The Mountain

Even on a trip some basic house keeping must be done.  I am waiting on the wash cycle while Noel and Henna swim in the pool, we finally found some blue skies and warmer air.  I know at home ya’ll are having a hot spell, so I won’t talk too much about the cold weather we’ve been through.  This pit stop is in Albany Oregon, and we’ve been here before.  This trip has taken us to many old haunts from a trip ten years past.  Some have felt the same, while others I’ve totally forgotten and get to simply experience again.  I realized that my mind can only hold onto memories that have struck me somewhere deep.  We just returned from one of those places and I am glad to say that the same feeling came back to me as it took hold of me 10 years ago.  Mt. Rainer National Park still makes me feel larger than life inside.  When I am here I feel like home.

 We drove from the coast yesterday through more of the same misty rain, just under Seattle and down into the park.  As we travelled through towns along the way, the earth was level but began its wonderful ascent into the lower hills that surround the mountain.  Mt. Rainer sits in the middle of the park at 14,431ft. and if your lucky you can see it’s snow-covered peak, when spied upon it just takes your breath away.  We were only planning on staying in the area for two days, so I knew my odds of seeing the mountain were slim.  But as we drove the only park road closest to the peak, we saw the clouds move to reveal it through the tall mountain pines.  We quickly pulled over, I pulled Henna out and we stood on the side of the road to watch it.  A ranger told me to talk quietly or it’ll go into hiding again.  The air was cold and crisp and smelled deliciously of the pine that surround this dormant volcano.  It’s a beauty of a park, and we realized as we reached the visitor’s center at the top of this winding road that the trails were all still snowed in.  Yikes.  Record snow fall and early travels to mountainous regions can leave some hikers sad.  We back packed this park ten years ago, and I was instantly in love.  A trail called the wonderland trail surrounds this park. Noel and I have said that we’ll do it for our 40th birthday, which is in two years.  Better start training now, and getting Henna ready.  She’ll be coming too. 


We camped at her feet, (I think of her as a female) and it was a glorious night.  When we awoke rain clouds were threatening us, but we cleared camp and just made a 3 mile hike before the rain fell.  We left for drier weather and to begin our decent homeward.  We never saw the mountain again as clouds of her own making concealed her.  Maybe next time, because I know I’ll be back here.