Triple digits

This weekend we headed for the Yakima Valley by way of Mount Rainier. A good idea, the "head to the mountains" part, to try and escape the heat wave that hit Western Washington.

Going to the hot side of the state, right into triple digits, was an accident of planning... not exactly the best idea to head into the heat. But we had a good reason:  a wine club party at Cultura, our favorite winery.

But a stop in Enumclaw changed the focus of the weekend just a bit. After breakfast at The Kettle, we grabbed a geocache and learned about a new series of cache, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Mount Rainier National Park in 2016. While we waited to get DW's lifetime National Parks pass at the forest service office, we planned out our route to get as many of the caches as possible. It's going to be fun!

The views from the Sunrise road were amazing today. You can see three other Cascade mountains volcanoes from the viewpoint halfway up: Adams, Baker, and Glacier Peak. Most days you can't see them; any clouds of haze at the horizon obscures them. Today we could see all of them.

The view from above Tipsoo Lake was even better. For years I've wanted to take the MX-5 to the overlook and photograph it with the mountain in the background. Either the mountain is hidden behind clouds, or the roadway is crowded with cars. Today I got lucky.

But best of all were the wildflowers, weeks early because of the mild winter and the warm weather. We walked down into the meadows around Tipsoo Lake, surrounded by flowers and the heady fragrance of the lupine. I wanted to lay down and drink it all in, but I settled for a half hour of photography before we headed east.

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