Saturday, October 10, 2015

Trail of the Patriarchs

Mount Rainier National Park
Washington



Yesterday, I confessed I was just a tad jaded when it came to waterfalls.  Not so with ancient trees.  We saved this trail for our last day in the park.  The sun was beginning to lower and cast its final golden glow through the canopy.  That many of these Douglas Firs and Red Cedars are 1000 years old; that they kept growing through volcanic eruptions, blizzards, floods and fires, always leaves me with a sense of awe and wonder.

There are very few of these old growth forests left in the Pacific Northwest.  It is why our national park system is such a treasure.  The minute we drove into Mount Rainier National Park, it was apparent we had driven into a time warp.  The forest was dark and dense.  We immediately pulled over and got out of our van just to soak in the dampness, the beauty, the oxygen, and the fragrance.

The Grove of the Patriarchs trail is an easy 1.5 mile loop.  You walk across a swing bridge, over the crystal clear water of the Ohanapecosh River to an island where these 200 foot patriarchs are located.   It is this river that has provided the water and nutrients for these trees to grow and thrive.

Sadly, it was time to say good-bye, but I left craving more.  We immediately started making plans for two future trips:  To the Olympic Peninsula and to the Northern Cascades.

  I will never ever get tired of walking among ancient trees!

5 comments:

  1. So beautiful. I could almost smell that piney smell and hear the trees creaking. I loooove forests.

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