Well, we did it. We finally left the dark side and got a Mac! Last night we brought home our Mac Pro. Rather ironic timing, it was opening weekend for the Microsoft store in University Village, a swanky shopping mall down the hill from the UW. The Microsoft store is literally within shouting distance from the Apple store (it’s Seattle’s version of McDonald’s vs. Burger King). When we arrived, the huge temporary stage was being taken down from the afternoon grand opening concert. The fact that Microsoft built a fancy stage and had a rock band come to jam made the switch even more satisfying, though it’s not as though Apple is immune to hype. The timing was just bad for me, is all. But anyway, pretty soon working on my pictures is going to actually be fun again. I’ve got a dozen memory cards full of pictures sitting in my desk drawer, because importing them into Lightroom got to be ridiculously tedious on our Windows computer (we had Victor Frankenstein do some work on our machine last year and it didn’t turn out so well). Know what pictures I’m most excited to see for the first time? The ones I took of Adam on the first day of boating season this year, I think I got some really neat shots of him on the closed-to-traffic Montlake Bridge, watching crew races during the Windermere Cup. For the past four or five months, whenever I’ve thought of which pictures I wished I could share the most, my mind has raced back to May. So stay tuned for those!
Below is a picture of Adam on the rocks at Panorama Point, the short hike we did last week. As you can see, it’s quite panoramic. There are views of volcanoes (Adams, Hood, St. Helens), Paradise Lodge (visible below), Paradise Valley, the Tatoosh Range (the triangular peak all the way to the right is Plummer Peak, Adam and I hiked up there last summer). Oh…..there’s also a view of Mt. Rainier.
Once you reach Panorama Point, the going gets a little rougher and there are even signs warning idiots who’ve somehow made it this far that Mt. Rainier is really snowy.
Here’s Adam dwarfed by Mt. Rainier, on our way up to Panorama Point. Right before this we saw a black fox with a white tip on its tail. And I swear it was carrying a Hostess pie in its mouth. And Adam peed on the trail here standing, without peeing on himself, which was nice work. I did feel a little frustrated about having him pee uphill. There was nothing we could do as the stream trickled around our feet in the dust, because he’d been holding it a couple hours and there was no way of interrupting for a reposition. Oh, before that I helped him drop his drawers and was very surprised to discover he was free-balling it. I asked him why he took off his underwear at the house and he said he liked how it felt without underwear. Fortunately, he was wearing soft-lined pants. I know helping him pee sounds really weird but you have to remember he’s only four years old, and sometimes it’s absolutely necessary to avoid disastrous splashing, such as when we’re 4 miles up a trail in the Cascades. Lately I’ve resisted the urge to hold his penis for him, because I can tell he isn’t crazy about it when I do it (hey-that-looks-like-fun-let-me-try). But I really hate the way he stretches his penis out like he’s Mr. Fantastic, it’s horrifying to watch. Apparently this is not an uncommon thing among little boys.
A group of obnoxiously loud Japanese hikers passed us up here and I jokingly remarked to Adam I hoped they weren’t headed to Panorama Point. We caught up with them a half mile later when they apparently realized an elderly member of their party wasn’t keen on hiking in the snow and as we passed them Adam said in a really loud voice “Papa, I don’t mind that those hikers are too loud. They don’t bother me.”
Here’s a picture from the little plateau of Panorama Point, looking up at Mt. Rainier. That rocky knoll directly above was within easy reach, probably five minutes tops. And the views up there of The Mountain are twice the bang for the buck, it’s delicious irony the Mt. Rainier view from Panorama Point is practically blocked. But it’s the view south over the Tatoosh that is really the best, in my opinion. But still, I thought it would be nice to go just a itty bit higher, but Adam vetoed the idea. Panorama Point is a neat flat area with cool rocks to play on, he was highly amused. By the way, the little yellow speck in the picture is the sign warning hikers of the steep and icy trail conditions. I’ve hiked to Muir Camp before. This is the spot where you realize you need to be all in to make it. You’ve hiked something like 1,500 just to get here. Panorama Point is an easy 1,500 feet (not if you’re carrying Adam, though). But the idea that you still have 3,200 more feet to hike (up snow) is sobering.
That’s Adam in the distance, playing on a big pedestal of rock. The Skyline Trail is the big high loop you can hike from Paradise, I believe it’s in the 5.5 mile range. It’s a worthwhile hike in Autumn when the most obnoxious national park tourists are long gone. Adam and I hiked down the way we came up.