and Clark – it took them more than 2 years to make their journey across the continent, and they started in St. Louis.
On Wednesday we hiked up the mountain on the popular Skyline trail, which starts at the lodge at Paradise, elevation about 5400 ft. Celia had some trouble adjusting to the elevation, but she was a trooper. She stopped to catch her breath when she needed to, and after hiking almost 2 hours we made it up to Glacier Point, elevation about 6400 feet.
The change in the weather was dramatic. Initially, we were in full sun and it was so warm we removed some clothing. Later we were in the clouds, it was much cooler, and we put on the fleece. Well, at least Celia did. Two weeks in the Seattle area and I forgot to pack my rain jacket – what a dummy.
Although the clouds kept Tahoma’s peak hidden, we were treated to fields of fresh wildflowers. These flowers were not in bloom even 3 weeks ago. They need the more temperate weather that only arrives on the mountain in August. We look forward to next time, when we hope to see more of the peak, and venture a bit higher on the mountain.