5am at morning, I didn’t gave up the hope that the sky might be cleared. Looking out through the window, I could see surrounding mountains clearly. Magic! I grabbed my gears and run out of the hotel, together with several fellow photographers.
When we got to the reflection lake, thick fog still dominated the lake. Another two photographers told me, they came last year and it was a day like this. Although the paradise area was clear, the sun hadn’t shown up until too late around the reflection lake. Pondered for a while, we decided to go some other places. 2 miles back toward the paradise area on the left-hand side, there is a vista point that is facing the mountain and overlooks the valley. No cloud, the light was warm.
The reflection lake must be good now. We all drove back. Less than 10 minutes after we left, the sun has dispersed the cloud, only light fog remained above the surface of the lake. A short trail led me to the lake shore. It was perfect, I couldn’t ask for better conditions. I spent about half an hour around at the lake side.
I went back to the lodge to meet my wife and we decided to do some hiking in this beautiful morning. Nisqually Vista Trail is at the west side of paradise area. The trail is a loop and easy to walk, unfortunately it’s not as exciting as the Skyline Trail. The glacier retreats fast, there was not much too see indeed; and the flowers were not abundant.
We decided to have a walk again between the lodge and the Myrtle Falls, the same section of Skyline Trail we hiked the previous day. It’s around 8am. The view was fascinating, but as the sun rose higher, the light quickly became too harsh for photographing.
We returned the lodge in time to catch up their serving of breakfast. We checked out the lodge at 9am. Our destination was Portland, Oregon, so we would leaving from the Nisqually Entrance. Not far from paradise area, we stopped by at Nevada Falls, and walked down to the view point. It’s a popular site and maybe the first attraction for tourists coming from this direction. On our way leaving the park, I noticed the clouds started returning to the park. We were really lucky to have a chance to see Mt. Rainier’s different faces. The final highlight was short but priceless.