John Harvey Photo

Seattle/Rainier Trip
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Two days of hiking, fireworks, two farmers markets and whole bunch of shopping!


Tolmie Peak

My original plan was brilliant - two day trips to natural hot springs and three days of shopping in Seattle.  The only problem was that one of the hot springs I wanted to visit were wiped out by a land slide a year ago, and the other was on private land and not accessible because of high river levels.  Amenda, our local friend suggested we try out Rainier.

Wide Forest ShotMarigolds In Stream

Rainier is a stratovolcano that dominates it's surrounding.  Rainier is visible from over much of Seattle in a more dramatic way than Baker dominates over Vancouver.  The amazing part of driving to Rainier is that it keeps getting larger and larger - it's actually much larger than you think having seen it from the city.

Our first hike was on the less busy side of the mountain but we still needed to buy a park permit for $15 - 1 week minimum.


We really lucked out with our timing.  The snow was still melting and for some parts of the hike we were still walking over snow.  In sunnier parts of the hike, we found wildflowers everywhere.  I was particularly impressed with the bloom of Avalanche lilies - they were found in the forests and in the meadows.

Backs Of LiliesSingle Avalanche LilyWestern Sand Wasp

Bear Grass
As we pushed our way up the mountain we passed different micro climates.  Some areas had been snow free for weeks, other areas had lost their snow just days before.  Every corner we turned had new surprises.

Snowpatch ButtercupLate Trillium

Eventually we made our way to the top of the mountain.  The view of course is second to none.
Mount Rainier From Tolmie Station

Jacobs LadderDavidsons Penstemon
What actually surprised me the most was the species at the top of the mountain.  The mountain top was it's own zone and had plants that occurred no where else on our hike up. 



John And Helen In Front Of RainierGirls In Front Of RainierMount Rainier With Phlox And Lake

Waterfall In Forest
The hike back down was perhaps more lovely than the hike up.  Beside being a bit faster, the sun was further into the day and the forest was hiding some lovely spots.  We were in a bit of a rush because we wanted to be back in town to see the fireworks that night.

Amenda Taking Photo


Fireworks

Flag Flying By
If you want to see stuff blown up, there is no better place to go than the United States.   The fireworks start with a Helicopter flying by with a massive American Flag, everyone standing and singing the national anthem.  A little bit of jeering, but everyone sat down again and the fireworks began.

Wide Crowd Shot

Seattle is a bit funny.  Vancouver has at least 5 fireworks events each summer - Seattle only has one.  That said, like Vancouver, on the nations birthday there are more than one set of fireworks going off simultaneously in different parts of the city.  We were watching the Lake Union Fireworks, but rarely we would see fireworks going off in Elliot Bay peak over the ridge.

Green Pops Over CityLake And City BehindBlue Base Effects
 
FeathersField Of SparklesTwo Pops And Rain
 
  Swirling Purple And Green
The usual fireworks rules apply - get there early, be ready for a longish walk from your car and be patient.  These fireworks were probably the best I've ever seen and were definitely worth the effort to go see.

Pinks And Reds



Paradise

Path Up To Muir Camp
We had so much fun on our first day hiking, and since we already paid for the parking, we decided to make our second hiking day in Rainier as well.  Paradise is the top destination in the park and Amenda assured us we would have a good time.

Paradise is very similar to Banff/Jasper in my mind.  This beautiful location is overrun by humans and their cars.  You can drive up to the alpine, get out and just walk around.   The paths in this area paved (with asphalt) and while it's a bit depressing, it has avoided deep mud pit trails that widen and meander over the mountain. 


Rock Staircase DownCrossing Snowfield

Being new to the area, we picked a rather long hike - the Lakes Trail - for our day.  We followed the direction, taking the Skyline Trail.  Not understanding that every trail in the area is labeled "Skyline Trail" we promptly headed in the wrong direction up the mountain.  We quickly found snow and realized we were on the wrong route.

Helen And Jennifer On Snow

Up to our ankles in snow and no destination in sight, we decide to turn back and get on the trail we were supposed to be on.  Good choice.  Once we got onto the proper segment of the skyline trail (the one that leads out to the lakes trail) we found open blooming meadow.  When we got to Myrtle falls, we found a park ranger who's job seemed to be to scare people off from proceeding further.  The paved trail ended.

Helen Walking Up StaircaseMyrtle falls In Front Of RainierWestern Anemone And Glacier Lilies

As we climbed up we made terrible time.  Every few steps we stopped to take more photos of flowers and views.  Mountains that would be destinations on their own were merely filler here.  I was dumbstruck by how beautiful it all was.

