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Paradise Snow Play




Click any picture to enlarge


Daniel and I went together with Sonya and Morhia to play in the snow up at Paradise at Mount Rainier.


On our way to Paradise, we tormented the kids with lots of stops along the way.


First we stopped at Dogwood Park, north of Eatonville, for a view of the west face of Rainer (above) , showing all three of its summits (Liberty Cap, Columbia Crest, and Point Success). 


Then we visited the Pioneer Farm where Daniel's class had its field trip in September.  It turns out there's a clear view of Rainer up the end of the valley, which we never saw because the field trip gave us a classic Northwest overcast weather experience.  The farm was empty except for Jack the horse, whose hair had grown noticeably longer over the winter.


While we waited in line at the park entrance, three deer wandered past the car.  Just inside the park, we saw another three dear alongside the road.


At Christine Falls, we found that warmer weather had melted out almost all of the ice that Sonya and I had seen a gilding the falls a couple weeks ago.  We did enjoy seeing some of the smaller side streams that had been hidden behind the ice.


The highlight came high on a snowy hillside above the road - a fox walked out and watched us for several minutes as we watched it. It's tail was especially impressive - fur so long that it was almost as thick as its body.

Daniel Gehlke Photo     Click any picture to enlarge

Daniel Gehlke Photo


Next we went to the sledding area at Paradise.  Early in the afternoon, the sled runs were very crowded, so we played in the snow and toured the visitor's center, and then returned after most of the crowd had departed.  We tried all kinds of combinations, sledding down individually or together, bouncing and spinning, often more backwards than forward. 


 Sonya Rainbolt photo   Click any picture to enlarge   Click any picture to enlarge   Morhia Rainbolt photo

             Matt & Daniel                                 Daniel                                        Morhia                                   Sonya


Most of the afternoon we spent playing in the snow. 

Click any picture to enlarge          Click any picture to enlarge

Sometimes the kids assaulted the adults with snow.


Click any picture to enlarge   Click any picture to enlarge   Click any picture to enlarge

But most of the afternoon was spent on construction.  Daniel dug out tunnels to expand a fort amid the buried branches of a tree.  Sonya and Morhia built a giant snowball.  Then I wanted to go inside for lunch, so they insisted on hiding the snowball down in a tree well.  When we returned, I had to help haul the huge thing back uphill on a sled.  By then, however, the snow had gone into shadow and become too cold to pack, so they could only make small snowballs for the torso and head.  They decided the finished creature was a snow frog.


 Click any picture to enlarge

At dusk we returned to the sledding area.  Where it had been crowded before, now the runs were empty.  The kids kept making more runs downhill until the sun was gone and we were the last people to leave Paradise for the day, barely before the road was locked for the night.

More Pictures:  (Click any picture above or below to enlarge.)

Rainier from the Pioneer Farm Museum (out of focus)

Christine Falls (on the road to Paradise)

Fox on a hillside above the Paradise Road


Morhia sledding and Daniel snow-covered

Tatoosh Range (Castle, Pinnacle, Plummer, & Denman)

Daniel and Sonya in the snow

Morhia & Daniel making snowballs

Rainbow refractions in the snow crystals

Snow crystal refractions with contrast over-amplified to show all the colors


Sonya dead on the snow

Daniel & Matt digging tunnels for a fort

Sonya & Morhia packing the base of a snow creature


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