Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier afforded us the chance to enjoy snow in July.  The weather was cold, wet, and overcast but still an enjoyable drive up the mountain side.  J, in the photo here, is standing in a large section of snow with the frozen water and mountain in the backdrop.  We formed snowballs and tried to throw them into the open areas of water.  I alas am not a good aim with a snowball.

I have to say I didn't enjoy Mt. Rainier as much as I did the Mt. St. Helen's trip but that was because I had been up Mt. Rainier just three years ago.  It hasn't changed all that much except for having a heavier snowfall this year and colder temperatures making the glaciers grow.

Don't drink the water on Mount Rainier.  Well maybe if you have water purification tablets it might be safe.  I can't see as how all that rust and iron content in the water can be healthy for the body.  Personally I wouldn't even walk in that water from this particular stream.

This is the retired tour bus, a Kenworth, that would pick up visitors from Seattle and bring them to the mountain for hiking and day tours.  It is a new exhibit and wasn't there three years ago when I was a first time visitor to the mountain.  I believe that the plaque said it was a 1934 Kenworth, thus the Kenworth name on the secondary license plate.  Two license plates were on the back of the bus, one with the official Washington state plate the other just with the name Kenworth.

Mount Rainier has several spectacular view points, though the forestry service could do a better job in maintaining them.  This is just one set of falls at which we stopped to get a better photo.  While on Mt. St. Helen's we spoke with an older gentleman who said he used to work for the US Forestry service.  Having worked for them he told us how they use the money from the US government and produce no revenues.  They don't maintain the parks or vistas like they should and they like to build new buildings when the old ones are still perfectly good.  I didn't know all this before speaking with him.  Rather interesting and with our deficit we could probably cut some spending from that particular program.

Black and white photo I made of a color photo J took of the raging waters on Mount Rainier.  Mt. Rainier is much taller than Mt. St. Helen's due to Mt. St. Helen's exploding.  The Benchmark for the Mt.Rainier area we went to was 6,800 feet.  While the topmost point on Mt. St. Helen's we drove to was 4,200 feet.  Mt. Rainier is over 14,000 feet at it's peak.

Our next journey and last of the overnight trips starts today.  We are headed up to the town of Sequim (pronounced like swim but with a "q" ) for the Lavender Festival.  I'm going to be without wifi for three days.  Not sure how I'm going to cope.  We'll see what photos I have for my blog when I get back.  The weather is supposed to be over cast and raining which, though usual for most of Washington, is unusual for Sequim since its the driest town in Washington.  Where ever I go the precipitation seems to follow.

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