Field Of Glacier LiliesBouquet Of Western AnemonePatch Of Avalanche Lilies

Ridge Covered In Flowers
By the time we got to the top of the ridge (back to the elevation we were earlier it was starting to get late into the day.  We had hiked about 20% of what we wanted to and the trail went from very wet to completely snow covered.  We decided to bail - sorry take our "back" trail.  After a few bad hikes I've learned the value of a good short day is better than a long bad day.  And we had so far had a very good day.


Jeffrey Shootingstar
One of the notable differences for me was the nicely labeled plants.  That and the ice cream.  The info center had a small cafeteria and the most popular item by far was the soft serve ice cream.   We enjoyed our own on the walk back to the car.  From here we decided to see some of the other sights around the mountain.


Reflection Lake

Rainier In Shallow Water
After our hike, we drove down to Reflection Lake.  We intended to hike to here but having driven here, we were happy we didn't hike this far down to just to hike up again.  Reflection lake is very well placed but I could imagine it would be spectacular if you caught the mountain lit by morning sunlight.

Rainier Reflected

Narada Falls
I love those roadside attractions that have an understated sign but an over sized parking lot.  This waterfall is pretty dramatic - it's a drop into a cleft but the part that really surprised me is how much spray is blown off these falls.  Standing in the spray field, I was wet in seconds and would be soaked in minutes.

Mist Off Narada FallsRainbow Near Narada Falls

Longmire
This once base camp had a number of springs.  The springs aren't like they were 100 years ago (they are no longer warm) but it was still a very nice short loop to walk around.

Helen And JenniferBubbling Soda Spring

Iron MikeBubbling SpringDeer Ferns

University District Farmers Market

Vancouver has at least four different farmers markets.   Seattle has more.  We decided to check out the University District Farmers Market because it was the closest one open on a Saturday morning.

Garlic FlowersCherry TomatoesMorel MushroomsLarge Morels

I was really surprised by how many vendors had organic certification displayed and how many products were labeled "organic".   Finding non-organic cherries was actually pretty hard.

Sea BeansUniversity Market

Heirloom Tomatoes
One way you know for sure you are at a farmers market is by the heirloom tomatoes.

Green Yellow TomatoesRed Orange Tomatoes

Ballard Farmers Market

Ballard Farmers Market SignMarket With Older Building
This being something like my third trip to Seattle, I'm starting to get a sense of neighborhoods.  On a previous shopping day we stopped into Ballard (it has a nice walk) and on this Sunday morning we were back to see the market.  The market closed off the street but many of local businesses were open.  (I suspect they do a pretty good business).  The older buildings in this historic neighborhood go well with the farming theme.



Playing ViolinUkulele And Cello
One of the things that surprised me about the farmers markets in general were the number of live performers.  Many farmers markets I've been to (especially in Asian) are silent (no performers) or have only one performer.   At both University district and Ballard, there were several simultaneous performances around the market and from the looks of things, they weren't doing too badly.

The Tallboys
Some of the vendors were the same as the University district, some were knew.  We actually went for breakfast and picked up tamales and quesedias at one of the stands.  One of the differences between Seattle and Vancouver is the boxes.  Surprisingly, most of the products are presented in wooden boxes, kind of what you would expect the farm would use in harvest.  In Vancouver, you mostly see cardboard or plastic reusable containers.  Presentation counts for a lot.

