Look out snow covered Mt Rainier, I’m wearing shorts!

Ok, so I’ve lived here for over a year now and this is the first time we’ve gone to the mountains. I mean, I can see Mt Hood and Mt Saint Helens on a clear day but we hadn’t actually trekked over to these beautiful stone monuments until a few weeks ago (and we still haven’t actually “trekked over” to either of those mountains yet). We went to Mt Rainier instead! And little did we know that there would still be literal walls of snow in late June…

Patrick and I have been talking about going camping again basically since it started raining (so it’s been a while!) and we planned a brief trip to Mt Rainier. I was responsible for making sure we had everything together as we went to REI and got Patrick a new sleeping bag (he nearly froze   last summer when we went to Crater Lake), a nice blow-up insert, and I filled up the cooler full of sandwhiches for the road and raw meat for the burgers we were going to grill. I had my first aid kit, sunscreen, bug spray, protein bars and a gallon of water.

Unfortunately, I forgot the tent.

My bad. I don’t know how I missed it…

Anyway, due to me forgetting the only thing that makes camping actually camping, we got to stay here instead. With an attached bathroom!

Pretty, right?
So, we really had no idea that Mt Rainier would still be covered in snow in late June (clearly!). The last time Patrick was there, which was a while ago, he went in late August and believe me, two more months of 80 degree weather will make a big difference. I think we’ll be going back in about 6 weeks to get the whole experience and hopefully be able to climb the mountain trail this time. It was still fun though and very beautiful! I kind of liked playing in the snow in my shorts and it definitely looked like a winter wonderland. I mean, it’s not very often you get to throw snowballs or go sledding in the middle of summer 🙂
Ridiculous!  Anyway, there was really only one hike that we took where the trails weren’t covered in snow. This wasn’t one of those trails… but the base of it was gorgeous and relatively snow free.
One last picture and then I’m off to do house work 🙂
Aww!
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Spring has come!

*yawn, sigh* Long time, no post! It seems that winter/spring up here makes some people hibernate. Or perhaps it’s just us. I don’t feel adequately waterproof yet so venturing out in the drizzle wasn’t the funnest thing to do over the last few months (I still have no poncho and misplace my umbrella on a weekly basis). There was a lot of sleeping, a lot of movies, and a lot of searching the web for over-exposed, sunshine soaked pictures of the desert from which I tried to absorb Vitamin D through. It didn’t work. But a girl can dream of blinding, dusty, Midland summers can’t she?

But, let’s be honest for a second. Before we moved, I had numerous people go on about how much it rains up here and how horrible/you’ll hate it/depressing (enter your choice of negative emotion here) it was going to be. I too know that it rains a lot in Seattle, we all do. But we weren’t going to live in Seattle! And I was indignant. I love cold weather! I like having a real winter and I think that winter should be cloudy and dreary. After all, I lived in Tulsa for five years and we had loads of snow, frigid weather and ill-timed power outages due to the ridiculous ice storms that came every year. I still loved it!

But those folks weren’t entirely wrong (you guys weren’t entirely right either 😉 ). And after 7 inches of rain in March I was feeling the blues. We had five days with no rain, and they were glorious! But still, it was an unusually wet month (they normally get half that amount of rain). Now this wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t already had 7 inches in January. And while February wasn’t as wet, the sun still didn’t shine very often. So…yeah. The rainy season sucks. It lasts about one month too long BUT here’s what you get because of all that rain.

It doesn’t even look real. It’s ridiculous. And kind of worth it. The Japanese gardens were in full bloom by the beginning of April and every single weekend last month was full of sunshine and heat. It was over 80 degrees at one point (that’s 20 degrees above average). It was awesome. I got sunburned.

So, I’m going a little out of order in our trips over the last six weeks (we started our “travels” at the beach and I’ll post pictures later) but since I kinda vented to my sisters and mom about how horrible the winter was, I figured I needed to refresh my own memory and share some of the beauty that results in that dreary weather. I have been very impatiently waiting for the day the Japanese gardens would be in bloom. We have now seen it every season in Portland and as it changes drastically every few months, you never get tired of it. It’s a good little workout too, so win-win.

 

The flowers were gorgeous, as you can see, and some were vines, some were trees, some were bushes. We could not have picked a better time to go and I think if we had waited one more weekend we would have missed some of these blooms.

It’s more vibrant than technicolor!

Man, Japanese Maples are some of the coolest trees ever. Their branches are so unique and twisted that even when they don’t have leaves, they are interesting to look at. Love it!

So I could go on and on with pics from the garden but I’m nearly three months behind in my postings. I figure I should show you something that I haven’t already posted in another season (so pretty though, right?).

Enjoy this little bit of springtime cheer from the Pacific Northwest and I’ll bring you a little bit of the beach next time 🙂