“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction - so easy to lapse into - that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.” ― Robert Macfarlane, Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit
PC: QT Luong
This spring, I planned to visit my boyfriend in Oregon for a week. I booked my flight to Portland and shortly before the trip, found out that he would be working in Tacoma while I was out there. Surprisingly, the change in location worked out very well. Turns out, my friend Erika's dad had recently moved to Seattle and she was flying out there to visit him the same week, so she offered to pick me up from Portland and drive me to Tacoma later that night when my flight arrived.
The entire drive through Washington was pitch black and when I arrived in Tacoma it was 12:30am. Erika told me how beautiful Mt. Rainier was and that I'd be able to see it in the morning. I'd seen the mountains in Oregon which amazed me and thought Rainier would be similar, but I wasn't sure what to expect.
When I woke up in the morning and opened the window, I couldn’t help but admire the mountain from the first initial sight. Although far away, Rainier stood out like an enormous diamond in the middle of a valley. It was just so bizarre, for me, a Michigan girl, to see a snow covered Mountain in clear view, on a scorching 86-degree day.
I immediately wanted to know everything I could about this gorgeous landmark. After a quick search, I learned that Rainier is 14,411 feet (which explains the snowcaps), and that it’s actually a volcano! Everything I read made me more thrilled to see it closer. I hoped that I would be able to visit Mt. Rainier National Park while we were in Washington to get a closer look, but Joey, Erika, and I were only there a few days and decided to save that for a trip for when we have more time to experience it.
My trip to Washington was a month ago and I’m still searching pictures, tours, mountain-climbing courses and reading stories from those who have climbed Rainer. I have my mind set on hiking to the summit of Rainier, there’s just something so captivating about this mountain that I can’t let go.