Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Lady Rainier

Our Lady

I'm at a literary loss for words when I try to describe the experience of hiking to Tolmie Peak in Mt. Rainier National Park. Scenic, picturesque, breathtaking, dramatic, striking, spectacular...Applying these adjectives to portray it is the same as taking photos of nature when you're out in it; Good, maybe great, but never a true representation of the experience. Never wholly reflective of the light, the mood, the sensation.

The arresting views started early on in the 7ish mile hike and never ceased. Before hiking this trail on Sunday, I had never seen giant fields of avalanche lilies, let alone entire mountainsides covered in bear grass bloom. The ever present, archetypal mountain Rainier loomed not overhead, but almost parallel to us in our ascent up the trail. It is the closest I have ever felt to this beautiful Lady.

The amount of people on the trail I overheard stopping to exclaim "Oh my god" over and over again was pretty incomparable to anything else I've hiked. I did a beautiful hike in Rainier last summer called the Summerland Trail, but this trail topped it and everything else I've seen since then. Maybe since before then. I don't really play favorites per-se when it comes to this outdoor, back country life, but nonetheless this trail stole the show and is probably going to live in infamy in my recollection for a long time to come. 

So much beauty in this world, but nothing ever touches me the way reflections of mountains in alpine lakes do. Feels like coming home.

Looking down on Eunice Lake
You can see why this park is so damn crowded 24/7/365...

Approaching Eunice Lake
An edge of Eunice Lake
Lilies upon lilies
Jasmine on the ridge line

Views for days
Oh, Bear Grass
Tolmie Peak Fire Lookout
You can see the fire lookout that we hiked to at the tip top of this ridge

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