We walked around atop the greatest mountain on earth today. Seriously, Mount Rainier is one of the most perfect sites I have ever visited, the sheer size and beauty of the place is enough to choke you up. I have been to a lot of places that hold great natural beauty, and only the mountains of Switzerland, and certain unspoiled islands in the Seto Naikai in Japan even come close to the power of Rainier. It is a must see place.
Due to the size of the kids and the general difficulty involved in my one man parenting tour of Washington, we didn't hike today. We parked, and walked around a bit. I took a goodly few photos, all here, as usual. (I'm going to need more albums for Fall; I'm taking way more photos than usual.) The kids were feeling very photogenic, so they actually stopped and let me take pics of them. I can't resist getting a ton of images of the mountain, of course, and the fields around Sunrise are wonderful places. We even saw some ground squirrels, a deer, and either a grouse or a pheasant or something. A chicken-y bird. (Arkaedi: "Crow? Quack?" No, and no.)
It is the biggest trip of the summer, and maybe the last. I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed by my extensive driving. Tomorrow we're staying home, and I think the next week will involve some nearby trips, with fewer two hour drives. The kids have been fantastic, and they really handle everything well. Viri asks to go potty, and he's had zero accidents. They share food in the back, and don't make too much noise. I'm just tired of being in the car. For now; maybe when the weekend passes I'll want to trek around the state again. We'll see how bored I get just going to the park and the library tomorrow.
I definitely was glad to make my yearly trip to Rainier. It's an overwhelming place, and I can't imagine living much closer to it, but I have grown fond of it. It doesn't feel as intense and alien as it did when I first moved here. Perhaps it's just acclimation over time. I've come to accept a lot about this area, and I think I've grown to appreciate the harshness of the volcano as stark beauty, and not just harshness. It's not the easy rolling hills of my youth, but it is powerful and lovely. I'm okay with that, I guess.