|Mt. Rainier from the southeast.|
But I left you, all of you, at Mowich Lake on the spectacular northwest exposure of Mt. Rainier. The lasagna was well received. But I have a story to tell you about Wednesday the morning I left.
Several days before on my daily training trudge with Bailey Dog around our nearby park, a woman with a dog (the most common of sights in the park) caught my attention. I recognized her as Sue, the mother of one of my daughter's classmates from first grade. We hadn't really seen each other in 20 years but chatted about our daughters and the pooches--both belonging to our daughters, and about Mt. Rainier. But it was nearly dark; we kept it polite and short, and both of us headed for home.
Wednesday morning I was in a hurry to complete my training hike before leaving to join the family at the mountain. My loop included the street in front of Sue's house. Her yard erupted with crazy barking and snarling as we passed. She rushed out with a leash, apologizing over the rudeness of her dog. Once on leash the pooch settled down, and Sue continued with me for the next 3 miles of my walk, giving us a chance for a real conversation.
Mt. Rainier had been her focus for the whole summer. She had a glorious coffee table book about Rainier and was reading it a bit everyday, dreaming of being there, relishing every picture. Plans to visit the park with her family had just crashed on Monday. Basically she was fixated on being connected to the mountain.
"I'm headed there at noon today and camping overnight. Do you want to ride along?"
"Yes! But you're not serious, right?"
"I am serious. I'd enjoy the company."
"I'll be ready at noon," she replied.
|From Mowich Lake Road|
I picked her up at 12:30 and we headed north, both of us marveling from every angle about the circumstances that had brought us together and the nasty behavior of Laddy, her dog, which played the most important roll. Bad was definitely good in this case.
|Hubby with a "warm" beard|
At Mowich Lake, we found happy hikers, eager for the lasagna (recipe will be in the next post), for the green salad and tomatoes, for a cold beer.
|Shards of breakfast: fried potatoes with onions and|
bell pepper topped with cheese, scrambled eggs, cinnamon
rolls and nectarines!
The next morning after a hearty home breakfast (anything, please, please, other than instant oatmeal), the cheery band set off for the last 30 miles to their destination at Sunrise.
|Lunch and trail mix for the next three days.|
And Sue stood amazed at it all. She took rapid mental notes about all the gear and how to use it. We drove round the whole mountain on our way back to Portland. I also stand amazed at how the Universe saw to it that she put her feet at the base of such a magnificent spot. She'll be back.