Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mt. Rainier; August 2012

 We spent 4 days in Mt. Rainier National Park.  We had our good friend and hiking companion Mel Springer with us. Didn't work out to have anyone else so we had a good time with just the 3 of us hiking our legs off.
This is Silver Falls on the Ohanapecosh River.  You can access a trail from the campground.  Last time the trail was washed out in places but has since been rebuilt.

We drove to the Trail of the Patriarchs and along the trail found this guy hanging about 3 feet over the trail.

Mel stands in front of the "Twin Firs".

Nice big log along the trail

There is a suspension bridge over the river.  Sign says "Recommended: 1 person at a time".  That's just to keep it from bouncing when others join you.  The line was tedious - we crossed shortly after each other.  Mel thought it would be cute to bounce it for me.

I posted some pics on Facebook but reading my blog you get a bunch more, especially of the flowers.  These 4 pictures were taken at Tipsoo Lake.  Couldn't see the mountain but the flowers were spectacular.

Lots of tadpoles in the lake.

This is the Sunrise turnout

Good thing I got this shot at Sunrise because the clouds came down and we didn't see it the rest of the day!

Did I mention the flowers were gorgeous?

We were hiking along a ridge trail and this guy was spotted.  He is waaaaay down the cliff from us.  Love my camera.

Did I forget about flowers?

We hiked the Freemont Lookout trail.  We should've had 2nd thoughts seeing the clouds come down, but they were moving so much we figured they would blow away.

NOT!  On the other hand the view might have scared me too much to be able to move.  What was I thinking?

This little guy enjoyed picking up our trail mix droppings.  He hid each piece under a totally different rock.  He's gonna have treats no matter where he runs this winter.

We could have reached out and petted this squirrel.  He was totally oblivious to our presence.  He just kept eating the flowers and we kept taking his picture.

This was a SECOND bear encounter.  He was just across the meadow from us but couldn't care less, just moseyed on eating the lupine.

Then just down the road from the bear was a mother deer and....

...her baby fawn.  Soooooo cute.

Narada Falls near Paradice

We wanted to hike to Comet Falls - I forgot how steep it is - and they said it was washed out near the top.  Like idiots we figured they had it fixed!

On the trail we came across some deer.  This one may be a doe but.....

....we were nearly run down by 3 bucks!

One washout repaired.

This avalanche prevented us from getting to the viewpoint which was 200 feet from the trail's end.  When we ran into workers later in the parking lot we were told it would probably open within the next 2 days!

We sat down with a bunch of pikas for lunch before heading back down the trail.

Christine Falls which is part of the same creek but on the road.

New visitor center at Paradice.  The old one had showers which we were looking forward to.  Due to budget cuts the new center does not.

Mt. Rainier made one last appearance on our way back to camp.

Crater Lake; July 2012

This was a covered bridge we discovered along the road.

 In July we had the opportunity to  visit Crater Lake in Oregon.  I've never been there and Phil only got a "sneak peak" one time while doing work in southern Oregon.  It was beautiful beyond description.  We had great weather and a great time.

This was our first view of the lake.  The blue is incredible!

Some fellow observers took this pic of us.  The island is called "Wizard Island"

If you bring kids - hang onto them.  The drop-offs are steep.

Yes, there was still snow in the area.  In fact the whole road around the lake was just opened the week before.
As you drive around the lake the views give such different perspectives.

Sun Notch

This small island is known as "Phantom Ship" because of its shape.

This yellow stuff in the water we decided was the pollen off the trees.

Pumice Castle

Used my tripod for this shot at Cloudcap.  You can almost get the whole lake in one picture.

On the far side you can make out one of the tour boats at the base of the cliff.  It's quite a hike down there and back (see the trail?) but it is the only access to the lake.  The boats will tour the lake as well as the islands therein.  There is even a swimming beach if you dare.

This is Crater Lake Lodge.  Nice place, not elegant like Timberline on Mt. Hood but I guess they think the view makes up for that.

View from Lodge

Then we visited a trail through "Pinnacles".  They are formed from steam vents in the ground which eroded away leave these hardened, hollow shapes.  The volcano blew up 7,700 years ago.

View of Wizard Island on our way out.

What is camping without these little guys to entertain you? (Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel)

Then we drove to Lavalands and walked around there.  In the back is 3 Sisters

Mt. Jefferson

Mt. Hood from Panorama Point over the Hood River Valley.