Mt. Rainier has always been a pilgrimage place for our family. It’s THE mountain, MY mountain, and when I was little, I actually saw the mountain as a person… I could see a face in it (still do).
Other people might call it “my mountain” but really, it can’t be their mountain (unless they are my family!)
My grandparents lived in Seattle and took their six children there often. My grandma was Swiss and my grandpa Norweigian. They placed a high value on both mountains and family pictures, and I have some photos from as early as the late 1920’s.
I wonder how many millions of people have stopped at this exact turn off on the way to Paradise to snap a photo. I know we stopped there every single year. (I remember a photo with me at age 4 with our red Ford station wagon in 1960. I was wearing red shorts.) That’s my dad with his father and four of his five older sisters. I’m guessing that my grandma took the photo.
Now this view I’ve yet to see for myself. This is Pinnacle Peak. It’s the top peak on the Tatoosh Range opposite the south side of the mountain. Every time I’ve been there it’s been under too much snow for me to tackle it. The description on the park website says it’s a dangerous trail with lots of loose rocks. But I really want a photo of myself sitting in that spot! That’s my grandpa and one of my aunts. I think it’s Cheryl’s mom. She hiked that trail with her husband every single time she visited the mountain, well up into her 80’s.
At Panorama Point. Then we actually went a bit farther up and got even better views.
Now we’re looking right over the top of the Tatoosh Range. That’s Mt. Adams in the background, almost a mirror image of Mt. Rainier. Click on it to enlarge it twice, and you’ll see great details. The flat area in the center is Panorama Point where the previous picture was taken.
That’s as far as I’ve ever climbed. Living in KS doesn’t give me a lot of opportunity to keep training as a hiker. Once upon a time I had a dream of a summit climb, but only one of my cousins, Cheryl’s brother, has ever done it. I don’t see myself doing it now.
As you can tell, I really picked up the photography bug from that side of the family. I’ll show you some more of Mt. Rainier soon.