Sometimes out of the darkness, sometimes out of the clouds, it appears. Dominating a skyline of steel and glass from nearly 60 miles away, the icy icon that is Mount Rainier is a fixture of Seattle summers before vanishing behind a cloud veil of mystery for the remaining 9 months of the year.
Wonderland Trail 2018
Daily dispatches and photos from the Wonderland Trail, a 91-mile footpath circumnavigating Mount Rainier within Mount Rainier National Park.
The scattered rain drops landing on my face as I slept came as somewhat of a surprise. The thought of rain was a fairly distant one in the forecast, but nonetheless there they were, falling through not only the netting of my hammock but the nearly 100 feet of cedar fronds directly above me courtesy of the two 3-foot diameter trees I was hanging between.
Up the stairs to the fifth floor, a collection of Impressionism, surrealism, and cubism masterpieces adorns the starkly white walls of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Nestled among Monet’s famous Water Lilies triptych and Pollock’s massive drip painting canvases hangs a work of a very different kind, scarcely larger than a piece of paper.
I was getting tired of the view anyway. I mean, how much mountain porn can a person take? Although today was absent the high visual drama of the last three, the lowered ceiling of clouds we walked through for much of the day created a unique atmosphere of curiosity—if the clouds lifted at any moment, what new jaw-dropping view might they reveal?
“This is the part I hate.” I can still hear him saying it. The smile on his face minutes later, waving goodbye from the front door, is the truly indelible part. The sweeter half of an otherwise bittersweet memory, as Emily and I pulled down the street heading home to Vermont from our Thanksgiving visit. It was the last time I saw him alive.