Sunday, July 31, 2011

Being Followed

full mountain glory
As a child, I remember being in the car at night, seeing the moon. I could see it even after we had taken many turns and it seemed to be following us. Today, while hiking near Mt Rainier, I had the same feeling; the mountain was never quite out of sight; from the drive up the gravel road to the trailhead and many different parts of the trail, she was in view nearly all the time.

Sometimes, she showed herself in her full glory, "Here I am; check me out! Am I not the most gorgeous mass of snow, ice and rock you've ever seen?", she seemed to shout at us. Of course I answered yes. Other times, she peeked out from around a corner or from behind a ridge, looking slightly different each time, but still retaining her overall glimmer and beauty.
sneaking around the corner of Noble Knob

I called the peak in the foreground, "Bear's Head"
She presided over many people on that trail. Aside from a few other hikers, runners were coming and going in both directions. They were part of an event called the White River 50 in which 300 sure-footed travelers ran up, down and over the hills for 50 miles. Some were perkier than others, but they were all on their own steam for a whole bunch of hours (winner's time was something like 8 hours). Speaking of endurance events, the ultimate bicycle worship of Mt Rainier, RAMROD (Ride Around Mt Rainier in One Day) happened on Thursday, with 800 cyclists participating, riding a 150-mile course that featured her majesty from every angle. I sure hope the Mountain is pleased with all of her worshippers so she doesn't blow her head off any time soon.

On the drive home, she startled me by appearing in my rear view mirror when I had thought she'd gone. I'll be back next week; I don't think I can tire of her presence and I hope she feels the same about me.

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