Friday, September 17, 2010

From Disappointment to Delight

We ascended through the Chinook Pass into Mount Rainier National Park, the highest mountain in Washington state. However, as we passed the majestic lookouts, we were wrapped in a misty rain and fog. Oh, well, it was the first time the weather did not cooperate with the chance to see thrilling vistas.

On the way down we stopped at a campsite in the national forest and our disappointment turned into delight. Here was a site of my dreams. It contained old growth Douglas Fir and western red cedar with some trunks measuring 7 feet in diameter and soaring in the sky. Also cascading springs carried crystal mountain water past our campsite, and the nearby river rushed on the other side.

The ground was spongy with humus and generous ferns, and the tree trunks thick with moss. As we enjoyed the evening here, we cherished the pristine setting all around us. (Our little white camper can be seen dwarfed by the trees.)

After passing endless views of sagebrush and scrub growth on our journey west, we are in for some nature shock. (As I type, we are in Port Angeles in the northwestern corner of Washington State. A short ferry ride would take us to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Olympic National Park beckons.)