Family time.

I enjoyed my extended weekend in Seattle. The wedding was the reason for the visit, but we used it as an excuse for multiple family gatherings. Noreen and David hosted rehearsal dinner on Friday, a post-wedding-reception evening party on Saturday, and a backyard BBQ with yard games on Sunday. They allowed for good visits with all my siblings, nieces and nephews, and a grand-nephew in one place – a first in a very long time.

The weather gods didn’t smile on the outdoor wedding, as it rained all afternoon. But, it was a truly lovely service and reception. God bless Neil and Miranda’s marriage. ❤️

When Memorial Day finally came along, we drove up to Paradise on Mount Rainier. It has been over 40 years since I last visited the park. We hiked a bit up the mountain, in the snow, and took in the views. It wasn’t a crystal clear, blue sky day, but it was majestic, nonetheless.

Mount Rainier National Park lodge at Longmire…

Just a pretty little waterfall…

And a prettier, bigger waterfall…

The view from the hike above Paradise, at about 6000’…

Now, I’m on my way back home. My flight flew past the north face of Mount Saint Helens. You can see the blast damage to the cone on this side of the volcano from its 1980 eruption. 

Mountain peek.

I flew to Seattle for my nephew’s wedding this weekend. I was looking forward to the stunning fly-by of Mount Rainier, but the clouds were high and thick and did not afford the usual view. I snapped a picture as we flew over the 14410′ high peak at about 17000′. Can you spot the top of the peak?

Different points of view. 

Layers of Cascades foothills with Mount Baker off in the distance, center.Mount Rainier flyby as seen through a window waaaay over on the other side of the plane.  And from my window a few minutes later.  Looking up through a glass sidewalk in Pioneer Square from the Seattle Underground

Heavenly views.

Yesterday I returned home from several weeks in Seattle.   I had my nose glued to the window, as usual.  It is so easy to take for granted that we have the luxury of being able to view our planet from the vantage point of the angels.

A front was moving in from the east, bringing a late dump of snow in the Cascades.  This is a shot of it moving in over Southcenter, looking east.

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The cloud deck must have been about 15000 ft.  Mount Rainier was buried in clouds. Can you find it?  This shot is looking east, flying south.  If you look closely in the bottom left of the frame,  you can see another jet flying below us.IMG_7948

Then we turned east, flying below Mount Rainier.   Little Tahoma peak stuck its head out, right of the summit.IMG_7955The mighty Columbia River brings life to eastern Washington.  Irrigation circles dot the landscape near Paterson.IMG_7962Cotton ball clouds somewhere over Texas.IMG_7973

Back on the ground.  Glad to be home.

A few more pics from Seattle.

In the summer, sunset seems to linger for a very long time in Seattle.   This is a shot I took from the ferry on the way home from the game.  It must have been about 9:30pm.  In this wide panorama you can still see the glow of the sun past the horizon on the left…the city lights including the space needle, the great wheel, and both century link and safeco stadium…and the rising supermoon on the right.

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I’ve gotten tired of trying to guess which side of Mt Rainier we’ll fly by on my return flights to Austin.  So, I just kept the seat that I was assigned – window on the left side.   I got lucky this time and we flew north-to-south past the western face of this great mountain, turning to the southeast as we passed it.

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The haze nestled amongst the surrounding foothills is smoke from the ongoing fires in Central Washington.  A couple of factoids:  Mt Rainier is a volcano;  elevation of 14,410′;  last recorded eruption was in the 1st half of the 1800’s;  home to 26 major glaciers and many ice fields; 6 rivers have glaciers on Mt Rainier as their source.  Read more here.

We flew very close to the summit.  In this shot of the western face, you can see Sunset Amphitheater on the left and Tahoma Glacier on the right.  The black ring on the top right of the dome is the volcanic crater.  The summit, Columbia Crest is along that black ring.

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Breathtaking.

And….again!

Oh so pretty. I didn’t have a window seat today. It’s just as well, though, because I would have been hogging/blocking the view the whole time. 🙂
So I asked my seat-neighbor to snap one for me, instead.

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Saturday!

I spent the night at Noreen’s last night.  This morning, she finished another glass window / work of art.   This one is for her own house.  She does beautiful work!

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Then I toodled back over to mom’s.  This afternoon, I introduced her to geo-caching, and she enjoyed it.  We found 3 out of 4 “park and grab” caches that we searched for on the way to the Harbor Fest downtown.   She stayed in the car and pointed me to where the GPS said to look, and then we opened up the cache’s together in the car.

Then we headed downtown to take in the Harbor Fest.  This is a shot of the boardwalk downtown along the waterfront.

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Then, later, I headed for the airport to pick up my sweetie, who is joining me here for the last week of the month.  It was fitting that my favorite mountain was poking above every horizon on my drive to the airport tonight.

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Cascades in clouds.

Thanks to Noreen for schlepping me to the airport in the wee hours of the morning. I’m not home yet, posting from ORD.
I got a window seat on the right side of the plane, on purpose, expressly for this (my favorite) view. Looking south, Mount Rainier is in the foreground. Mount Adams is to the left farther south. In between, even farther south and very hard to see, is Mount Hood. Mount St. Helens would be visible to the right of Rainier, except for the cloud deck sitting above it.

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Colleen is up on Rainier this weekend. Don’t see her though. 🙂

Dec 17, 2010

Just stunning.

In the local newspaper the other day there were reports of orca whales right off of Manette in East Bremerton, a few miles from my mom’s house.   We went for a drive in late afternoon to look for some.   Well, we didn’t see any, but it was a gorgeous clear day today and the mountain was out in all its glory.   Mount Rainier is my favorite mountain (I may have said that before).  What, doesn’t everyone have a favorite mountain?   If so, how could it be any mountain other than this one?

Last night I watched Francine play soccer and visited with her afterward for a bit.   Then spent the night at Noreen’s and got in a nice visit with her, David & Jared.  Tonight mom and I went to see Zoolights at the Point Defiance Zoo with Fran & Art, Rebecca and Aaron, and met up with Colleen and her friend Pat afterward for dinner, so I got a visit in with her as well.   1 mom and 3 sisters down – 1 brother to go 😉