A grave, a hike, and a mountain goat in a parabola

Since we are gone for much of the day time on our own adventures, we try to take Molly out for a walk every morning and every evening when possible.  Usually this is just a loop around the campground as we look at the various sites and rigs other people are using.  We found two short walks in the national forest that we took her on today.

750_4009There was a little path hidden behind site 13 in our campground.  We walked in probably half a mile and came to a gravesite decorated with flags and trinkets.  There was an article posted telling the man’s story.  He left home when he was just 16 to fight in the Civil War.  Awarded a purple heart, survived to hunt, trap, and homestead in the area that is now national forest.  He died sitting against a tree alone with no obvious cause, apparently checking his trap lines.  His family decided to bury him where he lay since it was the land that he loved, a fitting tribute.

It rained overnight so in the morning so we took our time getting ready.  By the time we got into Mount Rainier National Park, it was already after lunch. We went to the Sunrise area of the park, the backside to this enormous mountain compared to yesterday at Paradise, to check out the Visitor Center.  The mountain was covered in clouds and fog so we didn’t get any impressive views today.  We decided to go for a shorter hike, the Sourdough Trail along the ridge line away from the mountain.  It was a steep hike, and we went in a few miles before heading back.  The rain stayed away but the clouds hung around all day.

750_4098There were several places on the ridge where the trail drops off on both sides for stunning views down into valleys on both sides.  We were “glassing” one (looking through binoculars) for wildlife when I spotted a mountain goat.  It was pretty far away.  I was trying to point it out to other passersby.  My description sounded like this: “see the pond out there.  Halfway between there and us are two Christmas trees.  Just behind the left tree is a white dot.”  I was repeating this to a group of 3 young adults.  One of the young men spotted it and was trying to point it out to his other friends.  The obvious math student instructed his friends, “see the parabola, it’s halfway up.”  Ha Ha!  By the time we got back to the car, the clouds had cleared a bit and we were able to get a different view of Mt. Rainier.

750_4127For our evening walk, we took Molly to the national forest campground, Dalles, about 5 miles up the road.  There was a 9′ diameter tree that had been felled last year and we walked a mile trail in that campground just for a change of scenery.  Actually, it’s like more of the same scenery, which I just can’t get enough of.

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