Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mt Rainier National Park, WA

From Wiki:  Mount Rainier National Park is a United States National Park located in southeast Pierce County and northeast Lewis County in Washington state.  It was established on March 2, 1899 as the fifth national park in the United States. The park encompasses 236,381 acres (369.35 sq mi) including all of Mount Rainier, a 14,411-foot stratovolcano.  The mountain rises abruptly from the surrounding land with elevations in the park ranging from 1,600 feet to over 14,000 feet. The highest point in the Cascade Range, around it are valleys, waterfalls, subalpine meadowsold-growth forest and more than 25 glaciers. The volcano is often shrouded in clouds that dump enormous amounts of rain and snow on the peak every year and hide it from the crowds that head to the park on weekends.
This our second time exploring this Park, and we just never tire of this majestic mountain and it's beautiful piedmont.  The drive up the mountain from our Camp Murray base in Lakewood on the JBLM was very pleasant.  It was a clear warm day and we knew it was going to be warm in Paradise, at the Park's Visitor's Center.
These pics were taken by Nancy out the front window while rolling, so they may be a little fuzzy.
The above pic was zoomed out, so the creek looks closer than it really was.  In fact, it was about 900 feet down to the bottom here.  Watch that first step there Sonny.
Disclaimer:  We make no apologies for the amount of pics in this blog of this mountain, but it is just too awesome not to share them, as each one is from a different location from Natonal Park Hwy, trough the Nisqually entrance and on up through Longmire on the Paradise Road East.
Had to get a little selfie of the RVing Beach Bums...
This area of the State was going through one of their longest spells of little precipitation for almost a year.  Many of the glaciers and snow pack was melting down, and the rivers and creeks were just plain dry.  When were here back in 2011, there was snow every where (in mid-may then) and there was approximately 12 feet of snow at Paradise.
In 2011, the entire mountain down to the 5000 foot level was packed in "feet" of snow.  And look at it now:  A lot of rocky veins showing through the snow pack, way up to the 12,000 foot level and higher.
The three pics below were of our trip to Mt Ranier back in 2011 in mid-May.  In fact, an article I found on line stated that Rainier had received 39,100 percent of it's normal winter precipitation.
And below are three pics from our visit June 13, 2015.  What a contrast...
Above, the parking lot behind the visitor's center, and below the visitor's center.
Note the dry creek bed...
While lunching at Paradise picnic area, this little fellow (Grey Jay I think) wanted our cherries, (Rainiers of course) so we gave him one and a few wheat chex.
Nancy finishing up lunch and checking the trails while I take in the nice fragrance of Lupine type of wildflower.  
Some of the large streams closer to the upper piedmont had plenty of water from the larger glaciers but some just didn't have anything wet in them.
Here are a few pics from within the visitor's center.  Ranger was giving a talk on the geological wonders of the mountains and the danger lurking within them.
These are pics of pics.
Above was an exhibit.
What an awesome eye-wonder.  Thank God for his handiwork and the blessing of sight to view them.
Here was one of the rivers that had a lot of cold water running down the canyon rushing to the sea.
And it was quite a deep gorge here...
The above pic was a map of the Park painted, or somehow super-imposed onto the floor.
Here a couple of pics zoomed in with a 300mm tele.  I'm guessing these snow meadows were some 6-8 miles distant from us.
An interesting cloud whisper with a cap...below, note the contrasting snow, rock and green meadow/tree line...
A small trickle of water down the middle of a large wash... and below, a few pics of the Paradise area of the Park...

Miss Nancy outside and inside the Inn...
Above, from the south side of the Inn portico looking south east...
I was lucky in that there was little wind, allowing me to get a couple of nice pics in the Reflecting Lake.
Well, that about wraps up our full day visit to Mt Rainier National Park.  We had a nice time on a beautiful June summer day in fresh clean air.  So, till our next blog, RVing Beach Bums signing off.  This blog written contemporaneously and published from the Monaco Service Center in Coburg, OR on July 15, 2015.