Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Winter "Paradise"

Driving up Mt Rainier

For some time, I had planned on taking some "winter" photos in the Cascade Mountains, and figured I would do some snowshoeing or hiking to get a less than "common" photo of Mt Rainier and the surrounding area.  When I told my wife of my plans, she said she had not been up to Mt Rainier in the winter for many years and wondered if she might tag along.  She advised me that she did not want to hike in "the cold snow", (She shivers just looking at a picture of snow) but would love to go along for the ride.  We decided to ask our daughter to come with us, and we made it a family trip!  So....snowshoeing was out!

We took our time driving through Orting and up into the Cascade Mountains where we enjoyed a sunny day and virtually dry roads all the way to the Paradise Visitors Center.  I wanted to catch Mt Rainier in the more interesting, evening light, but discovered that the road past Longmire would be closed at 5 pm!

As we made our way toward the top, we stopped and I hurriedly snapped off a few photos from a roadside Viewpoint I believe was "Glacier Vista Viewpoint"?  (Hike/climb up as high as you can opposite the view from where others simply snap pictures from...the extra 10 or 20 feet of elevation will really help your composition!)  The lighting was quite nice and the view was beautiful.  Back to the car!  Let's go!

 The drive to Paradise was a bit longer than any of us remembered (We hadn't been up there for about 15 years!) and we got to Paradise at around 4:45 pm.  I took a few more photos from an area just off the parking lot at Paradise and we took a bit of time to just enjoy the view of the majestic and snow covered Mt Rainier.

The time constraints prevented me from setting up a tripod and composing anything fancy or "unique", but Mt Rainier National Park is simply beautiful in the winter and getting a few good photos is hardly a challenge.

As the sun started to set, we headed down the mountain.  We stopped and snapped a few more photos but as we descended, we lost the glorious, snow laden branches of the Douglas Fir trees, and the otherwise heavy snow that we enjoyed at the higher altitudes.  We enjoyed the leisurely drive home and ended our day with dinner at a local sushi restaurant.

We had not been out for an extended "scenic drive" as a family for some time, and the consensus was a great day!  Below are a couple photos I took on our drive to..."Paradise"!

 Glacier Vista Viewpoint

  Paradise Visitors Center Area

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