Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mount Rainier

The landscape around Seattle is generally 20 to 600 feet above sea level. On a clear day if you look to the southeast of that city you will see a 14,000' high mountain on the horizon. Mount Rainier is a focal point when traveling within the city area. This mountain is always capped by snow, ice, and glaciers. The annual snowfall on the mountain top can be as much as one thousand feet. A view of the total mountain is rare during winter months due to clouds, rain, or high moisture in the air.

The top picture is one I took while we drove the roads in Mount Rainier National Park. This photo was taken from the parking lot of Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at elevation of 5,400 feet. There are miles and miles of hiking and walking trails around and up this mountain. It took us several hours to drive half-way around this mountain as we stopped along the way to sight-see the waterfalls, flowers, canyons, rivers, and forest.

There is one area at the mountain base that has trees up to one thousand years old. Among the standing and living old growth trees, there are uprooted and fallen giant trees. Those trees take dozens of years to decay. Ferns and green plants cover the ground under this forest. The bottom picture shows some old growth trees that are about 8 feet in diameter and about 200 feet tall.

Return here on Monday July 31 for an update.

Have a good day!



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