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Monday, July 20, 2009

Along The Skyline Trail

Because of the heavy snow pack last winter, spring has come late to the alpine meadows. Instead of the second wave of more brightly colored flowers, we were treated to the fragile and fleeting beauty of those flowers that emerge as the snow melts, and disappear soon after the snow is gone. White Avalanche Lilies covered the slopes (above) and clumps of Pasqueflower sprang up from the bare ground. This trail along Dead Horse Creek was still snowed in so we turned around and found another way up the mountain side.
Here again there were snow patches to cross.
Where the snow had just melted, flowers emerged.
Hiking at 6000 feet is work for us lowlanders. Boulders served as resting benches.
Above Alta Vista we turned around. Snow covered most trails. The mountain with it's blue glacier ice loomed large, an awesome presence.
And to the south, the Tatoosh Range, with it's jagged peaks, framed Mt Adams in the distance.
Mt. St. Helens was also visible, that gray flat top in the distance. As you know, she blew her top in 1980, just a reminder that these are all live volcanoes.
A chipmunk was looking for a treat, but we had nary a crumb.
Around every turn in the trail is another perfectly framed vista.
Not real mountain climbers, we're having fun just strolling the trails.
In some areas, cleared longer of snow, the Indian Paintbrush, blue lupine and alpine spirea were beginning to color the slopes.
We were hot and tired by the time we got back to the Inn. It was time to check in and have some down time before meeting again for dinner.
Dinner in the dinning room was great, and because we were celebrating birthdays we treated ourselves to rich desserts. Mine was chocolate, of course.
After dinner we went for an easy stroll and watched the sunset color the sky over the mountains.

4 comments:

  1. excellent photos! bravo.
    nikonsniper steve

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  2. it isn't fun how it's early spring higher up in the mountains. love the fun flowers.

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  3. Linda, what beautiful photos of the Mountain..I can feel the cool air now, I'm inspired, I hope I get back up there this season, I was there last year..ahhh..so much beauty, so little time!

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  4. Linda--Happy birthday!!!
    I haven't been to Mt. Rainier for years. Such beauty. I do love the Alpine wildflowers. The pictures are wonderful, I am glad you took so many. MB

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