“Now, that’s a glacier…” Mt. Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Mt. Rainier is the most glaciated mountain in the lower 48 states of the US.

It was supposed to be a laid-back summer. Our daughter Tasha would come out from Tennessee with our grandsons Ethan and Cody for a week or two in June. And then we would go to Burning Man in late August. In between, we’d hang out at our home in the mountains, relax, and explore more of Southern Oregon— if we had the energy.

Our grandson Ethan enjoys a dip in the Applegate River this summer a few miles from our house .

Our grandson Ethan enjoys a dip in the Applegate River this summer a few miles from our house.

Then Edie called. Edie is Peggy’s old high school friend who lives in Anchorage, Alaska. She and her husband David had found what sounded like a great sea-kayak adventure looking for Orcas off the northern tip of Vancouver Island in August. Would we like to go? How could we resist? It would make our trip to Burning Man tight, but it was still doable.

Tony, our son who flies helicopter rescue missions for the Coast Guard off Kodiak Island, was next. He had helicopter crash training in Spokane in early August. This is where a huge machine takes a helicopter and dumps it upside down in a large pool of water so the pilot and crew can practice their escape routines. Wouldn’t it be great if we could pick him up at the Seattle airport before the training and head out for a few days of camping and hiking at Mt. Rainier? Yes it would, declared Peggy, doing a happy-mother dance. I wasn’t to worry that the Rainier trip backed up on the kayak trip that backed up on Burning Man.

Then Tasha called. She couldn’t come in June but had found some great tickets to fly out in July for a couple of weeks. Oops, said Mom. The latter part of the trip was double booked with the Tony trip. Not to worry, said Tasha. She’d only stay for a week and a half. If we hurried we could get to Seattle the day before Tony arrived so we could grab a campsite before they all disappeared. We found a campsite, barely. What disappeared was our laid-back summer.

Photo of large slug at Mt. Rainier by Curtis Mekemson.

This slug we found at Mt. Rainier National Park was traveling at just about the pace I had hoped we would enjoy our summer. It wasn’t to be.

Join Peggy and me on my next two posts as we explore Mt. Rainier with Tony. After that, we will zip off on a search for whales with Edie and David.

View from Sunrise Visitors center at mt. Rainier National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Looking up at Emmons Glacier from the Sunrise Visitor’s Center at Mt. Rainier.

Close-up of Emmons Glacier at Mt Rainier National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A close-up of Emmons Glacier.

Peggy and Tony pose fro a picture near the Sunrise Visitor Center at Mt. Rainier National Park.

Peggy and Tony pose for a picture near the Sunrise Visitor Center at Mt. Rainier National Park.

Indian Paintbrush at Mt. Rainier. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

A short walk along the Silver Forest Trail from Sunrise Center included fields full of flowers as well as spectacular views of the mountain. This is Indian Paintbrush.

Lupine at Mt. Rainier National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

Lupine.

A strange and fuzzy Western Pasqueflower. Photo by Peggy Mekemson.

A strange and fuzzy Western Pasqueflower. Photo by Peggy Mekemson.

Aged tree root near Sunrise Center at Mt. Rainier National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

This aged tree root with its magnificent backdrop caught my attention.

Dead tree outlined against the sky in a black and white photo at Mt. Rainier National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.

As did this dead tree.

A final view of Emmons Glacier. Next Blog: A giant forest, beautiful falls, and more views of Mt. Rainier. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

A final view of Emmons Glacier. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.) Next Blog: A giant forest, beautiful falls, and more views of Mt. Rainier.