On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Good Morning All,
This weekday feature is for Juicers who are on the road, travelling, etc. and wish to share notes, links, pictures, stories, etc. from their escapades. As the US mainland begins the end of the Earth day as we measure it, many of us rise to read about our friends and their transient locales.
So, please, speak up and share some of your adventures, observations, and sights as you explore, no matter where you are. By concentrating travel updates here, it’s easier for all to keep up-to-date on the adventures of our fellow Commentariat. And it makes finding some travel tips or ideas from 6 months ago so much easier to find…
Have at ’em, and have a safe day of travels!
Should you have any pictures (tasteful, relevant, etc….) you can email them to [email protected] or just use this nifty link to start an email: Start an Email to send a Picture to Post on Balloon Juice
New form coming later this week – until then, please hold the pics.
Some amazing pictures and tales today – enjoy!
Where it was taken: Mount Rainier National Park
When: July 1, 2017
Commenter nym: PaulB
Other notes or info about the picture: These were all taken on the first day of a vacation to visit Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. They were all taken in the southeast quadrant of the park.
1: This lovely elk was calmly eating breakfast just off the highway north of Packwood, WA.
2 through 7: These pictures were taken along the Grove of the Patriarchs trail, which is a collection of some of the tallest, broadest, and oldest trees in the park. More fascinating to me, I’m afraid, were the trees that had toppled long ago. Some of the upended root systems were eerily fascinating.
The suspension bridge in picture 3 is one-person wide and they recommend that only one person cross at a time. It shakes and makes loud noises with each step, which certainly adds a degree of healthy anticipation to the journey. It also proved to be fascinating for every passerby, as some families insisted on taking pictures of each family member, one at a time, oohing and aahing over the results, and then repeating the experience on the other side of the bridge.
8 through 11: The general theme of the trip so far is, “Water, water everywhere….” Western Washington had an unusually cold and wet spring, so the normal spring melt from the mountain is 3 to 4 weeks behind schedule. Everywhere you look, there are rivulets, runoffs, overflowing streams, and so on. The ever-present water and the delayed snow melt had several unfortunate side effects:
a) The bathrooms were unusually busy. You really are never out of earshot of running water through the park and that cannot but have an impact on one’s control.
b) Some of the mid-mountain trails still have snow on them. Unfortunately, there is no good way for you to know whether that snow you’re about to step in is a firmly packed snowbank that will hold you or whether it has been hollowed out underneath by runoff, in which case you’re about to put your foot in it … literally. In the best case, all that happens is that your shoe and sock get wet. In a not-so-good case, you lose your balance, end up covered with dirty snow, and your leg and knee get scraped up by roots and sticks that were buried in the show. One guess as to how I happen to know what the not-so-good case is….
c) Some of the streams are supposed to be crossed by stepping stones but the melt is still ongoing, so the stones are all covered instead of sticking up 6 to 12 inches above the waterline. Did I mention that water from glacial and snow melt is freaking *cold*?
d) The meadows at Paradise, one of the most popular destinations in the park and about a mile up, were still snow-covered. Normally, at this time, you’d see a lot of wildflowers and you can wander meadows that make you think you’re re-enacting the opening scene of the “Sound of Music.” Instead, I took one look at the foot of snow covering the most desirable trail and I decided to punt.
Picture 11 is of Box Canyon, a canyon so narrow that two people standing side by side could touch each other and also each touch the opposite walls of the canyon with their outstretched arms.
12 through 14: Various types of terrain and the granddaddy himself, Mount Rainier, a still-active volcano.
15 and 16: Wildflowers were present in the middle areas, at least, even if they weren’t yet blooming in Paradise.
17: One of my fellow hikers decided to get whimsical with this tiny snowman, no more than a foot high.
18: A lake that took an hour-long climb to get to. Alas, I was unable to fully appreciate it as that was the climb that took out my leg. Still, I can appreciate it in retrospect.
Paul, thank you so much – these were just what I needed today – thanks for sharing the pictures and stories. What do you say folks, do you want to see more from this trip? I know I do!
Oh, for those wondering, the quotes and pie sayings will get incorporated soon, thanks for all the suggestions, except for the asshat who used the c-word.
#4: I like. But then, I’m not afraid of my fascination with dead trees :-)
@OzarkHillbilly: You should be here. We measured the stump of the oak that fell in the yard down the street and it is 11×15 feet!
@OzarkHillbilly: And here is an article about the 150 year old oak they had to take down.
Amazing photos, Paul B.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
Wife and daughter brought back some gorgeous photos of them standing next to a 2500 year old olive tree in Crete. Nice to think of it being alive at the time of Pericles.
@raven: There is a state champion burr oak (iirc) in Meramec state park, an absolute monster, it’s trunk is about the same as that, I’d have to measure to be sure. But they all pale in comparison to the live oaks I saw in LA.
@raven: Sad. That lightning struck tree on my property? Still going strong. Amazingly resilient.
@OzarkHillbilly: Yea, this was wind. We got hammered, an old house down the street will have to be torn down.
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Olive trees are fascinating to me. Olive wood is stunningly beautiful. A year or 2 ago I read that having an ancient olive tree in your yard has become quite the status symbol in parts of Europe where they don’t naturally grow. One German transplanted a 600 yr old tree out of Spain, unlikely to live much longer. If I recall the article correctly, there has been a very strong backlash to the practice with laws being proposed against it. Haven’t seen anything recently.
Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes
The iconostasis at the front of our church is carved olive wood.
The central portion out to about two panels was installed when the building was constructed in 1974, the remainder over the next 15 years or so.
As it ages in air (there is no stain or varnish), it picks up a richer golden tone.
Wow, loved the pictures. Visited Mt. Ranier long ago. Sigh.?
The pictures are wonderful PaulB! Thanks for sharing!
@raven: that must have been an awful storm, your place was ok?
@Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: that’s gorgeous!
Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ
I guess I’m the a$$hat for using the c* word…for the record, they were Game of Thrones quotes and you don’t have to use them, Alain.
I live in Tacoma. Rainier is visible wherever I go, and I’m looking forward to a planned hike in August. What I really want is to spend a week there and explore it all.
Thanks for the pics, always fun to see what strikes those visiting my neck of the woods. Too cloudy to see “the mountain” right now, but one of the joys of living in the Puget Sound area.
Thanks to all for these morning mind freshioners.
PaulD thank you for the pictures. I was stationed at Ft. Lewis. Many days I would sit on the hood of my deuce an half and look at Mt. Rainer. Never got tired of looking at it. Been back a few times since my days in the service. Last time was about 10 years ago.
Thank you for the kind words. I’ve been to Rainier before but just to the most popular area, the southwest corner. This time, I decided I’d do it right and visit all four corners of the park, as well as visiting Mount St. Helens for the first time.
I sent in three groups of pictures, so if you like what you see, let Alain know to run the other two.
The Pacific Northwest is God’s country. Having a view of Mount Rainier (named Mount Tahoma by the local American Indians) on a daily basis improves life so much. Then, if you look in the opposite direction, there are the Olympic Mountains. Life is good out here.