It’s a little past 7:30pm, and still (according to my computer) 87 degrees Fahrenheit, (30 degrees C) at my house.
Today we escaped the heat little bits at a time by going hiking up at Mount Rainier along the Ohanapecosh river. It was still a very warm day, but the river water was still very cold, so there was some nice cool air coming off of it in parts. Because of the heat, I was very glad I’d opted to wear my sneakers – Asics running shoes – instead of my heavy leather hiking boots that are really designed for backpacking. My feet were toasty as it was!
We started at the Ohanapecosh campground, and hiked just a short distance to the natural hot springs there. A sign there said that the water is heated by the pressure of it being forced out of the ground. It was pretty cool seeing the little bubbles in the pond of the water coming out of the ground. It must have had a lot of iron in it, too, since all the runoff areas looked rust-red, and there was a sulfur smell to the water.
From there, we looped back to the parking lot and got on the Silver Falls Loop Trail on the east side of the loop. We passed some areas of path that looked like they had once been paved with asphalt, which made more sense once we found a sign stating that there had once been a small health resort in what is now a small field, from the 1920’s to 1961.
The photograph below is the area where the four-story lodge once sat. I would love to know if it was torn down and hauled out, or if the land has already done such a good job of reclaiming the area.
Silver Falls was really cool – figuratively and literally. It felt really good when we got close enough to get hit with some of the spray!
Up much closer to the falls, I found some plants that appeared to be growing straight out of the rocks themselves! It always surprises me how well plants can grow in what looks to be completely inhospitable conditions (and yet I still manage to kill houseplants quite well!)
From Silver falls, we hiked up to Grove of the Patriarchs, which is an old-growth forest. There was a suspension bridge that we had to go across, and evidently I’m lucky there were witnesses so Destin didn’t start shaking the bridge to scare me!
The old trees were awesome… I had Destin take my picture in front of the “Twin Douglas Firs”.
There were a couple other trees with really neat root systems.
This one reminded me of the trees you see in swamp areas in Florida, with the roots stretching out toward the ground, and the main trunk of the tree lifted above the ground…
…and this one looked like one tree was trying to climb the tree to its right! Look at how it has roots stretched up the trunk.
From the Grove of the Patriarchs, we headed back down the same way we came. I’d hoped to get some decent photos of Mount Rainier from some of the viewpoints, but unfortunately they’d closed the entrance to the Paradise side of the mountain – which we’d come through earlier in the day, and we had to take the longer way home with fewer mountain views. Next time…!