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Postcard Alive!

Mount Rainier and Tipsoo Lake

Mount Rainier and Tipsoo Lake

We backed out of the garage into the grey morning light and left sea level for the heights.  By the time we reached the rain shadow of the Cascades, it was doing just that.  The car kept ascending even though we were going through the small communities in the foot hills and had not left the areas of civilization and Saturday errands.

The highway became two lanes and steeply moved us into the canopy of Evergreens lining the sides of the road.  Rain cleared. There was the sign telling us that we were entering the National Park and we were almost alone on our way.  As we ascended spectacular views began to appear of the deep valleys and rivers rushing below, the clouds lazily drifting up through the heavily forested hillsides and to the blue sky telling of the heat on just the other side of this Mountain Pass.  Clear, pristine blue sky beckoning.

Although it was before noon, we stopped at Chinook Pass – Lake Tipsoo and pulled into the parking lot to stretch our legs and breathe deeply the fresh cloudy air.  We did not take our Naches Peak hike or climb onto the Pacific Crest Trail, instead we circled the small parking lot a few times and then sat at the picnic tables to eat our lunch.  On the table was posted a sign about keeping the Wild Life WILD and we promised to do our part.  A fellow on a bicycle stopped for a rest, water and a small visit; he was ready for the winding decent on the highway with almost no shoulders; cut out rock wall on one side and dramatic drop-offs on the other and of course the cars.

Another pause, as we said a small prayer of gratitude for the beauty and a wee word for the spirit of the Ambassador who was recently killed in Syria and whose Great Grandfather was the Chief of the Chinook Nation; it was the right thing to do.

We descended into the desert of the Yakima (Yak eh mah) Valley and the cloudless 80 degree autumn day.  We followed the river and were amazed to see and refresh our knowledge at the massive orchards, grape vines, hops and wineries that have bloomed in this area for so many years.  We were going to the Central Washington State Fair to celebrate what would have been a 96th birthday at the best party she always attended.

Fair was okay.  Fair was extremely crowded.  Company and conversation was very good. Best part of the fair was observing the full moon rise over the bare, golden, pink, purple hills into the forest fire haze of color and then into the clear blues of the night sky.  WOW.

Now we return home and once again ascend the Mountain Pass from the other side.  There is not a cloud in the sky and a great many people are hiking the trails and around the lake.  As we approach the lake a brown bear runs across the road into the meadow on the other side of the road and then disappears into the tree line of the Pacific Crest Trail.  I could not get my camera in position in time to snap a picture and young bear just wanted to get away from all the folks in the parking area and in a hurry.

My heart and eyes were amazed by the sheer beauty of the sights on the mountain.  The ground cover turning maroon, the Queen Ann’s lace still gracing the roadway, and the numerous waterfalls just a rock cut away.  The peak of the mountain in it’s snowy glacier wrap caught the sun and the blue background with perfection.  It was the real thing and yet there was perfection to its nature.

As we left the park and entered the town beyond the gates I began to discover a sadness which has not left me.  To think if one man is voted into office in November 100 million acres of this treasure will be sold and clear cut, if one man is voted to be Governor of this state another huge part of our State Park system will be demolished and sold.   Apparently we are paying too much for these earthly gifts, and they could make one or two people a great deal of money, and this would help the National Debt….

….sometimes we do not know what we’ve lost until it’s gone.

Have you lost something that you did not realize until it was gone?

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Related Reading:
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake 

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12 Responses to “Postcard Alive!”

  1. Chris Edgar Says:

    I can definitely relate to your appreciation of Mount Rainier — that is my second favorite place in the Washington area. My first is Bainbridge Island, where my friends have a place and where I’ve spent many an incredible time just staring out at the bay.

    Patricia Reply:

    Hi Chris,
    It took every once of energy to save this beauty 4 to 12 years ago, Maybe we all need to gear up to save it again?

    Bainbridge Island is stunning too…as are most of the San Juans…
    to think that might be full of coal ships to China – one spill would destroy Puget Sound.

    I like it so much to just sit and stare out at the bay or up at the mountain.

    I do not understand why the East Coast folks are always trying to destroy it here…all I keep coming up with is it will make a few people extremely wealthy?

