Saturday, June 14, 2008
This time last year, my wife and I were planning a summer vacation to Seattle, Washington. Neither of us had been before and we were looking forward to our trip. While in Seattle, we were going to drink some coffee, eat seafood, ride a ferry, go to a Mariners baseball game, and several other fun things.
One of the most special memories came from the day when we went to Mount Rainier. We stopped by the downtown Seattle market, picked up some fresh Washington State cherries and peaches and headed for a day of sightseeing.
The mountain was beautiful. The winding road taking us up the mountain was as gorgeous as it was winding. We stopped often, took dozens of photographs, and enjoyed God’s creation. As we reached the highest point in the park where cars are allowed, we stopped and ate lunch at their restaurant. As we exited our car, there was snow on the ground. Now remember, this was late June! Snow in June is the exact opposite of June heat in Alabama! The air was cold and brisk, and the snow was still wet.
The next day, we heard on the news and could see while we were out driving, Mount Rainier had had a major snowstorm during the night and all roads leading to the mountain were closed! We timed it just right—the park remained closed for several days after the snowstorm.
This week, three hikers were stranded high on Mount Rainier’s flank after a blizzard. Two of the hikers were rescued, one died. It seems the three had been on a day hike to Camp Muir when they were caught in the storm that dumped 2 feet of snow. Camp Muir is at about 10,000 feet elevation on the 14,410-foot mountain.
If you are ever in Seattle, I would encourage you to drive the 50 or so miles down to Mount Rainer. If you go, take a jacket with you! If you time it right, as we did, be sure to take along some fresh cherries for a quick snack.
I wouldn’t recommend hiking! At least if you aren’t a very experienced hiker! That mountain is huge! And steep! And who knows, even in June you can expect a sudden snowstorm or blizzard, dropping over two feet of snow on the ground.
So much for global warming!