Exploring God's Country
Sunday, August 12, 2007

Author: Catrina
Wine Selection: Tisdale Chardonnay

Living in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Portland, offers so many recreational opportunities. There aren't too many places in the country where you can be a stones-throw (okie coming out in me!) from a gorgeous coastline as well as beautiful mountain ranges with breathtaking views. In the two years that we have lived here, we have hiked tons of trails--all of which provide a small, but absolutely stunning glimpse of God's fine craftsmanship that you would otherwise never get the opportunity to see. Eric and I share a passion for nature, although I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a "tree hugger"--a term often used to describe many Oregonians and quite possibly my husband. So, whenever we get the chance, we love to take off and explore someplace new.

Last weekend we visited Mt. Rainier for the first time. It's about a 2.5 hour drive and both Wyatt and Avery did very well in the car on the way there. When we arrived at the park, the cloud cover unfortunately blocked any and all views of the mountain. But we were hopeful that at some point during our 3-day stay, we'd get a look at this enormous mountain we traveled to see. I must say, it is very interesting driving through the park with a humongous mountain in front of you and you have absolutely no clue that it's there! By the way, I should warn you now before I forget--I am not very precise when it comes to details regarding mountain height, trail distances, or elevation changes. I leave all of that stuff up to my tree-hugger husband. So, if you want specifics then shoot him an email.

On Saturday, we started our day with a 6-mile round-trip hike to the top of Comet Falls, which was my first hike in about a year. Eric being the total stud that he is (wink, wink) thought it would help his training if he carried Wyatt in the Kelty backpack AND Avery in the front carrier. As usual, I thought he was insane, but I just shook my head and rolled my eyes as I took off up the mountain. It was a very steep climb, but it felt great to just be active again. Wyatt had a blast pointing out all of the trees (there were about a million), and once he got a glimpse of Comet Falls, you could see the excitement in his eyes. He kept pointing at it and repeating "wa-fall..wa-fall..wa-fall" as if we couldn't see it.
We finally made it to the top of the falls, but we still were unable to see Mt. Rainier, which was apparently right in front of us!! But we were able to enjoy a beautiful meadow of wildflowers as we rested briefly before hiking back down. Here is a picture of my favorite wildflower--Indian Paintbrush.

Typically, the downhill hike is a bit faster than the trek up the mountain, but it was not the case for this trail. It was so incredibly steep that it took us just as long to get down as it did to get up. Of all of the trails we've hiked, this was the most unpleasant downhill hike I've ever done. It took us a total of 6 hours to hike the trail and let me tell you, my legs felt like jello afterwards!!! Wyatt had a blast and NEVER complained, while little miss Avery slept the entire time.

Sunday was pretty low-key since both of us could hardly even walk, but we managed to hike an easy trail that allowed us an up close and personal look at some beautiful, jaw-dropping old-growth trees. In this photo, Avery was doing was she does best--sleeping. Oh, and just for the record...our camera adds about 30lbs!! Well, it's worth a try, right?

We FINALLY got to see the magnificent mountain briefly before we left, and it was definitely worth the wait. Neither words nor pictures can really describe how breathtaking it is.

Our next adventure is planned for mid-September, in which we plan on going to Seattle for several days with Eric's family. His parents, brother, and sister-in-law are all coming for a visit. They will also be in town for Wyatt's birthday, so stay tuned for a lot of exciting posts to our blog.

Blogger Starr had this to say:

Wow. What a neat trip. And if your husband made that hike with TWO children strapped to his body, then he really IS a stud! Crazy! :-)

August 13, 2007 at 9:29 PM 

Blogger Grandma had this to say:

Beautiful pictures thanks for sharing them with us. You describe everything so well it makes reading them real enjoyable. Also it motivates me I think I will go find me a mountain with a waterfall right now and go hiking.
That is a big "ha".

September 1, 2007 at 5:51 AM 

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My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771