Mt. Rainier

Here is a shot I took of Mt. Rainier in Washington State on our drive from Seattle, WA to Portland, OR.

Things I learned today about Mt. Rainier as I was researching it for this blog post

  • It is an ACTIVE volcano, although there hasn’t been a documented eruption in over 100 years  (I thought it was just a mountain)
  • If it were to erupt, the resulting mud slides could take out part of Downtown Seattle
  • It has glaciers on it (who knew a volcano could have glaciers?  Not me)
  • In 1899, it was declared the 5th national park in the US
  • There was a large controversy over naming it Rainier, when the local tribes had named it Tacoma
  • On average, 2 people die each year trying to climb Rainier

Source: Wikipedia, the lazy person’s encyclopedia 🙂

Personally, I found Mt. Rainier to be gorgeous, although I never got much closer than it than this view.  My favorite viewing of it, though, was the day I visited the Space Needle, and was driving home around sunset.  As the sun’s last rays hit the mountain, the sky and the snow were almost pink.  It was breathtaking, and if I hadn’t been driving down a highway without a good idea of where it might be safe to pull over, I would have stopped to take pictures for at least a full half hour.  As it was, I enjoyed the show and was sad when my exit finally came.

Massachusetts does not have mountains.  We have the Berkshires, which are large hills, but nothing on this scale.  Even as I’ve passed through Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire (where the White Mountains are) I’ve never seen anything as gorgeous as Mt. Rainier (or, more to the point, the mountains in general in Washington State).  I was particularly fascinated when I stood on a beach, looking out at the Puget Sound and could see the mountains in the distance.  The Pacific Northwest is absolutely breathtaking.  I only wish it HAD rained while I was there so I could have seen the mountains without the smog interfering with visibility.

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