Washington – Day 8 – Mt. Rainier

Rainier Valley

Day 7 was partially taken up with our descent from Lake of the Angels, partially taken up with our loitering at the trail head pondering what to do next and partially taken up driving toward Mt. Rainier.  We stopped off at a hotel along the way as it was suspected that accommodations nearer Mt. Rainier would get more sparse and more expensive.  The next day that suspicion was validated – everything near the park was sold out or very fancy.  This also made sense once we got into the park and saw just how busy it was by midday.

Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier from the end of our hike.

We arrived at the White River entrance to Mt. Rainier around 8:30 and drove in.  The initial plan was to do two hikes, so starting at the northern end of the park, we went to the White River Campground to hike toward Rainier on the Glacier Basin Trail.  The trail is reportedly 7 miles round trip, but there wasn’t really an end destination, though looking it up on the map afterward, we went about 3.5 miles in, so I think we made it to the point we were supposed to.  Much of the hike was along the White River which was fed by glacier melt from the Emmons Glacier which is the largest in the lower 48 states.  We did see a team of five hiking along the glacier further up – and according to some person I overheard, hiking Rainier is relatively simple though being a multi-day event.
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Washington – Day 6 & 7 – Olympic National Park

Mt. Ellinor
View from Mt. Ellinor
Mountain Goat
Mr. Mountain Goat nestled into his rocky alcove hiding from the people.
Mountain Goat
Rock Licker

We actually got up early and left Aberdeen right around 7AM headed for the Mt. Ellinor trail head which we reached around 9:00.  I think there were two trail heads for Mt. Elinore and we were heading for the upper, which involved many miles of bumpy dirt road to access.  I have some philosophical thing against hiking past a trail head further in or up since it seems like an intentional deoptimization of the hike.

The upper trail was a 3.2 mile round trip with 2444′ of elevation gain.  We weren’t really carefully tracking elevation or trail distance, but we had made notes and looking back when writing I found it interesting to calculate the elevation ratios.  This one was a 3.46 to 1 ratio, which was notably steeper than the other climbs.

We knew there was a chance of seeing mountain goats, so we were asking people on the way up, (actually, Janet was asking people, I don’t talk to random strangers in the woods.) and the information was that there was one juvenile just over the peak.

When we got to top he was still there, nestled into a recess on the back side of the mountain, so we got to bag our first mountain goat sighting.  But then we hung around enough and he decided that we weren’t dangerous enough to prevent coming to the summit, so he did just that.  We stayed out of his way and let him stroll about licking the rocks for minerals just like the signs said they would.

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Rainier Wildflowers

Rainier Wildflowers

I had a concept in mind for this picture, but I think I didn’t execute it quite right.  I probably should have poked around a bit more to find a better flower patch without the little tree to the right.  Also, the shot ended up busier than I expected.

Picture taken with Sony a6000, SEL 18-200mm lens @ 18mm, 1/40 sec, f/16, ISO 100

Waterfall

Waterfall

This was an unmarked side-waterfall along the White River Trail up toward Mt. Rainier.  I like the end product better than I thought I would – should have taken the time to pull out the tripod, because the 0.8 second shutter speed is pretty obvious.

Picture taken with Sony a6000, SEL 18-200mm lens @ 18mm, 0.8 sec, f/16, ISO 100

Lake of the Angels

I looked at yesterday’s picture a second time after it was posted and was rather disappointed.  I think the posted version looks muddy to me – which makes some sense because a RAW file has no added sharpening, contrast or saturation adjustments.  Here’s a comparison of what was posted vs. what I think it should look like.

Color may still be off because I lost my calibrations when the computer crashed a few weeks ago and haven’t taken the time to redo them yet.  For additional reference, the third picture is the jpeg straight from the Camera, which had a slightly different idea of the color balance than I did.

Lake of the Angels Lake of the Angels Lake of the Angels