If one wants solid advice, follow this sign. Living in the (Pacific) North (West) can be a good thing…..
With a foggy/cloudy weekend, Kirk and I took our usually-every-year drive around Mt. Rainier. One sees a lot more when they don’t see the mountain I have found – and I am OK with not seeing her on a trip.
On the Cowlitz Divide Trail, which Walker and I poked around on, I saw so much Bunchberry in the woods. The fog had dewed everything. A trail I hope to have the boys hike with me at some point, it is a quiet one that sees few hikers.
Having been a few years, I took Walker and Alistaire on the short nature trail that is the loop trail around Box Canyon. In the clouds, the green and yellows glow, especially on the glacier polished bed rock.
Or maybe the thick carpet like brown and red mosses?
Green mountain blueberries, with a promise of summer on them.
Even the road bridge is worth noting, it was a work of art when it was put together over the river.
After enjoying our mid-range elevation strolls, we drove up Stevens Canyon Road to Paradise, and parked out in the lots where the old visitor center once stood. It is quiet there and has access to some of the “lesser used” trails of Paradise. With the extremely low snow year, a lot of Paradise is melted out (officially as of today….2nd earliest melt-out)
Now then, that isn’t to say Rainier is free of snow. Not by any stretch. It just means that normally the whole area above the parking lot is white. This year there is a lot of trail poking out.
We did a bunch of hiking at Paradise, till I wore them out.
We drove down to Longmire, where I decided one last trail was needed. Once I had actually never hiked all of. A simple nature trail, but a worthy one, especially as a leg stretcher on a long drive.
Trail of the Shadows is a loop around the mineral hot springs of Longmire. It follows the meadows, with lots of water features and little bubbling pots. It also features the antique Longmire shack and some of the handcrafted mineral spring areas the Longmire’s built.
The Skunk Cabbage was very large, and very in bloom.
The tan/orange/brown areas across the meadow are mineral areas.
I couldn’t pry the boys from this part of our day. Walker was so fascinated with the bubbling mini pots…now I KNOW we have to go back to Yellowstone, so he can see them 🙂 He would have so much fun.
The slower I hike, the more I see and learn. And I kind of like it this way.