I don't know why but I've always considered Rainier to possess a divine feminine energy, and I like to call her Lady Rainier. Sometimes I blow kisses her way when I'm driving south to work in the morning, since I get a lovely view of her from I-5 on clear days. Rainier can actually be seen from a crazy far distance, as far north as Vancouver BC and as far south as Corvallis, OR. I've learned a lot about her the last few years from reading hiker anthologies and visiting the national park. It's just a mystic, tranquil volcano set in the middle of a gorgeous mountain range that is so drastically different from the East to the West sides. The native tribes here called her "Tahoma" or "Tacoma", which means Mother of Waters. So I suppose her feminine wiles were picked up on by attuned inhabitants early on.
|The view of Rainier from Tipsoo Lake, right off Highway 410|
I headed over early Saturday morning with Josephine and her pup Luna. Could not have had more fun with this oddball of a dog. She was extremely easy going and did everything with us; a seasoned sidekick. From camping to hiking to playing cribbage to kayaking for her first time, swimming, and skateboarding (kinda...), she was very much in the mix. My lovely neighbors who I adore came out to meet up with us Saturday evening. They are just about the coolest, kindest couple and I really enjoy them both.
On Sunday I woke up in the back of Josephine's built out Honda Element having to pee exactly as sunrise was cresting over the mountain range. Perfect timing, body! I walked down to the lake and had the entire thing to myself. I was surprised that no one was out fishing since its an extremely popular fishing spot. No boats, no kayaks, and ahhhh, no kids. I walked the shore to the boat launch and sat on the dock for awhile. I love watching sunrise so much. The golden bath of speckled light and the immense silence never fail to provide powerful and restorative soul-medicine. After the sun was situated high in the sky I walked back to camp and retreated to the car for a short nap before we all got up for some early morning kayaking.
Another highlight was the utterly random hike we did to Twin Sisters lakes. This required driving down a longgg pothole ridden dirt road within the William O. Douglas wilderness area (author of that book Of Men and Mountains that I recently wrote about on here). The Deep Creek trail head was a sight for sore eyes & backs, and the path itself was impressively maintained for being in the middle of nowhere! It was a short and steep hike up in the heavy afternoon heat. The lake was gigantic, one of the biggest alpine lakes I've ever seen. Bear grass was everywhere, along with bluebells and other small wildflowers. The only bummer was that within two minutes of being at the lake, we were covered in SWARMS of mosquitoes unlike anything I have ever experienced. I cannot over exaggerate the size of this mosquito colony. All four of us got eaten alive and we quickly retreated back to the meadow surrounding the lake. Pretty unfortunate because it would have otherwise been a perfect place to spend the afternoon. A quick look on the topographical map later showed that these lakes border an area known as "Mosquito Valley" hah! Dozens of ponds, lakes, and waterways within this wilderness area apparently offer the perfect breeding conditions for bug life in early Summer. Duly noted for next time...
|Evening at the lake front|
|Kayaking in the early morning light|
|Luna's first kayaking experience!|
|Ah, peeing in glorious nature|
|Hanging with Trevor and Luna at the campsite|
|One of the coolest pups around|
|Approaching Twin Sister Lake|
|Bear grass abound at Twin Sisters|
|My lovely neighbor Kalee|