Deep Into the Pines

August 5, 2019

Imagine coming aroung a bend in the road to be presented with the view you see to your right.

WOW!

Almost made me slam on the brakes, just to be sure I was really seeing that huge mountain. Of course I slowed down and, with no traffic on the county road, I was able to capture this image. 

What you see is Mt. Adams which is in Washington state, north of The Dalles, OR where I had spent the night. 

In attempts to get better views I exited the county road and took some other paved back roads, with some success.

But I am in the North Woods now and, especially today, my drive has been constant in pine forests. The trees are so tall lining the road way that sight is limited to basically what can be seen directly ahead.

Returning to the main route I had planned on Hwy 141, vehicular traffic was scarce. However, there were many bicyclists peddling their legs off on the curvy mountain road. Apparently they were part of a group, as later on I saw where they had a refresh station set up and support vehicles standing by.


Being in no hurry, I poked along at 30-35 mph most of the morning. Later in the morning I stumbled upon a waterfall, identified as “Big Spring” from a nearly hidden and obliterated sign. This a was a good time to take a break and walk about for a bit.














Luckily the road was paved for most of the way and for the short distances where not, the dust kicked up a new coating on my 4Runner. The solitude, quietly driving along, was meditative. 



When there were openings along the way, I could see pine covered mountains through clearings, but no bald snow capped peaks. The views of Mt. Adams had been lost long before I was half way along this morning.













But a bigger prize awaited me near Parkwood, WA where I am staying this night. Here I am on the doorsteps to Mt. Rainier National Park  I arrived early to check in and waited only briefly as they finished cleaning my room. Even though this day’s drive was shorter, and I had been driving slowly most of the way, having a room ready was a welcome relief.

Since I have limited time to spend here, this afternoon I drove to the nearest entrance to Mr. Rainier National Park, just to get a view of the mountain. At that viewpoint I turned around and came back to Packwood. Tomorrow morning I hope to get up early and drive further up into the park to further check it out. 

Then on to Seattle, WA, where Mark N will meet up with me. Hopefully I will get to see a few folks I know. Both of us will spend time with Craig and Jeff who we met on the Cuba cruise in January.

Mt. Rainier: One of several volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest as part of the Cascade Mountain range. At 14,410 feet, it is still an active volcano. For countless centuries, Mt. Rainier has held an important, sacred place for the Pacific Northwest Native Peoples.


kdonald940@cox.net © Donald E. Kline 2012