Up for a little hikling?

Trip Start Aug 06, 2009
Trip End Sep 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mt. Ranier, Washington

5am and its time to head down to Reflection Lake, why?  Well the mosquito’s need someone to chew on but more importantly the lake lies beneath the snow topped mountain peak living up to its name. Don’t want to spend too much time but I’m having a challenge getting the correct exposure for the snow top and the contrast of the dark water and trees.

Time to head to the northeast side of the mountain, to a place called Sunrise, from there I can hike towards the lower summits of the mountains.  As I start up to the first summit I am lucky enough to find some wildlife and then a real surprise, my bear.  Alright, he’s only a baby but he’s easily half my size and he’s a bear.  He’s above me on the ridge but he starts to head my way, I’m excited but then I ask myself, where’s mom?  I keep one eye on the baby and the other on the surrounding woods in case I need to make a quick getaway.

Heading upward a couple of more miles I reach one of the smaller summits and I can grab this shot.  There are multiple glaciers around the top of the mountain, Emmons, Winthrop and you can really see the detail but its still hard to fathom the damage if one of them were to lose a chunk.  The rangers and the big signs around us kindly remind visitors we are standing on an active and unstable geological area.  Time is starting to fly and I have more to shoot so I head down.

At this point I’ve hiked 8 miles but I need to make it over to the southwest side, to a place called Paradise, where meadows of wildflowers and another unique angle of Ranier await.  Surprise, another 2 mile hike but I can use the flower stops to catch my breath.  When I make it to the top it was worth the effort and I am able to grab this shot.

On the way back to the tent, I take a side trip into one of the trails that are on the lower part of the mountain.  The woods are beautiful and dark and life is everywhere, perfect for mushrooms. 

Once back I discover new neighbors, a young teenage couple arrived with just the tent and nothing else.  Looks like it will be a long night.

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