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Monday in the Clouds

Woke up to what I could call a mostly free morning and Kirk encouraged me to head up into the mountains. I wasn’t sure where to go so I drove up into the clouds. Something told me to go to Sunrise at Rainier and who am I to ignore the luring song in my head? I admit it, I spend a lot of time at Sunrise when I can. Driving up I passed some very large Ravens – I love the Ravens there but unlike bears, they honestly give me the willies. They often are as tall as my knees! Beautiful birds though, very elegant.

I arrived at Sunrise, at 6400 feet, to temps of 46* and flittering clouds/blue skies/sun. Sunrise might be most known for the views of Rainier, honestly I love being there in the cool clouds – it has a different feel.

Being that it was one of those days – the perfect ones where you look and notice all the tourists look disappointed and wander back to their cars, even more disappointed when they find out: the visitor center and the gift shop are closed for winter and the classic I have to use a pit toilet? look on their face. The “I cannot believe I drove 2,000 miles to see nothing and there is like nothing to do here!” look of dark and sharp anger. So they peel out and when one steps into the clouds from the parking lot it is quiet. So quiet you can hear each insect sitting on the dried up wildflowers.

As I stood in the clouds I decided to walk a trail I had never done, the Silver Forest Trail. Normally it is a front country trail packed with casual visitors and I seem to always have places to be and have never wandered back there.

And yet, I was alone my entire time. I saw no one and had the lovely stretch of lower Yakima Park to just me. Maybe the clouds are a good thing after all.

Looking down at the headwaters of the Inter and White Rivers:


As I waked along the side hill I looked down at the White River, so far below:


Lower Yakima Park ahead of me:


I walked to the end of the maintained trail (and being a good girl I did not continue on. Sigh. But it is front country so I respect the end of the trail) and then I waited for the clouds to start moving in the high wind. You could see the clouds swirling above 12,000 feet.

And then Little Tahoma started clearing:


And a little more of Tahoma started showing:


The silver snags were a nice treat in Yakima Park and lined the ridge. You can see part of Burroughs Mt. in the far left:


This was to be about the most I saw of her today, still nothing wrong with that. Emmons Glacier was gorgeous as were the glacial till filled lakes far below:


First Burroughs Mountain is visible in the right side. From where I was I could see the trail snaking down to where it meets the Wonderland Trail:


As I came back to the main trail I encountered others. They were apparently quite unhappy that they were being denied filming Her. It can be too easy to focus on the super white cone and not sit down and listen.

To the rivers thundering 2,000 feet below. To the insects buzzing, the dried flowers rustling, the wind shifting through the snags – to the little ground squirrels running over your feet and the birds bursting out of the trees.

Fall isn’t quite there but summer is over, the winds off the glaciers whisper of the snows to soon come.

And as I drove up, I left in clouds but with a feeling of happiness in me.