Saturday morning I rolled over into the arms of the boy, looked up at him with a pout and said "I want to go to Rainier". After a quick breakfast at Linda's we were on our way to the south end.
The road to Mowich Lake has been open for a couple weeks now and I knew that would be our destination. The way there takes us through familiar territory so I gave him a quick tour of where I grew up, hoping that maybe he'll cut me a little slack after seeing how far away I lived when I mention that I haven't done some quintessential Seattle activities. I'm thinking not, but it was worth a shot.
After a long drive up the dirt road to the lake we arrived to warm weather and a parking lot full of cars which, luckily, did not translate to many people on the trail. Of course, that meant more bugs for us!
"tahoma in black and white"
The trail begins pretty level, making it easy to gain mileage, however once the trail began going up I lost my pace pretty quickly and the the bugs were attacking the heck out of us, making me even more miserable. I had forgot to bring my bug spray so we asked a couple of ladies who were on their way back. They were kind enough to give us the remainder of their bottle, which became a life saver further along. We saw a man coming up from a spur in the trail and we asked him if it was worth going down. He told us there was an excellent view of the mountain from down there, and as you can see from the picture above he was right!
"spray of the falls"
We continued along at a relatively faster pace, mostly because the tall one took my backpack and carried it along with his so that I wasn't weighed down. I've become stupidly out of shape this year. I haven't been hiking and the exercise stopped with the heat so even just this short hike was hard on me. I'm so grateful that he took that weight off me as it gave me the energy I needed to get up to spray park. But first, the falls.
"rocks at spray falls"
The trail spurs off to the right to go down to the falls and when we reached the bottom we were welcomed by a quickly moving stream and a beautiful waterfall cascading down a wall of andesite, 280 feet tall and at the bottom 80 feet wide. It was an awesome site. With trepidation I followed him across the water to the other side to get a better view. The aptly named falls sprayed my camera so much with water that even with wiping off my filter between shots I was only able to get a couple workable frames. No matter, what I did get I loved. Hard to go wrong with such a beautiful scene.
"wildflowers at spray park"
We were close to loosing the light soon so we left the falls and headed up to Spray Park via some pretty steep switchbacks that left me panting and my heart racing. Again, frustrated at myself for being out of shape, my pace slowed and I believe I cost us some good viewing time up at the meadows. Still, what we did see was just stunning. We had lunch on a rock with an expansive Tahoma as our view, the wildflowers were in bloom and color was everywhere and I saw my first marmont of the season! I left the tall one in contemplative mode and I went in search for some shots. I'm not the biggest fan of the above one, but I was having trouble with the focus on my camera for some reason and a lot of the other shots didn't come out very well. I noticed quite a few other photogs up in the meadows, and who could blame them. The only thing that could have made this view perfect would have been a few white puffy clouds. The color of the sky was out of control.
"south prairie at sunset"
The way back was much easier on me and I was in great spirits after the cheering up my adorable boyfriend gave me along the way. Apparently my pouting and grumpiness is cute to him and he reveled in it, much to my delight. He was such a great hiking partner, pushing me to go faster, giving me gentle encouragement to get back into shape so we could do more of this and reassuring me that he really does love to be up in the mountains. We played a little T-pain (my happy place that he was happy to oblige me in) as we left for home and in between huge puffs of dust I tried to make my way down the road, at one time my own personal giraffe stuck his head out of the window to tell me which way to drive as I couldn't see a thing. We made our way through South Prairie and I pulled off the road to take the above shot, the moon was too far away to capture in the frame but it made for a lovely sight.
Sunday we had dim sum with Casey, Dodi and Michael before heading over to the bridge deck of I-90 to see the Blue Angels. The heat was intense, the sound overwhelming, and yet I still clapped my hands in glee. On the way back we walked through the neighborhood and the tall one grabbed blackberries off the tallest bushes and fed them to me, turning my tongue a lovely shade of purple. A water feature in a park cooled me off and we wandered back to my place to watch BSG naked in bed with the fan pointed directly at us. I'm ready for this heat to go away now. Thank goodness September is almost here.
Yay weekend :)