  2. susan Says:

    Hi Patricia,
    What beauty we have in this country! I’ve traveled a lot in your area – it is one of my favorite parts of the country – the mountains just take my breath away. Here in the midwest we have so much land that has become shopping malls, subdivisions etc. where I remember farms and open country. It’s been gobbled up by asphalt and concrete. Makes me ill. The farm I grew up on is now THREE different subdivisions so yes, I sure do know what it’s like to lose what we had. It happens everywhere I’m sure. The price of “progress” is felt by those who appreciate nature – the rest of the folks just see money in their pockets and have total disregard for anything being “lost”.
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    Patricia Reply:

    I just think there is so much beauty and it does keep disappearing to shopping malls and housing projects. I loved traveling through the midwest and the lovely farms and stretches of flat wide sky.

    It seems to be all about money here.

    It bothers me that the Chinese although they have many problems – are way ahead of us in preserving the beauty of nature and reclaiming GREEN environments. They should be out of coal needs in 5-10 years…. then we will be stuck with still building coal ports and all the pollution… maybe no mountains – just ski resort destinations…ugh

  3. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    I am oh-so-familiar with the Pacific Northwest. I lived on the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington for five years. I attended the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

    Ohhhhhhh, I loved this was a heartwarming post!

    Patricia Reply:

    I knew you had been in this area for some of your studies and now I know where. The Columbia River is so amazing…

    Now think of the River with a new pipe line down the middle and a leak in that pipe with the oil that does not float and kills everything in it’s spread….they do not know how to clean up that oil….but that is what is proposed and new natural gas pipelines all over the place.

    The brothers oil have spent $6 million making one candidate in this state look like a moderate….but calling him another Scott Walker of Wisconsin. I wish people would listen…

    Say how about it I let you all know who gets into office…and you can plan a trip and renewal adventure before the beauty if felled?

  4. Sara Says:

    Patricia — Wow. You should travel brochures. This was such a wonderful description of your trip and the beautiful scenery. I felt like I riding along with you:~)

    I also love that picture. It’s makes me want to visit this park very much. Hopefully, I will get out to the Pacific Northwest at some point. You certainly make me want it to be sooner than later.
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    Patricia Reply:

    thank you for your nice words. I took the picture off the web because I do not have a camera good enough for this kind of view. We often go to Lake Tipsoo for lunch and a day hike…there is a lovely short one around the lake too…

    Yes! since Ohio will probably be the vote that decides if this splendor will be around much longer…I just had to cherish this experience. We fought long and hard to keep President Bush from destroying this spectacular beauty…and President Clinton did his best to preserve more….but the East Coast and midwest really want to go after any resources we have and dump as much nuclear waste in our desert….we can never let our guard down…and now we have a man running for Governor who willing to sell even more of it off…scary stuff
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  5. Davina Haisell Says:

    Oh, Patricia, you’ve done a wonderful job with this post. Your descriptions of nature were beautiful. This is one of my favourite posts of yours. I can tell that you were inspired. When you connect with your appreciation for Mother Nature this way, you are truly connected with yourself.

    Patricia Reply:

    I am working at protecting myself because I can not seem to educate the people around me to the reality…I do not have 8 million dollars to spend protecting this beauty….I am trying to focus on the positive and soak in the grandeur and heights while it is still here….

    Thank you for your very wonderful words – BC is so stunning too, but it is not always under attack from the big guns in the east

  6. Cathie Beckman Says:

    Hi Patricia,
    I thought I’d drop by and found your wonderful post! I do miss the grandeur of Washington and B.C. The Midwest has it’s own gentle beauty too, especially now with all the orange, yellow and reds of the leaves! Speaking of the Midwest, please know we have three Ohioians , who belong to the Sierra Club, and strongly promote conservation of our national parks and we three vote! So hopefully we’ll cancell out three Ohioians who are voting against the parks!
    I hope people go to the polls, because the race is really close here!

    patricia Reply:

    Hi Cath,
    What a great treat to have you stop by and comment.
    According the the Electoral College OHIO is going to decide this election. It seems to be a very close race and I am appalled by all the voter suppression tactics being promoted.
    My friends who live just outside of Cleveland say it is awful what is happening to them and folks not going with their church groups to vote are actually afraid to go to the polls…

    We have a candidate for Governor here that has had 6 million dollars spent on his image and campaign because the Koch brother’s think he will make them a few billion dollars and Crossroads believe he is the next Scott Walker. They took down his web page and have put up this manipulative blather…but who can fight against $8 million all together in a local election? This too is really a tight race.

    Glad you have some good conservation voters at your house! and our Green Architectural firm is very happy too.

    thanks for coming by…Wish we could get together for dinner and a nice long visit