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Friends, cherries, and sunshine at Rainier

Every once in a while, my friends and I decide on a weekend day trip to escape the city life of Seattle. More often times than not, we head to Mt. Rainier National Park. The park is filled with natural beauty, endless hikes, seasonal activities, and also is one of the closest mountain peaks being at only an hour and forty minutes away from where I reside. 

One of my favorite times of year to go to the park is between the months of spring and summer. During this time, some of the most beautiful wildflowers are springing up throughout the park and of course the weather is most permitting. Another perk of going to the park during this time of year is getting to purchase a basket or bucket of Rainier cherries. Sweet yet tart, this delicious fruit is a perfect addition to your adventure whether for snacking or taking home for later use of baking. 

Once we arrived, we were also greeted by the appearance of a rainbow cloud or cloud iridescence phenomenon. This appears where the sun is up in the sky and when ice crystals or water droplets are individually scattering light. I had only ever seen it in photos from others but once witnessed in person, it's pretty spectacular. Capturing it in a photograph was one of the toughest things to do, so glad I was able to!

Some of the most beautiful things in Rainier have to be seen with binoculars or a zoom lens. (Unless of course, you are a rock climber, which I most definitely am not!) I love being able to capture all of the details of the mountains that surround Rainier. Their rigid formations cast heavenly shadows when the lighting is just right. The contrast between the green grass to the snow left on the peaks also makes for the most mystifying photographs, something out of a Lord of the Rings scene. Below is a detailed image of Rainier himself. 

When we got close to the top of the lookout, we pulled over to take some shots of one another while we enjoyed the views. Emily is always so great for photographs, not only is she a natural beauty but, she also clearly knows what she's doing in front of the camera. 

Another great friend of mine and who is also a spectacular photographer is Alex Tran. He just moved here not too long ago from New Hampshire. It's crazy to think that I was actually introduced to him by a fellow Instagram friend whom I had the pleasure of briefly meeting 2 years ago. Oh internet, you have been good to me so far. 

We kept driving up the road only to be stunned to find clear skies at Reflection Lake. Reflection lake is always extremely crowded but you definitely can't blame those who seek this spot out, I mean c'mon! Just look at this place, it's a photographers dream. We continued on the road and pulled off to a secret spot, one I had actually never been to myself. It was beautiful, the area was completely secluded and we stopped for some snacks. 

Remember those marvelous cherries I boasted about? These are them! Aren't they delicious looking? I swear I could eat an entire bag full of these.

The sun began to set so we decided to explore some other areas of the park we hadn't before. Rainier National has so much to offer, it's nearly impossible to see it all in one day. I have lived in Seattle for 3 years and even to this day I still haven't seen everything there is to see in this park. 

I had never seen this meadow before. It offered an incredible view of Rainier from the opposite of what one usually sees. It's incredible how different Rainier looks from one season to the next. Spending your time at the park during different times of year will give you a new set of images every single time. 

We must've had a string of good luck when it came to the clouds that day. As the hours passed, we saw all kinds of new formations in the sky that are definitely not your everyday cumulus clouds. 

Some of my favorite areas to photograph in Rainier National are not only the landscapes but also the short tunnels that have been created throughout the road that winds throughout the park. Each one is slightly different, some are longer than others, but they are all very beautiful. 

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The lighting was absolutely perfect right before we made our way out. I had just gotten my new Honda 2016 Civic so naturally, I took some photos of my new ride. I'm really impressed by all of the features and when driving out to the mountains, this car really does not disappoint. 

To end the day just right, I stopped at Christine Falls. Every time I have tried to go see this beautiful spot it is either congested with cars or too dark to photograph. I was also so fortunate to have brought my tripod with me (finally! I always forget that sucker). The light made for the perfect photo op and an even better way to end our adventure. Til next time!