People, my Darling, Romantic, Thoughtful, Knows-me-better-than-anyone-else Husband took me to Paradise on Sunday.
:) :) :)
Sounds spectacular, I know. :D It totally was.
There is a spot on Mt. Rainier called Paradise, one of many little "spots" all over the mountain that have lodging, restaurants, cabin rentals & camping, numerous hiking trails, the famous Paradise Inn, and breathtaking scenic drives to and from the location. Need I say more?
We left at 8:30 am, dropped Violet off at church with friends, and drove eastwards and slightly south toward Rainier. On the way up it was cool, but not cold, with a tiny misting drizzle. We stopped several times on the way up to take pictures of some truly breathtaking views.
This is Alder Dam on the Nisqually River, which powers a lot of homes in the Valley.
This river is down to a trickle now that it's fall. By springtime, it'll be a roaring mass, however, filling up the entire rocky bed you see here with melted snow.
For some reason, this time of year is like SPRINGTIME for the Pacific Northwest. The flowers here love the extra rain and coolness.
Here is another nearly-empty riverbed. One can almost imagine the glacier slowly crawling down this ravine, carving it out as it slithered downhill, melting all the way. It brought tears to my eyes---the magnificence and GRANDEUR of this ravine, so rugged and powerfully-created, yet so gently nestled by its perfectly-cultivated greenery edging it. We could look down from the bridge and see spots of brilliant Red popping up here and there from the flowering shrubs by the edge of the woods. Also, I nearly fell off the bridge over all of this. :P Apparently heights (when they're this magnificent) make me dizzy.
By this point we were up so high the clouds were below us. These clouds were wafting upwards from this valley as we watched. Also, I love seeing the path downwards that the rockslides made---and they just went right on over the road, hardly stopping for us puny humanity. Such magnificence!
After our delicious Sunday brunch of shrimp cocktails, crab, smoked salmon, crepes, eggs, chicken breast, scones, danishes, fruits, and hot coffee, we spent some time by the huge rock fireplace snuggled up on the couch reading Ron Paul's new book, The Revolution, A Manifesto. Then, once our brunch had settled, we wandered outside for a walk down one of the trails to see Myrtle Falls. On the way up some tourists in front of us had stopped, hushed, pointing and gazing up the trail at what turned out to be a very calm, contented black bear, having his own Sunday brunch.
We walked RIGHT UP TO IT, and on past it.......spending a few moments just gazing at it, about 10 feet from it (it was uphill from us), watching it munch sooooo contentedly on berries. It was an experience I'll never forget. Unfortunately, on this particular hike, we'd left the camera in the car, so all we had to commemorate this hike was the iphone, which doesn't take super-great pictures. :P
We made it to Myrtle Falls, and just stood mesmerized by the liquid beauty......crashing, sparkling, bubbling, misting. We quietly just soaked it all in.....the Ultra-Greenness of the foliage, the pristine beauty, the delicacy, and the amazing Love of our Father expressed in His creation.
This is truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. The clouds that hung around Paradise this time of year made it seem all the more intimately beautiful, as if a gauze tent had been thrown over all the green and sparkle and flower petals. I felt like I was in a dream the entire time......it was all so hushed and pristine and sparkling inside that soft cloud on the mountain.
We came down so deeply refreshed from our True Mountaintop Experience.......the "back to work" syndrome we usually face on Sunday evenings was completely banished. We went to bed early, of course. *winks*