Wordy Wednesday

Some days just don’t play nicely with a plan. This was definitely one of those days. I left later than I had hoped and hit some unusual traffic getting out of Auburn. I’ve been hoping for some miraculous early-opening at Sunrise Road, but it was not to be. 

Driving back down to Summerland and Owyhigh Lakes trailheads, I am met with this unfortunate message: No Parking. 7am-6pm on 6/30-7/01. Both lots are completely blocked. There are a couple pull-outs up the road, but I decide to go with Plan B. Comet Falls. 

I drive to Paradise via Stevens Canyon Rd. It’s a beautiful drive. There is construction and a couple delays, but few cars, so it is to be savored. The lot at Paradise is already half full. It looks hit and miss with snow, so I grab my pack, camera, poles and spikes and head toward Myrtle Falls and beyond. 

Aside from a few snowy spots it is pavement until just before the falls. This bridge was inaccessible my last two trips, so it’s nice to see the snow caving above and the rush of water below. 

Marmots are out ! Nothing says summer in the mountains like marmots. They seem pretty chunky for this early in the season and look healthy. A bird I just could not seem to capture in my lens evaded me … but here it is. Bad picture and all. 

There are white avalanch lilies and bear grass on the drive up and thousands of glacier lilies here in the melting meadow. The yellow stands out against the snowy mountain and serves as a wonderful pop of color as everything begins to sprout and bloom beneath the melting snow. 


I met Maureen and Brenda on the trail. They’ve escaped the flooding in Michigan only to find themselves smack in the middle of a legendary heat wave. Safe travels home to Grand Rapids. Sounds like you enjoyed the bounty that is the PNW. Next trip: Sunrise ! You’ll love it !

I stopped at Comet Falls after an hour at Paradise. I had heard there was still snow on the trail near the top, so I tossed my spikes back in my bag. At the trailhead is another unfortunate bit of signage: Nisqually River bridge out. I know better than to cross any water alone, so I walk up a ways through the woods to cool off. 

Shadows and light. My favorite. 

I consider Rampart Ridge from Longmire but there are lots of people everywhere now. I take a hard pass and head to lunch at Basecamp Grill. Cold water and a hot cheeseburger. Perfect. I’ve been trying to buy a gift card here. This was my third time and I figured it would be a charm. Nope. Foiled again. After lunch I head to Whitakers to get a gift for someone. You guessed it: Sold out. 

I live in the luxury of being able to pivot. I get that. Gifts of change. It was a beautiful day despite the roadblocks. Sunrise opens up on Friday. It’s like a holiday to me, that plunge into the snow on Sourdough Ridge for the first time. 

Bear grass and pasque flowers, lupine and paintbrush. Marmots and mountain goats. 

Hallelujah !

8 Comments on “Wordy Wednesday

  1. Okay, the obvious what the holy heck and way to punt. (I’m not knowing where that bridge is. And so you can’t get to Van Trump either, when the snow clears?) But there is this: that is the most magnificent photo of Myrtle and the mountain I have ever seen. I just might have to head to Paradise for the lilies when the holiday is over. Hopefully they will still be there. Spectacular!

    • Thank you !! I think the lilies will be around for awhile ! And so much coming up beneath them too. It’s still got some snow to contend with, but an intrepid soul would make quick work of the patches. Sending you photos of the bridge. Still lots of snow up beyond the falls.

    • Is there another way to live our lives ? Live as if this is all there is … because someday you’ll be right ♡ Thanks for the kind words.

  2. Our Mt. Rainer is Paradise! Fabulous pictures … love it when the marmots are out!

  3. I had a whole year of teaching that seemed to go that way. I survived and the principal was transferred to another job. Your day trip was an epic day of chance and you pulled a lot out of it! Always happy to see your posts. Just know that there is an unexpected gift coming your way!

    • I like that idea ! The Universe giveth as well as taketh away. I’ll look forward to the flip-side. It turned out to be a lovely day.

You know I'd love to hear from you !

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