16 Oct 2015

From the top you can see the world

Mount Rainier seen through the clouds on the road in Bonney Lake

Humans love views. I, wholeheartedly believing "the trees are the view", can't deny that I love seeing what's miles and miles away. We like to think we're on top of the world. We probably evolved to want to see where we are and what's around us, and none of that modern stuff has changed this.

Consequently, I love hiking in Washington. There are countless trails to the countless peaks of the Cascades and Olympics, each with its own unique view of the country. Our latest hike was a moderate one—4 miles to the top of Shriner Peak, a little southeast of Mount Rainier. I'm not in the best hiking shape though, so the 3434 foot gain was a bit challenging. About 1000 feet per mile, a 40% grade, excluding the alpine meadow a mile before the peak.

 On the trail there were lots of patches of fall color and fallen leaves.

As well as the fully evergreen areas with a soft pine needle bed.

Suddenly, the mountain appears before our eyes.

Just in time to catch this little rainbow.

Looking south towards Mount Adams

Then the trail passed through a rocky alpine meadow.

The low evening sun beautifully lit up patches of the ground.

Hiking upmountain once again.

Nearing the top—plenty of views now that we are out of the forest.

It wasn't that far before the summit appeared, complete with the abandoned fire lookout tower.

Where the best view of the day was to be had, of course. Right in time for sunset. From the watchtower you can see the four closest major peaks of the Cascades: Rainier, Adams, St Helens, and Hood.

Click to view panorama

Last time I took a break in my typewriter phase, my blog lay dormant. I hope none of my readers mind that this is turning into a travel and photo blog for now in the absence of typewriters. Either way, I'm not changing anything.