Summer in western Washington is pretty much heaven. That fact plus family makes my week back home absolutely wonderful.
The guys were all climbing Rainier for a few days and Mom and I were having our own adventures. I decided that big pack+high elevation+alpine starts+pregnancy=I was taping out of this Rainier trip.
Mom and I did stroll up a ways to meet them on their way back down. The alpine meadows around Mt. Rainier this time of year are nothing short of stunning. I had been craving lush mountain meadows for weeks and this was just what the doctor ordered (just not quite enough of it).
The guys. My little brother Alex (third from the right) is all grown up and climbing Rainier. *sniff* After this trip Dad had been on the summit with each of his five of his kids at least once. Our family traditions are unique, but great. The other milestone of this climb was that it was Dad's 31st time summiting Rainier but the first trip he has taken with an all guy team. It was some serious male bonding.
Keith is going to post some day about the Rainier climb but I couldn't help and snag a random picture from his camera to give you a sneak peak. Rainier is near and dear to my heart and I had mixed feelings about not being there with Keith and my little brother. This is a shot of part of the gang at Ingrahm Flats near the ice fall. Mountains have a way of making people feel tiny.
This is a shot of the dining room pre-climb as the guys got food organized. Danny (Joe's roommate) is dangling from a beam as he reviews the technique of ascending a rope via prusiks.
Here Keith shows off the technique.
While the guys climbed Mom and I hung out with Sarah who gave us a tour of one of the bike paths in Bellevue (her stomping grounds). I was impressed that such a big city could have such relaxed and pretty paths. We also ate yummy food and watched Wallace and Gromit. Good times.
On our last day in Washington we went to the sound and introduced Keith to some coastal critters he had never met before. Above are some sand dollars (they are only gray when dead).
Keith exploring the shore.
We canoed out to a little island and went exploring. We found lots of anemones and had fun lifting up rocks and seeing who could find the biggest crab.
The water was incredibly clear and while in the canoes we could see clusters of colorful starfish below us.
Sorry if this post is a bit scattered. The main point this that I loved every minute of our week in Washington. I think the places we loved as children always hold a special place in our heart. I come to love other places, but they never have that same heavenly and magical quality as those places I first loved when my world was smaller.