Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Northwest Family Reunion Part One: Mountain Sunset

We just returned from another wonderful trip to Washington. It was a fabulous way to end the summer.

Keith came too this time as it was the "Temus Family Reunion." We were super blessed to get a seat between us on both flights there and one of the flights back for our squirmy "lap child."

 Before heading to Oregon for a week of family reunion fun we took a hike at Mt. Rainier that is a long standing end-of-summer tradition: Hiking to the Mt. Fremont fire overlook to watch the sunset. Gramma happily agreed to watch the two grand-babies for the evening so we were footloose and kid-free.

 I absolutely LOVE this place in the late summer. The flowers, alpine smell, complete stillness, stunted trees, everything.

Dad pointing out the landmarks to two of the three son-in-laws.

Sarah and I agreed that this short hike seems way shorter now than it did when we were kids. This was every bit as much of a back-to-school tradition as school shopping was for us during our public school years.

Rockin' the green shells.
Keith watching the sunset and staring down the "rock man" on the way up.

The Fremont fire lookout used to be manned every summer until they converted to more modern systems of fire detection and control. I think I would have loved to spend a summer there.
In the upper right picture you can see the light of the sunset reflecting on Puget Sound in the distance. After watching various city lights turn on and the moon rise, we turned to make our way back under the always surprisingly bright light of a full moon in the mountains.

Out of all of the more difficult hikes and climbs I have done in my life, this little hike remains one of my favorites due to the scenery and sweet family memories made over the years. Rainier would turn all of the colors of the sunset like a giant snow cone, serene mountain meadows spread below us, complete stillness the likes of which are only found in the mountains, the distant city lights flickered of the busy-ness awaiting below, Dad would pass out the seemingly endless supply of stocking caps and mittens that his coat contained, the low singing of "How Great Thou Art," and slowly hiking down in the moonlight without need of our headlamps. This place hasn't loss the magic that made it so special to me all those years ago.

The group watching the amazing sunset, after eating dinner and before hiking down in the moonlight.


Suzanne Earl said...

Love Love Love the photos.
Makes Tyson want to hop on a plane in the morning and get lost in the mountains somewhere, ID,WY,CO,WA,OR, Anywhere!!!

What a fun family you have.

Suz and Ty

Marti Temus said...

As special as that mountain hike is, those two grandbabies had it beat that night! Beautiful write up and pictures Katie!