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When The Mountain Is Out

By Peggy Roalf   Friday February 8, 2013

Mount Rainier, North America’s Fuji, stands as an icon in the landscape and in the imagination. Rising 14,410 feet above sea level, this dangerously active volcano is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 – and spawns six major rivers. When “The Mountain,” as it’s locally referenced, is “out,” it can be seen from as far away as Portland and Vancouver.

Michelle Dunn Marsh, a photobook designer and editor, and a Seattle native, told me that when she was a schoolgirl, she and a friend would skip their first class on days when Rainier was visible, to sit and watch The Mountain. Then they would scramble to make their second class, allowing just enough time to pick up donuts for their teachers. They were never scolded.

  

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Above: Wing and The Mountain, © 2013 Paul Sanders.

DART subscriber Paul Sanders, a Seattle photographer, sent this photo on Wednesday, and agreed to let me post it. When I asked if he could add a few lines for the story, he wrote, “I understand completely what your friend Michelle Dunn Marsh is saying about The Mountain. We live on Bainbridge Island, and a short walk away is Manitou Beach, which offers a spectacular view of Seattle to the east and Mt. Rainier to the south. On a clear day—especially if it's not too cold—we can sit on a log or a rock and simply ‘be.’ A lot of people in this area feel the same way.  :)  ‘Oh- the mountain is out~!’ I was happy I had my little Lecia digital point-and-shoot with me on the plane.”

So dear readers, please send me your mountain stories, with photos or drawings, to further liven up the winter season.

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