I don’t know anyone who lives in Western Washington who doesn’t love the sight of Mt. Rainier. You always enjoy seeing the mountain, even in your car. You get out of your car to experience the subtle beauty of wildflowers that carpet the mountainside as you climb up beyond the visitor’s center.
On the way down you stroll through fields of purple asters (though the climb UP is anything but a stroll 🙂
You walk wayside trails to fully experience waterfalls crossed unnoticed on the highway.
You hike mile-long trails to discover creeks plunging down the mountainside, waterfalls hidden by old-growth forests.
If you ask someone if he knows how far the falls is, you may even meet a Belgium-born nuclear scientist with a GPS that can tell you it’s precisely 70 meters ahead.
If you hike very long, you’re also sure to meet curious local residents,
that will land if you hold out your hand to them,
even without food to offer.
I climb the mountain to find my own little piece of heaven here on earth.