When you live in Western Washington, you learn a deep appreciation for gray skies turning blue. We usually do get a significant amount of rainfall during the winter months but even if it is not pouring down like the Amazon Rain Forrest, it is generally still gray. Today was a near perfect winter day, sunny and about 60 degrees. While most people in Western Washington probably broke out their grills and lawnmowers, we broke out our winter coats, boots, gloves and gassed up the car for a trip to the mountains. I say trip, but really it is only a 90-minute drive from my house.
In all of the years that I have lived in Washington State, I had never ventured to Crystal Mountain Resort near Mt. Rainier. I love to explore new places and the fact that they had a gondola ride to a restaurant was just too good to pass up. When we arrived at Crystal Mountain Resort there were more cars in the parking lots than on Black Friday. I say ‘lots’ because there were several and they were incredibly far away from the action, so much so that they were picking up skiers and hauling them in on huge seated carts. Yeah, I could have used the exercise, but I am flat-footed, and I was wearing snow boots that were about as comfortable as an inflamed rash. Just as I was weighing whether or not this whole process was going to be worth it, we found one open parking spot that, in the grand scheme of things, was a fairly short walk.
We purchased our gondola tickets and got in line to wait our turn to head up the mountain. I am afraid of heights and I have to admit that I was feeling a bit of anxiety as I observed that the gondolas seemed to head up the mountain and then disappear at the top. I also began sizing up the structure and thickness of the cable that the gondola was pulled on. I began to realize that I had to put my total trust in the people who put all of this together and hope that they were all sober in the making and installation of this contraption. There is something about blue sky in the great Northwest that will make you risk life and limb for a bit of fun; game on. The ride up was incredible, the view was so spectacular that I didn’t entertain another thought about falling to my untimely death. I don’t know exactly what I thought I was going to see at the top, but the view rendered me breathless. This was a perfect day if ever there was one.