I had my first day off today, so after breakfast (french toast, in case you wanted to know) and computer work, I went to wait outside the employee dining room for the shuttle. We have two vans that drive up and down the mountain and take employees for free – they’ll even drop you off at hike trailheads along the way, and stop to pick you up when you emerge back onto the road.

So I stop outside to wait for the van. It was snowing, and with my head down I watched it fall. If you didn’t think I was weird before, you will now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Watching that snow fall was the coolest thing… The wind would catch it and swirl it in patterns. Like when the blossoms formed into a person in the second Narnia movie… you almost expected a face to form and laugh at you. This snow disappeared as soon as it landed on the ground, disappeared… And if it blew just right, fast and straight down, it felt like you were in space, flying through the stars.

Yeah. Like I told you, you think I’m crazy now. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was cool.

Anyhow, a friend (Trish) decided to join me on the ride down to Longmire, and we did the short hike, Trail of Shadows. And then we rode the shuttle down to Ashford and back up, but that’s okay, it’s such a beautiful ride… Even though it’s foggy up at Paradise, it’s fairly clear down below, and the view along the whole way is beautiful.

I thought the pictures I took wouldn’t be that interesting, but looking back I realized… you can’t really take a boring picture near Mount Rainier. ๐Ÿ™‚ So here they are, pictures from my first (albeit short) hike here:

I was trying to get the reflection of the sky in this photo... the skunk cabbage was everywhere! ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm not really bothered by the smell though, and I think they're quite pretty.

This color is from the hot springs in the area. A Mr. Longmire "discovered" them over a hundred years ago, thought, "ha ha, cha-ching!" and started visitors heading up here to improve their health in the hot springs.

More colors from hot springs... Isn't God amazing?

I liked the colors of this stump. ๐Ÿ™‚

My friend and co-worker Trish taking a picture of the stump

Do I know the name of this mountain? Mmm... nope!

My camera has a “miniature mode” that’s fun to play around with:



This is National Park Inn, I believe...



And here’s some more pictures I’ve taken from my window these last couple nights, just to show how amazingly different the mountains can look…

Right now the sun is coming out… so there’s hope this snow will melt. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tomorrow is another day off before I get back to work, so I’m going to work on school, than take a longer hike.