A Walk Through the Woods

Often it’s just too sunny to go to the gym to work out.  On those days Leslie and I often walk down the street to Point Defiance Park. It’s far too easy to take these woods for granted, but the other day I took my new camera with me because I was going to stop at the Rose Garden and check out the Dahlias.

Taking my camera made me realize just how beautiful the walk really, particularly when you’re walking through the deer trails, 

which isn’t to say that it’s not equally beautiful on the well-maintained, main trails.  

I’m particularly fond of places that make you feel like you’re walking through a tunnel, totally immersed in forest.

It’s clear that the designers of the Rose Garden must have been equally enchanted by the deep forest since they mimic that at several of the entrances to the garden.

The deep woods provide the perfect contrast to the brilliant colors found throughout the inner garden this time of year.


Reflecting on a Sunny Day

Mt. Rainier

In a New Light

When you’ve lived in Mt. Rainier’s presence for 77 years like I have, it’s easy to assume you know it as well as you do the back of your hand.  That assumption might even be reaffirmed by taking the same spectacular hike every year for several years in a row.

When we talked about spending the day on Mt. Rainier, I wanted to take our usual hike from Sunrise, but Leslie and Paul wanted to do the Naches Peak Loop Trail on the east side of the mountain, a trail I’ve never taken. Though I still want to repeat the Sunrise trek some time this year, by the end of the day I was glad we had taken a new trail.

In our first sighting from the east side of the mountain, Rainier was almost obscured by massive ramparts

something I had never noticed before.

Nearer the top of the Naches trail, the ramparts disappeared, and Rainier seemed its usual serene self,

but, as we completed the loop and dropped in elevation, those ramparts seemed even more formidable than they had from a distance.

After our hike, we completed the loop around the mountain where I took this picture almost directly south of Rainier

and got an entirely different view of the ridge line.  It turned out that I didn’t really know the mountain quite as well as I thought I did.

If forecasters are right, the mountain will change even more radically with Climate Change.  It’s clear that many of the glaciers are already receding and will continue to do so.  Personally, I hope I’m never around to see Rainier without glaciers.  It would be like seeing Mt. Olympus without its Gods.

Mt. Rainier

Wild Flowers

Last week’s hike around Naches Peak was magical. Bright sunshine, mid-70 temperatures, and peekaboo looks at Mt Rainier certainly contributed to the magic, but wildflowers in full bloom seemed most magical of all.

Surely these fields

must have inspired the Impressionists.

Who could tire, no matter how steep the trail, when bouquets of lupine and Indian Paintbrush line the trail,

cover meadows, 

vanish into deep forests?

And if one should tire, what better way to refresh the soul than to stop

and become one with such beauty?