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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is why I live in the Pacific Northwest

Among other reasons [g]:

Mt Rainier from the air

I took these while flying back home from visiting my mother in Texas week before last.  It's taken me over a week to get them off my camera and onto my computer.

As a good friend said to me last week, I need relief.  She wasn't talking about it in the usual sense, but in the topographical.  As in relief lines, which become more numerous and closer together on the map the more rugged the terrain gets.  Mt. Rainier is about as much relief as you can get south of Alaska.  And it's right in my backyard.  So to speak.

When we had the terrible floods a few years ago that shut down Mt. Rainier National Park for six months because the roads had washed out in more places than you could count (the park permanently lost an entire campground to the raging Nisqually River, too), I drove up to the Nisqually entrance, where the rangers were leading guided walks a mile or two into the park.  I made a comment to the ranger about needing to come up and see how "my mountain" was faring, and he told me that if he had a dollar for every time someone had said that to him since the floods, he'd be able to retire. 

Seeing my mountain, whether it's from the air like this, or from the east side of the Cascades north of Yakima, or my first glimpse of it heading north on I-5 from Portland, is the one sure sign I'm almost home after any trip.  It's always such a relief [g].

What's yours?


  1. Mine's probably Mt. Soledad in San Diego. It is right by the ocean and I grew up on the south side of it. The top has a basically 360 degree view of the city and lands beyond (sometimes up to 100 miles away) and I've tracked how that view has changed since I was a little kid. (As a treat, starting when I was about 8 until when I was 11 or so, my mom would haul me and my bicycle to the top of the mountain and drop me off so I could ride back down.) I visit almost every time I go to San Diego.

  2. That sounds like Mt. Diablo in the East Bay of San Francisco. I used to live at its base.

    The only time I've ever lived near a hill small enough to ride from the top to the base was growing up near Los Angeles, where we lived at the base of a hill that we called The Big Hill, just like in the Betsy-Tacy books [g].

    Your mother would probably have gotten in trouble as a bad parent doing that nowadays. Which is really sad.

  3. One of my cousins & her family live there. Truly beautiful views.

  4. Will you be coming back out this way any time soon?

  5. When I was at BYU in the 1980s, Orion always rose in the SE over the mountains, pointing the way home. We all have our land [or sky-] marks.

  6. Nice. And I agree.

    While I was at college at Colorado State University in Fort Collins in the late 70s, I went to school with a fellow who was from Salt Lake City. He was forever getting turned around because, as he said, the mountains were on the wrong side [g].