One of the more breathtaking (and, for me, breathless) loop trails that I hike at Mount Rainier is to go up Golden Gate trail to the skyline trail to Panorama Point.
Skyline Trail is well named.
The lower skyline trail is permanently closed, except for those adept with ice axes. So up one goes even farther.
There is a spot on the Upper Skyline Trail that has much better views than Panorama Point does:
But Panorama Point has a potty (as well as crowds of the many folk who hike directly to and from it starting at the visitor center.
I never go into this hike thinking I will make it, I give myself permission before I start to just go as far as I can and enjoy the beauty that I see, but I always do.
If you ever get a chance to go to Paradise, this is a great loop since many do not go beyond the there and back to Panorama Point, so you have less crowded trails. By hiking up Golden Gate in the morning you get shade for the steepest uphill. When you get above the tree line there is usually a nice breeze for the (not entirely insignificant) remainder of the uphill. There is some scree scramble but not too bad. If it helps you to gauge: I hike in hiking shoes (not boots), carry a mono-pod/hiking stick and don’t have exceptionally good balance. I am a bit nervous, but have never had a problem.
Last Sunday we took an outing to get apricots in Eastern Washington. An almost annual trek. Almost because time goes so quickly that I miss the brief period when you can get them some years.
Our little trip took us through a lot of the landscapes of Washington State. From an island in Puget Sound, through the Cascade mountains to areas of Eastern Washington that are both fertile and arid. All beautiful, but each with its own personality.
Even though it was only a day trip the summer heat led us to leave the dogs at dad’s so they could have a day on the beach instead of a hot car ride. He lives on an island.
No matter how I try, I can’t seem to be systematic about publishing photos. These are from my May trip to Guilin, in China, during their rainy season. The last full day we were there we wandered around the lakes in the middle of town in the rain. We were wet through and through, but we didn’t want to waste any time in that lovely city.
One thing that fascinated me when I researched about the Great Wall of China is that it was used more for communication than for separation. In the days before cell phones, messages could be sent quickly over long distances along the wall using smoke, flares and flags.
These are photos from the reconstructed area called Mutianyu. It is less crowded than Badaling, which is more easily accessed from Beijing. As I mentioned we had a private driver to our hotel as part of Wild Great Wall’s self-guided tour so we did not have to figure out how to get back to the city.
Comparing from the photos I posted last week, Which Way. You can see that the reconstruction and maintenance are a monumental endeavor. The wall is along the crest of the hills and the area is not accessed by roads, the materials are heavy and there is a lot of territory to cover.
Traveling this section there are a lot of stairs, steep and uneven in many places.
I never finished the series of posts I intended to write about walking Hadrian’s Wall last June.
Here is a gallery of pictures from the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail between Housesteads Fort and Chester’s Fort.
In this stretch, while not including the highest point on the walk, it passes something equivalent to the Continental divide in North America, the texture of the clouds changed, and it got way less windy.
Different ages and architecture styles looking up Columbia Street.
Similar view climbing Columbia during the blue hour to catch our bus.
Our favorite watering hole is on Post Alley.
Passage to the waterfront.
Pike Street runs through Washington State Convention Center.
Freeway Park is a pleasant way to cross over I5 which runs through downtown.
I used to go downtown pretty often. Of late I take the whopping 20 minute bus ride two or three times a year. This past weekend I attended a conference downtown so went in twice. That takes me to above my annual average this year.