Mt. Rainier’s Alpine Gardens

Usually when we go to Mt. Rainier we spend most of the day at Sunrise walking and circle around the mountain to home. Mary who was visiting from Boston wanted to see the main lodge, Paradise, and we hadn’t spent as much time as usual walking at Sunrise so we decided to visit Paradise, too. Unfortunately, once we got there we found out that half of Seattle must have decided to visit on the same day. We circled the main parking lot and when we couldn’t find a parking spot decided that we would park in one of the secondary lodges and walk to the lodge the back way. That plan was waylaid when we found the trail closed due to a bear sighting between the lower parking lot and the lodge.

So, we had to settle for this view of the southern side of Mt. Rainier

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and the ridges on the other side of the valley.

Rdglin

Our disappointment, though, turned to awe when we discovered meadows blanketed with wildflowers, the kind you’d usually expect in late August, not July 1st.

RainierFlowers

After trying to capture their beauty in mere photographs, it became quite clear why Impressionists abandoned realism for abstract colors.

RainierFlowers2

Confronted with such timeless beauty one could see why John Muir was inspired to write,” Every one of these parks, great and small, is a garden filled knee-deep with fresh, lovely flowers of every hue, the most luxuriant and the most extravagantly beautiful of all the alpine gardens I ever beheld in all my mountain-top wanderings."

RainierFlowers3

It was a magical visit.

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