One of my very favorite things to do is to take a second or two every day to say hi to “my mountain.” There are several webcams at Mt. Rainier, and this view is from last week. This one is mounted on the visitor’s center. There’s another camera pointing at the parking lot at Paradise, one showing the visitor center from the guide hut, another showing the road approaching Paradise, and another one showing the Tatoosh Range. Recently they installed a new one at Camp Muir, which is higher in elevation than I’ve ever been. (Getting to it involves crossing a massive snowfield that takes about three hours to hike.) I’d love to climb that far, but as the link points out, it can be a dangerous hike. But the view! Wow. Here’s the view from the Muir webcam about two weeks ago:
So I saw on Facebook this morning that winter has arrived at the mountain!
I sneaked over to take a peek early this morning and couldn’t even see the mountain, just a lot of snow on all the trees in the foreground! And when I checked the parking lot view, there were only three cars there, all buried in snow. A view at Longmire, 9 miles down the road at a much lower elevation, didn’t show snow yet, just a lot of fog. Checking the road up to Paradise I saw one set of tire tracks, which I figured would be a snow plow making his way up to that parking lot. Last winter I got a kick out of watching that snow plow clear the lot every day.
I was busy for a while, and after a couple hours went back to see if the mountain had cleared and check the progress on the snow plow.
Here’s what I got:
Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed and National Park Service webpages are not operating. For more information, go to www.doi.gov.
Services and programs that will remain operational.
• Law enforcement including the U.S. Park Police and emergency and disaster assistance.
• Firefighting and monitoring.
• Border and coastal protection and surveillance.
• Limited management of ongoing projects that are funded from non-lapsing appropriations.
• Access to through roads.
Services and programs that will be ceased.
• All national parks will be closed and secured.
• Visitor centers and other facilities will be closed.
• Education programs and special events will be canceled.
• Permits for special events will be rescinded.
• Guests staying in hotels and campgrounds will be notified of the closure and given 48 hours to make
alternate arrangements and leave the park.
Kind of puts a damper on things here in Kansas, not being able to get any mountain views even from the internet.