The website for Mount Rainier says we should inform someone of our plans, so I shall inform you lot: on Tuesday, my intrepid companion and I are headed for one of the Pacific Northwest's most dangerous volcanoes for a little fun and excitement. Hopefully there won't be unexpected mudflows. That would be a little too exciting.
I'm doing it all for you, my darlings. I'm in the midst of preparing many geology and other science posts for the winter, and I figured I'd do up Mount Rainier. Had photos from my 2007 visit, didn't I? Well, I went through them, and a good solid post on geology they do not make. Besides, I'm itching to get the Sony Cyber-Shot up there.
So tonight, we hashed out our plans: we shall be starting with the Emmons Glacier, hiking along the Emmons Moraine. Because we are out-of-shape, we'll only be doing the spur instead of the full Glacier Basin Trail. Afterward, we're off to the Life Systems Trail at Ohanapecosh Campground, where we shall get to see hot springs (the first I'll have ever seen in my life, incidentally). Then we plan to finish up at Paradise, where we'll hit the Nisqually Vista Trail. The last time I was on that one, I was practically knee-deep in snow and cursing my crappy camera. But it was one of the best experiences of my life, and I do care to repeat it.
If we have time to sneak it in, I might divert us to the Carbon River Rain Forest Nature Trail, but we shall see.
As if that's not enough adventure, we're off the following Monday to the Olympic National Forest, where we'll be spending two days immersed in the best geology the Olympics have to offer - within easy walking distance from various parking lots, that is. (There's a reason I didn't ever become a field geologist, and it has a lot to do with being sedentary by nature and having an innate horror of camping. This was probably caused by that camping trip at Lake Powell where my father pitched our tent on a nice, smooth, sandy flat, which we discovered was nice, smooth and sandy because rainwater flowed copiously through it during downpours. And don't even talk to me about dragging our soggy selves out to fish that morning, hearing a helicopter, looking around for said helicopter, and then discovering that the sound was, in fact, the largest cloud of mosquitoes we'd ever seen in our lives. And really don't even talk to me about the bats that dove in for a feast. I can, however, report that soggy pillows do fend off feeding bats quite well, although the mosquitoes aren't impressed.)
Anyway. Yes. Quite a lot of adventure coming up. Then it's home to write up all the wonderful geology. Eventually.
Posting may get a bit light round here on the travel days. But just remember, it's all for a Good Cause, i.e., giving you all some eye candy.