I was lost in my thoughts driving down Highway 12 in western Washington. I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing the Pacific Northwest was. I was high on life and this drive was just making me higher. Every curve I came around seemed to have another landscape worthy of a painting. Although you couldn’t see the sky as it was covered with clouds, each one hung heavy in the distance, hugging the trees as if they did not want to let go. The leaves of the few trees that weren’t pines ranged from red to gold, adding a splash of color into a world that was otherwise a mixture of green and blue hues. Even the air felt different here. An hour ago, it was cool and crisp, but now as I drove along, it felt heavy as it filled my lungs. Everything smelled like ponderosa to an almost obscene degree, but it was amazing. As I parked on the side of the road to play with my drone before I got into the park, I sat for a second in amazement as I watched Mt Rainer tower in the distance.
Mt Rainer is such a wonderful place. Having been inaugurated as the fifth national park all the way back in 1899 by William McKinley. Ever since then, it has been a mecca for nature lovers and mountain climbers. Being an active volcano, the entire area has been shaped by the volcanic activity of the last thousand years offering a unique ecosystem like none other. Interestingly, 5 of the major waterways that provide for the Puget Sound start from glaciers in the range. All of this could be perfect trivia night data, but my favorite fact is that this is the highest volcanic peak in the United States outside of Alaska, also providing one of the largest glacial cave systems around in its summit crater.
Interestingly, shortly before I traveled here, I was in the Rocky Mountains talking to a friend about how she never wanted to climb a 14,000 ft mountain. At the time, I agreed with her, but now as I explored this park, I felt a calling to get to the top of it. It was such a strange feeling that came over me. Just a solid want to get to the top. To say that I conquered this beast. For the first time, I felt like an ancient knight who had a passion to slay a dragon. I took a couple of hours to explore a trail and the feeling only grew stronger. If I felt this much at peace just walking through the forest, how would I feel getting to the top?
And at that moment I created a mission for myself. I would call it “Sounds of the Summit”. Over the next year, I would train to get to the top of this summit, and once there, I would use my computer and a recording interface to record at least one song at the top. This was my new mission, and with deciding that, I set off to start preparing myself.
Closest Supercharger Centralia WA 74 mi
1200 Lum Rd, Centralia, WA 98531
Mt Rainer National Park