Baskets Of PotatoesWall Of GarlicTamales Cooking
 
Variety Of CarrotsBaby Walla Walla Onions
 


Wide Crowd Shot
Location: Go To...
Tags: crowd, fireworks
Jeffrey Shootingstar
Species: Dodecatheon jeffreyi (Tall mountain shooting star, Jeffrey's shooting star)
Altitude: 1651m (5416 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: alpine, flower
Sea Beans
Tags: produce, Seattle
Rainbow Near Narada Falls
Tags: rainbow, waterfall
Cherry Tomatoes
Tags: market, produce, Seattle
Wall Of Garlic
Location: Go To...
Tags: produce, Seattle
Late Trillium
Species: Trillium ovatum (Western Trillium, Pacific Trillium)
Tags: alpine
Bear Grass
Species: Xerophyllum tenax (common beargrass, bear grass)
Tags: alpine, flower
Baskets Of Potatoes
Tags: produce, Seattle
Large Morels
Tags: market, mushroom, Seattle
Wide Forest Shot
Tags: dappled light, forest
Green Yellow Tomatoes
Tags: produce, Seattle
Bubbling Spring
Tags: cold spring
Helen And Jennifer On Snow
Person: Helen
Altitude: 1757m (5764 feet)
Location: Go To...
Davidsons Penstemon
Species: Penstemon davidsonii (Davidson's penstemon)
Tags: alpine, flower
Field Of Glacier Lilies
Species: Erythronium grandiflorum (Yellow Glacier Lily)
Tags: alpine, flower, meadow
Mount Rainier With Phlox And Lake
Tags: lake, meadow, vista
Rainier Reflected
Tags: lake, mountain, reflection
Myrtle falls In Front Of Rainier
Altitude: 1694m (5557 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: mountain, waterfall
Bouquet Of Western Anemone
Species: Pulsatilla occidentalis (White Pasqueflower)
Tags: alpine, flower
Baby Walla Walla Onions
Tags: market, produce, Seattle
Mount Rainier From Tolmie Station
Altitude: 1813m (5948 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: panorama, summit, vista
Western Anemone And Glacier Lilies
Species: Erythronium grandiflorum (Yellow Glacier Lily), Pulsatilla occidentalis (White Pasqueflower)
Altitude: 1796m (5892 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: alpine, flower, meadow
Waterfall In Forest
Tags: forest, waterfall
Variety Of Carrots
Tags: market, produce, Seattle
Lake And City Behind
Tags: fireworks
Morel Mushrooms
Tags: market, mushroom, Seattle
Western Sand Wasp
Species: Erythronium montanum (White Avalanche-lily), Bembix americanus (Sand Wasp)
Tags: flower, insect, macro
Single Avalanche Lily
Species: Erythronium montanum (White Avalanche-lily)
Tags: flower
Crossing Snowfield
Tags: hiking, snow
John And Helen In Front Of Rainier
Person: Helen, John
Altitude: 1813m (5948 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: summit
Rainier In Shallow Water
Altitude: 1492m (4895 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: lake, mountain, reflection
Jacobs Ladder
Species: Polemonium californicum (Showy Jacob's ladder)
Tags: alpine, flower
Heirloom Tomatoes
Altitude: 63m (206 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: produce, Seattle
Backs Of Lilies
Species: Erythronium montanum (White Avalanche-lily)
Tags: flower, macro
Two Pops And Rain
Tags: fireworks
Snowpatch Buttercup
Species: Ranunculus eschscholtzii (Subalpine Buttercup)
Tags: alpine, flower
Mist Off Narada Falls
Tags: waterfall
Amenda Taking Photo
Person: Amenda
Green Pops Over City
Tags: fireworks
Marigolds In Stream
Tags: alpine, flower, snow
Flag Flying By
Tags: flag, long exposure
Garlic Flowers
Tags: market, produce, Seattle
Helen Walking Up Staircase
Tags: hiking, mountain, trail
Patch Of Avalanche Lilies
Species: Erythronium montanum (White Avalanche-lily)
Tags: alpine, flower
Helen And Jennifer
Person: Helen
Ballard Farmers Market Sign
Altitude: 22m (72 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: market, Seattle
Swirling Purple And Green
Tags: fireworks
Girls In Front Of Rainier
Person: Amenda, Helen
Altitude: 1816m (5958 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tamales Cooking
Tags: cooking, Seattle, street food
Deer Ferns
Species: Blechnum spicant (Deer Fern)
Tags: fern
Rock Staircase Down
Tags: hiking, snow, trail
Iron Mike
Tags: cold spring
Pinks And Reds
Tags: city, fireworks, Seattle
The Tallboys
Tags: musical instrument, performance, Seattle
Ridge Covered In Flowers
Species: Erythronium grandiflorum (Yellow Glacier Lily)
Tags: alpine, flower, mountain
Bubbling Soda Spring
Altitude: 849m (2785 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: cold spring
Red Orange Tomatoes
Tags: produce, Seattle
Playing Violin
Tags: musical instrument, performance, Seattle
Feathers
Tags: fireworks
Path Up To Muir Camp
Altitude: 1832m (6010 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: hiking, snow, trail
Field Of Sparkles
Tags: fireworks
Market With Older Building
Altitude: 10m (32 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Seattle
Ukulele And Cello
Tags: musical instrument, performance, Seattle
Blue Base Effects
Tags: fireworks
University Market
Altitude: 64m (209 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: market, Seattle
Tags: Seattle(20), flower(14), alpine(12), produce(10), fireworks(9), market(8)
People: Helen(4), Amenda(2), John(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > Seattle Rainier

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 01:24:06 Edit
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