September 11, 2017

paradise at mt. rainier

Mt. Rainier produces the best things: cherries, waterfalls, wildflowers, glorious hikes and snowy peaks. Last summer, we drove the three hours to the far side of the volcano to try to hike a bit and got completely rained out. We did get a sweet little picnic before that, but we definitely didn't get to savor the splendor like we did this year. Last weekend, we adventured there again and it did not disappoint.
These peaks are just stunning. Every breath of crisp mountain air filled my whole body with a familiar love for nature. I feel so grateful to live somewhere where beauty surrounds me all year long. Our kids have become quite the hikers. Yes, they still complain when they get tired, but they've hiked a lot with us in their short lives. This hike to one of the lakes was particularly special because we were almost entirely alone in the forest and surrounded by huckleberry bushes. The short hike took us a long time because we stopped every few steps to pluck some berries and savor the quiet forest around us.
We saw many waterfalls during the day and each one had its own special splendor. Of course, I prefer the Paradise hike to just about all of them, but the Wonderland trail is filled with stunning views and beautiful surroundings.

Watching the sunset at Paradise was magical. For me, music holds many memories associated with nature and driving with my family on road trips through national parks. As we drove with the windows down, and watched the sunset, we listened to this song. As we headed down the mountain during the perfect moment, we caught a glimpse of a fox couple preparing for their evening. It was so beautiful and magical and I will always remember it.
Rainier, you gorgeous lady, I love you with all my heart.  

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