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Two weeks ago we’d put one foot in front of the other up Pinnacle Peak Trail and then had gaped at Mount Rainier from Plummer’s Peak.

It’d been spectacular. The sunshine. The side ache. The mountain against the blue of the sky.

All of it.

Which was when my husband started planning a trip back. Only with our kids.

Last Friday was that day.

And so at 53 degrees with a sky full of sunshine, we did the same thing..

followed the trail to the top….one foot at a time.

Sometimes it made sense to flop in the leaves for a breath.

And sometimes a gallop through the rocks seemed best.

But mostly it was a mix of fondling furry flowers…

And glancing up from our feet at this.

A few more rocky hair pins brought us to the saddle…

And the end of the maintained trail…

Where it was all the glory of Mount Rainier one way.

And the shadow of Mt. Adams the other.

Below the saddle we could see the snow piles.

Which wasn’t enough.

We had to touch them. And shriek through them. And act like we’d never seen snow.

Until there wasn’t a dry glove or shoe between these two.

When we re-reached the saddle, we pointed ourselves toward Pinnacle Peak, the scratchy crags there, and started walking.

Behind us the squashed dome of Mount St. Helen’s made a bump in the horizon.

And ahead of us…rocks.

Everywhere.

Rocks for resting.

Rocks as back drops.

Rocks for blazing a trail.

Rocks and flowers.

Flowers and rocks.

Because the path wasn’t always clear, we sometimes waited on a rock.

Or in a pile of rocks…

Until we heard my husband shout, “I found it.  Come on this way!”

And we did.

We coaxed our legs to the top…

Where the rocks were pointy and sharp.

And the footing somewhat unsure.

But our reward was this:

A lake of ice trickling down the other side.

And a glimpse of Reflection Lake.

We didn’t linger here–it wasn’t that kind of place.

Instead, on the level, we took inventory of tiny toes…

and pressed on past flowers…

until we could skip our way down…

together…

or alone.

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