This is probably going to be my last post about Seattle. More happened, but I feel like I am getting boring. So I’ll be back to my normal vaginas and vomit stories soon. But this story wants to be told. I can’t stop thinking about it.
My sister rented a car to drive me up to see Mt. Rainier. All the pictures in this post are my own (sadly, taken with my phone). I have never been on a mountain before. I have only ever even seen a mountain once in real life.
You can see Mt. Rainier from Seattle. It felt so weird, to see this giant thing looming in the background of the city. It was like a sentinel watching over us.
Driving up to it, I started freaking out. We took a bunch of back roads through smaller cities. It was the most beautiful day out. It was low humidity, cool weather, no clouds. Just a perfect day.
It didn’t look real to me. It looked like it was a painted backdrop on a movie set. My mind was having a really hard time processing this giant pile of earth. I was afraid of it. What was keep it all up there like that? Florida barely has hills, let alone mountains.
There were all these meadows on our drive. We opened the windows and could hear bees humming. Tiny yellow flowers were growing everywhere. And it smelled like sweetgrass and sage and lavender. I was in love with that moment of perfection.
I felt like I could take a deep breath for the first time in my life. The air smelled and felt so good. It was a strange kind of high. In Florida, with the humidity and heat, it tends to feel like breathing through a warm, wet towel.
The closer we got to the mountain, the more I started freaking out. I could not believe it was real. I think I said three things over and over the whole day.
“It looks so fake!”
“It looks like Lord of the Rings!”
“It looks painted on.”
We drove up and up through dark green forests of moss covered trees. It was cool and wet and everything was almost blindingly green. The road we were on was closed during the colder months. Pollen drifted through the air like snow flakes falling.
It was startling to see the look out points. The valley was so far below. The curving road seemed unimaginably dangerous. The guardrails were laughably insufficient. I was not used to being so high up.
It was still in the 70s near the top of the mountain. We stopped when we saw snow. It was still piled high on either side of the road. I had never seen so much snow. I have only seen it twice before.
We got out of the car and in the silence of the mountain you could hear water dripping and falling in waterfalls as the snow banks melted and ran down the river. It was so loud, echoing through the distance.
I got out and began carefully walking through a snow drift on the side of the road. I immediately fell on my ass. I don’t know how to walk in snow. My sister got out and I scooped up a handful of snow and threw it at her. Then another at our rented car. She and I had a small snowball fight.
We drove further up and played some more. I found where they had cleared away snow from a public bathroom. It must have been 8 feet high still, carved out around this building. And I was still comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans.
The whole day was surreal. I can still hardly believe that it all actually exists. That mountain is still there, even though I am back in Florida.