There were no wildflowers. No towering mountain peaks. No reflections of glaciers on lakes. But it was still a great day on Mount Rainier.
Making the day trip from Seattle a few weeks back, we had high hopes of experiencing this majestic National Park. But let's face it. Despite best intentions, Mother Nature has ultimate control.
We had planned to make a circular trip, hitting top spots and hiking a few trails. Except the mountain witnessed an unusually long winter this year, rendering much of it too treacherous for visitors. Unfortunately, many passes were closed due to poor road and weather conditions.
But we adapted. We found ourselves at the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail and loved every minute of it.
We wanted towering snow-capped peaks. Instead we got birds flapping wings, fresh green scented air, lacy green moss, trees bending and croaking, rocks in streams, and animals tapping out sounds all around us.
The Grove of the Patriarchs is situated near the Ohanapecosh area of Mt. Rainier Park. Here we stood in awe of a family of 1,000 year old colossal trees including red cedar, Douglas Fir, and western hemlock. Some of trees have a circumference up to 30 feet.
Mt. Rainier Travel Tip: Sometimes your schedule puts you in the vicinity of a national park during an odd time of year. Rather than abandoning the trip altogether, research which spots should be open. Go with the best intentions, and if you encounter limitations, find pleasure in wherever you end up.
How are you enjoying nature wherever you are in the world?