Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Picnic at Paradise

Yesterday we played hooky and had a picnic in 
Paradise on Mt. Rainier.

It was a beautiful day and we took the back roads all the way. 

Past beautiful old farmlands. 

And pristine lakes. 

This luminous green glacial lake is Alder Lake, which supplies drinking water to the city of Tacoma. 

Wild Sweet Peas bloom along the banks.

Soon we arrive at the gates of Mt. Rainier National Park. 

Forest Service buildings built during the 1930's serve the many dedicated Rangers and staff. 

We follow the Nisqually River through untouched wilderness all the way to it's source, the Nisqually Glacier on the flanks of Mt. Rainier.

The sun creates pools of light as it filters through the majestic canopy of ancient forest. 

Trees that have witnessed centuries stand guard along the way.

The Nisqually River weaves it's path along this mountain canyon, as we slowly start to climb, higher and higher. 

We leave the ancient fern covered forest floor as we drive the switchback river trail towards it's source. 

Up and up we climb, past breathtaking scenery. 

To the flanks of Mt. Rainier - the source of  the Nisqually Glacier. 

The very large highway bridge is dwarfed by the enormous glacier. 

A broader view of the glacier and the headwaters of the Nisqually River.

 There is the river far below.

A tiny peek behind the clouds of the flanks of Mt. Rainier.

We stop to stretch our legs and take in the beautiful alpine scene.

The peak of Mt. Rainier as the clouds lift.

Alpine forest at the tree-line.

We stop after our long drive and find a perfect picnic spot in the warm mountain sunshine.

Ol' Blue Eyes thought he would sneak in a photo of me taking a bite, but I caught him just in time!

He likes to tease.

I stopped his teasing with my home-made Blackberry Squares for dessert.
(I will post the recipe in a future post)

Later, as I was taking photos of the scenery, he dead-panned,
'Wouldn't it be great if a deer walked by?'

Still absorbed in my task I laughed, never dreaming he was serious!

I was so surprised when I turned around!

There you see his shoulder on the left, as I zoom in on the deer behind us in the shadows.

Isn't she pretty?

She is busy having her own picnic, munching on the beautiful wildflowers growing all around us.

As she drifts away she shows us her namesake, for she is a Black-Tail Deer. 

Lupine and Cinquefoil carpet the landscape.

The slightest breeze carries their scent.

And all along the edges, Avalanche Lilies bloom. 

We took a little trail at the picnic grounds.

But we weren't at our final destination yet....

Next time - We arrive at Paradise Lodge.


  1. Hi Karen,
    Beautiful post! I can't wait to see the pics of Paradise, I'll bet the wildflowers were amazing!

  2. What a beautiful picnic - this looks like a perfect day!

  3. Oh Beatrice this has to be the best way to spend a day with the one you love in the most beautiful setting anyone could honestly find. Oh my friend you are so lucky to have a love like that and a atmosphere like that. Thank you for sharing this special time with all of us, I for one appreciate your beautiful photos and the atmosphere and the smile that will remain on my face as I think of this post all day.
    I have to get back to the West Coast it is so so beautiful. Hug B

  4. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that this looks like the best picnic of all-time :) WOW

  5. Wow! What a gorgeous place for a picnic! I love it all but that lake is spectacular! I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for taking us along, Karen! xx

  6. As always wonderful photographs and spectacular landscapes!!

  7. Paradise picnic indeed :) What a stunning and beautiful area for a picnic! I was completely captivated with your photos and your blackberry tart had my mouth watering - yum! You look so beautiful and the deer is absolutely precious. God has give us so much to enjoy :)

    Thank you, sweet friend, for sharing. I look forward to your next post.


  8. what a gorgeous place! thanks for taking us along!

  9. Beautiful scenery, good food and a fun day with your hubby...Sounds perfect to me....

  10. What a perfect day! The scenery, the company, and the picnic!

  11. OMG, this is just the kind of thing my husband and I love to do. You have the most beautiful place to hike and picnic. Everything looked perfect!

  12. WOW...What a perfect day Karen, the scenery & food are Gorgeous...what a treat for the pretty deer to join you both for lunch... Enjoy... Hugs May x x x

  13. Amazing, amazing, amazing! We are used to see these landscapes in movies. But, you are there so it's real. What a charming picnic! I've liked seeing you, with your sandwich. lovely!

    Hugs and enjoy your holidays


  14. Such lovely views - and the wildflowers - how I wish to smell their scent. We hope to get down there this summer sometime - while the flowers are still blooming. I can't wait to see the rest.

  15. Another beautiful "day in the life of ...".
    Glad to see a photo of you included!

  16. What a perfect place to have a picnic, and in such gorgeous company! I love your drinking jars, what a great idea. Lovely to see a photo of you included looking so relaxed! You live in a wonderful place! xx

  17. Oh, what beautiful views and photos! The blackberry squares look delicious!


  18. I cannot believe beauty like this exists in this world - it is heavenly! Your photo of Alder Lake is just stunning. I bet I could sit and admire it for hours! How neat that you saw a deer. That just wrapped up the day so well :) And i love your cute little picnic basket! What a great day. Truly a picnic at paradise!

  19. Dearest Karen,
    So glad that both of you enjoyed your own regional beauty and having such a perfect picnic. The deer made it almost like a fairy tale! And I can't believe you got Wild Sweet Peas; what a fragrance you must have up that mountain in the pure and clean air.
    Thanks for showing us.

  20. Hi Karen, that was the most breathtaking trip I've ever been. I'm so glad I found you.
    I would love to stay in that Forest service building (log house). Oh nice photo of you and your hubby (how sweet). I bet everything in your picnic bag taste so much better in a picturesque surrounding.
    I will put your blog on my side bar so I won't miss your next post. Sorry I haven't had a chance to visit you. So flat-out with work.

    Have a good week.

  21. WAU Karen - what a great post. Thank you showed it. Wishing you and your a good month of August :) Hugs Hanne Bente ♥

  22. Ok...whenever I read your posts I just get so excited! Your tours feel as though I am right there with you and I love that!!! Oh what beautiful sites! The majestic trees just take my breath away!!! And that picnic is perfect down to the mason jars! And I can not WAIT for that recipe!!!!! I am a big baker and am always trying to get better at it and these look AMAZING!!!!!! Have a great weekend with your blue eyes!!! You both are just too darn cute!

  23. Beautiful day, beautiful scenery, relachantes, love to travel with you always delivers beautiful images, until Bambi, how beautiful! You live in a place full of blessings, or you are a real hand magic. Beijão Karen and a beautiful weekend dear friend!

  24. I'm so jealous! I've been begging Eric to take me to Paradise for years now! We took that same route to Packwood a few weeks ago. It really is paradise. It reminds me of being a kid playing in our little forest; with the cougars, elk, deer & bear. You know, my birthday is coming up and those blackberry squares look amazing! 😉


  25. Beautiful day for sure. Love the picnic basket. I think it would be nice in the fall after the rain comes and before it snows too much so there'd be more snow on Mt Rainer. I need to go there again, it's been years since I took our two children with me when husband was out of town for work. Looking forward to next episode! We had a cloudy day and hope rain will fall tonight. Take care!

  26. Oh my goodness such beauty -- I've got to make a trip to see Mt. Rainer..
    My favorite photo today is you - smiling.. love that!

  27. I love the Cascades scenery!! Your photos are gorgeous. I look forward to your blackberry square recipe... those look delicious!!

  28. Spectacular shots and what beauty! This is such a wonderful spot and how lucky to be able to have such an amazing picnic in the place.


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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