The Mountains are Calling
I flew back to the Pacific Northwest last weekend to do some more exploring with my cousin and one of our best friends. She moved out there a few months ago and we were eager to see her new home.
Seattle is only a few hours north of Portland, but the city has a very different vibe to it. Though not nearly as big, it had more of a New York City feel to it than Portland. It may have been our timing, but the streets were flooded with a lot of tourists and bar-hopping locals.
Don't get me wrong; Seattle is a beautiful place with its harbors and surrounding mountain ranges. Although, what really took my breath away was the surrounding wilderness. Our first journey was to Mt. Rainier National Park, where we caught glimpses of Mt. Rainier in a shroud of clouds.
Mt. Rainier is the 17th tallest mountain in the United States at 14,411 feet. It's actually considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, should it erupt.
While we were there, helicopters were actively searching for a lost hiker on the mountain. We learned later this his body was recovered; a grim reminder of just how dangerous this mountain can be.