The next day it was on to the Palouse by way of Mount Rainier National Park, east of Seattle. If it were a clear day we would have been able to see the mountain as we approached but some light rain and clouds kept it concealed until later. We figured the Palouse to be about a 5+ hour drive from our hotel north of Seattle so we headed out early in order to enjoy the mountain scenery on the way. There were a lot of overlooks and short hikes to waterfalls and other natural features once inside the park’s boundaries. On the western side of the park and mountain the forest towered with giant trees. The club moss that hung from the branches reminded me of Christmas trees decorated with tinsel. Mt. Rainier was not visible at first because of the clouds but as they say in the mountains, ‘if you don’t like the weather, wait 1o minutes’. Soon the mountain peaks began to reveal themselves and we were amazed by the grandeur of Rainier, a massive volcano with an elevation of 14,411 feet. It is the highest mountain in the Cascade Range and has 26 major glaciers being the most heavily glaciated mountain in the lower 48. Peaked by 2 volcanic craters scientists know it will erupt again however it is not active at this time. After a few stops and some food it was getting late so we pressed on to make the Palouse before night. East of the Cascade Range we found a drier environment and we drove through an area resembling the arid west along our way. The golden landscape of the Palouse greeted us just before sunset and I was excited to see what the next day would bring.
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Tags: landscape, Mt. Rainier, Palouse, photography, Washington State